Friday, 12 November 2010

Rio Guadalhorce, Malaga Province.

A flying visit.

I had just a couple of hours for a quick look around the reserve so I headed straight for the beach and had a scan from the sea watch point first. A single female Common Scoter (Negrón Común / Melanitta nigra) was seen diving quite a distance out and at least two Black-necked Grebes (Zampullín Cuellinegro / Podiceps nigricollis) passed west stopping breifly on the sea only about 20 metres out. The usual gulls were all present including 100s of Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus), 100+ Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), lots of Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and a few Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis). I then walked along the beach to the far sea watch point, on the way I added several flocks of Monk Parakeets (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus), a female Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) and a single Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia). From the sea watch point Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocorax carbo) and Mediterranean Shearwater (Pardela Mediterránea / Puffinus yelkouan) were all seen. I then moved on to the reserve and walked along the embankment towards the wader hide, on the way Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus) and Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenuela Común / Himantopus himantopus) were seen.
From the hide things looked grim for a short while with just a single Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egretta garzetta) and a few Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina) on view, then things started to appear from the reeds and side channels. The first were two Spoonbills (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia) and a small group of Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), followed by a single late passage Curlew Sandpiper (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea) which flew in and joined the Dunlin. Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) soon showed up along with a cracking male Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) which showed well for the next ten minutes on the mud to the left of the hide. On the walk around to the next hide over looking the reed fringed pool I had some very good views of a couple of Cetti’s Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Robin (Petirrrojo / Erithacus rubecula), Meadow Pipit (Bistita Común / Anthus pratensis), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis).
From the hide Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina), Northern Shoveler (Cuchara Común / Anas clypeata), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus) and Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor).
I missed the next hide out and had a look over the main pool, adding White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), a small group of five Avocets (Avoceta Común/ Recurvirostra avosetta) were roosting in the shallows and a single Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus ruber) eventually woke up for a few minutes before tucking it's head back under its wing again. Good numbers of Migrant Hawker ( Aeshna mixta) and Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) dragonflies were still on the wing along with a couple of Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus), Clouded Yellow (Colias crocea) and Bath White (Pontia daplidice) butterflies.
Other birds included Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falco tinnunculus), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer Domesticus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula).
Photographs from the top: Monk Parakeets (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus), Spoonbills (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia), Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus ruber) and Avocets (Avoceta Común/ Recurvirostra avosetta).

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