28 January : Guadalhorce

Having had lunch the day being fine and not having any desire to work on this machine, I got binocs, scope and hied myself off to the Guadalhorce. Lovely sunshine, all I needed was birds and although I notched up 33 spp. between 14.10 and 16.40, there really wasn't much to get enthused  about as although there was a fairly decent selection of passerines there was next to nothing in the wader area although I missed the best of the afternoon as I shall later relate, and there was also surprisingly little in the duck line. 
tired Stilt and Greenshank
In fact, the best bird of the afternoon out of the 33 spp. I saw was virtually the last, a female Reed Bunting, a species which has been notable for its absence this winter, whilst I saw only 1 Meadow Pipit and 1 Hoopoe and heard not a single Skylark. All rather pathetic. There was a single adult female Marsh Harrier and 2 Kestrels.
The ducks were even more notable by their absence with no Pochard or Teal seen (!), not even on their usual ponds. There were very few White-headed Ducks, I counted only 8, and there were few Mallard. Where they all are, I don't have the slightest idea.
The most numerous species of the afternoon, even outdoing the Chiffchaffs, was probably the Great Cormorant, with one or two now showing breeding plumage.
As for waders, the story was similar with singles of Redshank, Snipe and Little Ringed Plover along the río Viejo. The most numerous species was Black-winged Stilt (there's a surprise) with a total of no more than 6 birds over the various sites where one would normally expect rather more. On the laguna Grande there was  a single, rather tired-looking, Greenshank, as was the Stilt behind it (photo).
The best birds were seen by Mel and Lorraine Hayes from Marbella (I was at another point), having seen the same Greenshank at the laguna Grande, proceeded to turn up not one but two (2) Marsh Sandpipers which stayed two minutes and then took flight towards the río Viejo. Hey-ho, some have all the luck!!! Otra vez será.

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