Monday 5 April 2010

Guadalhorce, Malaga Province.

Dennis and Ian, Day six. The homeward journey.

But not before we squeeze the last birding chance out of the trip. On the way to drop Ian at the airport we had a few hours birding at the Guadalhorce nature reserve. It was sunny but there was one hell of a wind blowing in off the sea, a few
Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), single Balearic Shearwater (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus), Sandwich Terns (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis) and a single and then another four Great Skuas (Págalo Grande / Catharacta skua) passed west. 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) were all seen and on the beach a group of four Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres) were feeding amongst the grot washed up around the rocks.
We then went out on to the main reserve and made our way to the large pool where there were a few nice groups of White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Northern Shoveler (Cuchara Común / Anas clypeata), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera) and Common Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina) riding what was quite a surf being whipped up by the strong wind. The new resident female Ruddy Shelduck (Tarro Canelo / Tadorna ferruginea) was seen as it swam along the back of the main pool, where she has come from is not known. Most likely it’s an escape from a wildfowl collection but I prefer the romantic thought that she’s battled her way up over the Atlas Mountains and thought that Malaga looked a great place to settle (well I now the last part will take some believing).
Black-necked (Zampullín Cuellinegro / Podiceps nigricollis) and Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) were also seen.
The long pool hide was quiet so we had a look from the raise bank but again nothing new was seen from here. The hide on the way out to the sea watch point produced little but at the second we had good views of five Spoonbills (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia) sweeping their headed side to side in their distinctive feeding manor, a very pale Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) sat in a low tree, Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenuela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egretta garzetta) and Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea).
We also saw Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Sand (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia) and House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Pallid (Vencejo Pálido / Apus pallidus) and Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus) and Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos).
We then made our way to the airport where we said our goodbyes to Ian who was back to St Andrews, Dennis and myself then made our way down to Fuengirola where I met sister and her husband who made me very welcome. After a drink and chat I again said my goodbyes and headed for home via Iceland freezer center (I know it’s a bit English).

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