09 March : Another 50 up at the Guadalhorce

Greg Mills has very kindly sent the report below on his morning's birding at the Guadalhorce, but before coming to that, a bit of news from east and west of us. These past few days there has been a string entry of raptors in the Strait, including Black Kites, Egyptian Vultures and Short-toed Eagles, whilst last weekend at the other end of Andalusia there was a flock of ca.400 Garganey on the sea off Rambla Morales (Almería), along with a pair of Great Northern Divers. And now to Greg's morning.

Another fifty-odd species on show this morning, although with some notable alterations in the line-up from last week... Today's expedition started under gloomy skies and as I headed out on my bicycle from central Málaga, I started to regret my lack of layers as the sun was well hidden by thick grey cloud.
Entering the Guadalhorce from the Western approach, down at Sacaba beach, I flushed my first Kentish and Great Ringed Plovers, together with the first of many Meadow Pipits and Chiffchaffs. A Common Sandpiper sat gloomily on the side of the all too smelly and rubbish filled river overflow. I was impressed by the numbers of finches on display on the way in to the reserve, with mixed flocks of Goldfinch, Greenfinch and Serin. At least one Chiffchaff per bush, as they continue to prove by far the most numerous species on view, and a couple of Robins were added before I got to the entrance bridge.
 I was met by some rangers from the Junta with small group of very un-birdy looking folk, who appeared later clearing rubbish from the shrub area behind the beach. I hoped that they had been told to watch their step as this is an area being actively worked on by volunteers from the local SEO group, to help clear nesting grounds for the Kentish Plover.
 At the first hide (Laguna de la Casilla) I was astonished to see the amount of hirundines on show, with all the main summer visitors dashing past the hide or alighting in the reeds. Barn Swallows in the main, were joined by a Red-rumped Swallow, House and Sand Martins. A Bluethroat perched obligingly, albeit fleetingly, right in front of the hide. A single Snipe preened and then started up in a whir. Grey Heron and Little Egret as well as a single Flamingo were seen. The Sanderlings I saw last week seem to have dispersed, and they showed up in smaller groups at three of the four main lagoons. Black-winged Stilts? Well, just a pair and one singleton were the sum of it, which is odd for this time of year. Wildfowl included three pairs of Teal, plenty of Gadwalls and the resident White-headed Ducks.
  At the beach some Jackdaws were being closely watched by a couple of female Kestrels, and six Kentish Plovers had their proverbial hoods up as they huddled together in the chill. There was very little to see out on the sea, other than the passing gulls and the odd Comorant. I did catch the tell tail black wingtips of a distant adult Gannet fishing nearer to the port. Heading back to the lagoons, there were plenty of Corn Buntings calling and a twenty-plus strong flock of Linnets. Highlights from the Laguna Grande were four Booted Eagles all in the air at the same time, and four Grey Wagtails quite literally bouncing on one another on what used to be the island in front of the hide.
I also met a nice couple from Teeside and a very friendly Yorkshireman, as well as my first two Weasels seen at the Guada!

No hay comentarios: