Monday, 14 February 2011

Punta de Calaburras and Guadalhorce, Malaga Province.

Birding the Costa.

I parked by the large rock on the side of the main coast road and started to look for waders along the sea front; there were quite a few people about so the area around the parking area was empty of birds. I walked west along the side of the main road and after a Km or so I started to see a few birds including 30+ Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres), 25+ Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba), 10+ Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina) a single Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula) and the stars 3 Purple Sandpipers (Correlimos Oscuro / Calidris maritime). I then settle myself on to a nicely located rock and waited for the birds to settle down and move towards me so that I could get some shots. I had just started when two lades voices approached from behind, they stood and watched what I was doing for about five minutes and then instead of diverting the few meters around the back of me they decided to walk past the front of me and flush all the birds. Well impressed with their act I let them know what I thought before moving to where the birds had resettled them selves and carried on with the photographs. Other birds seen included a single migrating Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), several diving Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus) and Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocorax carbo).
I then moved on to Guadalhorce and parked near the school after all the notices about car break-ins. I then walked out to the main hide picking up a single Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) and 3 Marsh Harriers (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) on the way. The main hide was quiet, lots of roosting Great Cormorants and Grey Herons (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), a pair of Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), some Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and a White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) near it. The next hide around was not much better but there were a couple of nicely plumaged White-headed Ducks (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala) and at least 3 male Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca). I then moved on to the sea watch hide near the river mouth, here there were good numbers of Gulls sitting around on the water, most were Lesser Black-backed, Yellow-legged and Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), but a small number of Mediterranean Gulls (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus) flew up and down and a single adult Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii) landed right infront of the watch point. On the way back to the car I added good numbers of Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Common Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Meadow Pipit (Bistita Común / Anthus pratensis), Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) and after missing it for the last few visits the wintering Osprey (Águila Pescardora / Pandion haliaetus).
Photographs from the top: Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres), Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba) x2, Purple Sandpipers (Correlimos Oscuro / Calidris maritime) and Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocorax carbo).

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