Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Rio Guadalhorce, Malaga Province.

Benalmádena landfill site (better known as the car boot sale) and a quick visit to the Guadalhorce river mouth.

We parked in Benalmádena and walked up passed the very nice parque de la Paloma to the car boot sale nearby. On the way we saw a couple of tatty looking Monarch (Danaus plexippus) butterflies gliding around the flower beds. We then spent quite a while wandering around the market looking through the stuff people were trying to sell, 99.9% of which should be in a landfill site and the other 0.01% was well over priced (sometimes higher than buying a new one). We came away totally empty handed and headed to the very good Gusman Garden Centre not to far away before I dropped Jayne in to the Larios Centre in Malaga and went birding at Guadalhorce for a couple of hours. As I drove through the Guadalamar estate I heard and saw the expected Monk Parakeets (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus), several Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and hordes of Spotless Starlings (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), one of which was doing a cracking Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) impression and another which was taking off a Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia) to perfection. I dug the bins and scope out of the car and walked up to the end of the raised bank and set my self up, I did not move from here for the next two hours and spent the time either scanning the sea or back on to the Nature reserve. Just below me on the rocks there were a small number of Ruddy Turnstones (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres) and a couple of Common Sandpipers (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) and amongst the masses of rubbish which had been washed down river in the last rains there were several Black Redstarts (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), a Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) and a pair of Common Stonechats (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata). Out at sea I could see hundreds of Gulls most of which were wintering Lesser Black-backs (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus) and Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), with surprisingly few Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and as far as I could see just a couple of Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii). These were joined by good numbers of Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus) and Sandwich Terns (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), along with lesser numbers of both Cory's (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris diomedea) and Balearic Shearwaters (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus). Off shore there are two rather ugly structures which as you would expect were covered in Gulls and a few Great Cormorants (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocorax carbo) but today they were joined by not just one but two
Ospreys (Águila Pescardora / Pandion haliaetus) which was a bit of a surprise, I have seen them on the reserve regularly but not out at sea! Behind me on the river singletons of both Little (Garceta Común / Egretta garzetta) and Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) and a noisy fast moving Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis). During the couple of hours I was sat there I scanned the reserve several times and added Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falco tinnunculus), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis) and two immature Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus ruber) to the growing list. As the time came to leave I walked back along the edge of the ditch which runs down the western side of the ridge where I flushed a real Greenshank and picked up Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Cetti’s Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Robin (Petirrrojo / Erithacus rubecula), a female Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and the star bird a nice blue throated Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica). I then went and picked Jayne up and we continued the shopping part of the trip with a visit to Ikea, Leroy Merlins and Decathlon before heading home, arriving back there at just before 22:00. Well we did make a full day of it as we had left home at 08:30 !
Photographs from the topWhite Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and a winter plumaged Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres).

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