Tuesday 23 February 2010

Rio Guadalhorce, Malaga Province.

Day Five, The journey home. 
It is John and Sharon’s last day, it seems to have gone very quickly but it was time to drop them back down to Malaga for there evening flight back to the Midlands. We set off early and planned to spend some time at Guadalhorce before going to the airport. We dropped Jayne off at the shops and headed for the beach, the carcases had all been cleaned away and a start had been made on cleaning up the massive amounts of debris. The Eurasian Oystercatcher (Ostrero Euroasiatico / Haematopus ostralegus) and Whimbrel (Zarapito Trinador / Numenius phaeopus) were both still there and John also picked up a Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) on the rocks in front of the view point. Again there were plenty of the four commonest Gulls about, along with a couple of Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis) flying long the beach towards the port. We then went out on to the main reserve and made our way to the hide over looking the main pool, on the way we picked up several Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis)which we eventually had good views of as a pair sat up in a Caster-oil plant. The main hide was quiet, but White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Common Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina), Northern Shoveler (Cuchara Común / Anas clypeata), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Black-necked (Zampullín Cuellinegro / Podiceps nigricollis) and Little Grebes (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) were seen. Over the lake five species of hirundine were seen feeding low over the water and a single Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus) passing over higher, to high and fast to be sure whether it was the northern race bird. Also we seen were Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocorax carbo), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricapilla), Cetti’s Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falco tinnunculus), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba). Between the main pool and the hide over looking the long pool we picked up Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) and five Eurasian Spoonbills (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia) flew in and dropped in to the back of the main pool. The hide was quiet and no new species were added so we moved around to the viewing hump which gives views over a reed fringed pool. The first bird seen was a cracking Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) which flew across the pool and perched in a Tamarisk bush, more Pochard and several Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) were on the water and a female Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) quartered the far shore of the river. We then move around towards the hides on the far side of the lake on the track to the sea watch point. Just before we arrived at the hide I heard the high pitched thin call we had been waiting for and very soon we picked up a group of four Penduline Tits (Pájaro Moscón / Remiz pendulinus), one of the birds sat and posed for a short while in one of the near by Shrub Tobacco trees. From the hide we again saw very little, so we pushed on down to the sea watch point where we managed to see a single, very early Tawny Pipit (Bisbita Campestre / Anthus campestris) feeding on the edge of a small pool with a couple of Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius). Down on the beach five Audouin's Gulls (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii) were sitting by the river. Out on the sea there were huge numbers of gulls including Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus) and Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), along with a few Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus) and Balearic Shearwater (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus) further out. We then made our way back and eventually picked up the Booted Eagles (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) I had expected much earlier, Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) and Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata).

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