Tying things in with a trip to Ikea.
Jayne and I headed down towards Malaga to go and collect the last two cupboards needed to complete our kitchen from Ikea, on the way I dropped Jayne off at the Larios shopping centre and then drove on wards to Guadalhorce. As soon as I parked I was greeted with cracking views of a Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) which was fishing from some of the riverside rocks along with a Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egretta garzetta). On the sandier margins there was a single Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), around 20 Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba) and at least 12 Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus). Out at sea I quickly picked up around half the flock of 30 Common Scoters (Negrón Común / Melanitta nigra) Andy Patterson had reported earlier in the month (www.birdingthecosta.com), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus) and Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus) and Balearic Shearwater (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus). I then walked along the beach to the entrance track into the reserve, on the way I picked up Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata) and Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus). I walked on to the reserve and to the hide overlooking the main pool, White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Black-necked Grebe (Zampullín Cuellinegro / Podiceps nigricollis) and Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus ruber) were all very quickly on the list as was a nice Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) which was pointed out to me by a Spanish birder who was already in the hide. Also here were Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenuela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Northern Shoveler (Cuchara Común / Anas clypeata), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocorax carbo). Mick Smith then joined us in the hide just before a group of school kids came in. We then decided that we would move around to the next hide where it was a little quieter and as soon as we arrived I picked up a single Purple Swamp-hen (Calamón Común / Porphyrio porphyrio) right at the back of the pool just before it disappeared out of sight behind some reeds. A couple of Spanish birders then joined us in the hide just as I picked up a distant Osprey (Águila Pescardora / Pandion haliaetus) way out over the far side of the coastal motorway. Mick and I then went off, he headed back towards the coast and I went around towards the wader hide. I went straight past the first hide on the way down to the sea watch point but had a good look from the second where I picked up several Little Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), Green (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) and Common Sandpipers (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Robin (Petirrrojo / Erithacus rubecula) and Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica). Further along the track to the sea watch point a couple of Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia) were roosting on a small patch of mud and several Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina), Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula) and Black-winged Stilts were all franticly feeding on the far shore of the last pool before the beach.
As the sea watch point was full of fishermen and their kit I went straight down on to the beach and started to wall back towards the car, as I reached the bank on the far side of the river I bumped into Mick again and we had another chat and I managed to get some quite nice shots of the Kingfisher which was still fishing from the rocks. We then had a quick look out over the sea before heading off to meet Jayne for some lunch.
Photographs from the top: Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egretta garzetta), Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus), White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala) and Purple Swamp-hen (Calamón Común / Porphyrio porphyrio).