Dennis and Ian's trip, Day one.
Plus getting the much missed Lieca scope back!!!
Today was a double visit to
Andy and I made our way to the mouth of the Rio Guadalhorce for a quick hour or so birding. On the sea we picked up Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Lesser Black-backed Gulls (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus), Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis) and on the beach there were a few Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba). We then walked down the bank to the bridge which is the main entrance to the reserve, on the way we added Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egretta garzetta), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer Domesticus), Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Cetti’s (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Sardinian Warblers (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) and a nice male Common Redstart (Colirroja Real / Phoenicurus phoenicurus).
I then dropped Andy off at the train station and continued on to pick up Dennis Coutts (from Shetland) and Ian Cummings (from
St Andrews) both making a return visit for some more Spanish birding, their easyjet flight was a bit late but we were soon on our way up towards Campillos to have a look at Laguna Dulce. On the way we stopped briefly at the and picked up the first of many Little Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Mallard, Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Little Egret and Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea). Rio Grande
The second detour on the way was at the raptor watch point at Sierra Teba and the gorge. Several Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) could be heard calling as the chased along the cliff face and male Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor Perdicera / Hieraaetus faciatus) was picked up high over head. From the gorge the female Bonelli’s was seen and good numbers of House (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and Rock Pigeon (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia) were picked up and on the drive to the lagoon several Corn Buntings (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) jangled their calls from wires they shared with newly arrived Woodchat Shrikes.
At Laguna Dulce there were good numbers of Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus ruber), a small flock of Black-necked Grebes (Zampullín Cuellinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), a couple of Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and a single Great Crested (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus), two female White-headed Ducks (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Northern Shoveler (Cuchara Común / Anas clypeata), Common Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenuela Común / Himantopus himantopus) and masses of both Common (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido / Apus pallidus) overhead. On the drive to the house we picked up a pair of Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna) on an area of flooded field and at least two female Montagu's Harriers (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus). Once at the house Dennis and Ian settled in before I took them down town for a meal and picked them up later.