16 August : Guadalhorce

I know that I have said it before but it really does bear repetition. Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun ..... and yesterday (16 August) I was so brassed off with no birding and too much time thinking and looking at this screen that I did. I grabbed the nearest pair of binoculars and at about 15.45 set off for the Guadalhorce, heat, sweat, toil and tears and all. And, like a fool, forgot to take any water, refused to hump around a scope and camera with me. A nice, gentel trudge around would, I thought, do me good. It did, except that I got slightly dehydrated but that was remedied when I got home some three hours later.
So what did I see? Well, basically I went to look for waders but even vefore getting in came across the most superbly patterned chameleon, a really big chap about 12 cms long who was trying to imitate the pattern of the wire fence to which he was clinging. Damn, no camera!
A nice steady pace of not more than 1.5km/h was ideal and even then it started to get rather hot. The first decent bird was a female Northern Wheatear which showed very nicely. Nothing at the laguna de la Casilla going down the eastern track and at the wader pool (second hide) 4 Redshanks - there were at least 6 in the whole area, and singles of Curlew Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper and Dunlin, not counting the omnipresent you-know.what hystericals. Further down in the río Viejo area it was solid with gulls, there being at least 200 (and probably a lot more) of Audouin's in all plumages ranging from juvenile through to adult. An object lesson for gull watchers. Then add all the Yellow-legged, some Lesser Black-backs and Black-headeds, and there must have been quite easily well over 500 present. I looked but between only binoculrs and heat haze couldn't find anything else.
I didn't fancy walking along the beach so walked gently back, the Northern Wheatear was still there so I shuffled round to the laguna Escondida where there was an awful lot of nothing. The laguna Grande was rather better with 2 Grey Herons and a few more waders, including a Whimbrel which was fast asleep and never stirred, a single Oystercatcher left over from the group that was there earlier in the week, 2 more Curlew Sandpipers and another Dunlin, making a total of 3 for the afternoon. Finally, after hearing at least 2 distant Greenshanks calling on and off they decided to take off and  flew off  in the general direction of Gibraltar.
By now I had a headache, a first symptom of dehydration, and cursed myself for coming without water so it was time for home. A very pleasant afternoon, in spite of the heat, and with some birds at least.
P.S: Dave and Gilly E-B went down to the Strait whale watching on Thursday and saw some 14 Orcas. Aaagh - it is possible to go off people.

No hay comentarios: