Thursday 10 October 2013

Guadalhorce, Malaga Province.

A quick visit before going to the Airport.

Today I was to pick up a friend of a friend from Malaga Airport so I decided to set of a bit early and have a couple of hours birding around Guadalhorce pools. After parking near the beach and doing a quick sea watch from the end of the bank I went on to the reserve proper via the main bridge, during the sea watch I saw a few Balearic (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus) and Cory's Shearwaters (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris diomedea), several Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Audouin's Gulls (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii) all out to sea whilst on the beach there were a couple of Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina) and a small flock of winter plumaged Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba).
I moved down to the main reserve and went straight to the main hide over looking the largest of the pools, on the way round I had several flocks of the noisy Monk Parakeets (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus) which have become very common in the area, Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis) and Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti).
From the main hide it was quite quiet but I managed to find a single Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), lots of Great Cormorants, Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Little Ringed (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) and Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Little  (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and Black-necked Grebes (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Northern Pintail (Ánade Rabudo / Anas acuta), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia) and both Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica).
From here I walked out to the beach and along the shore line to the far sea watch point, on the way I noted a rapid increase in the Northern Gannet numbers and by the time I did a quick count from the sea watch point I guessed that there were around 300 birds in the area. On the beach the far side of the watch point there were a few more Sanderlings and half a dozen or so Ruddy Turnstones (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres). From here I made my way inland along the bank passing the first stretch of water on my left where there were several hundred Gulls roosting and a few new wader speies for the day list including a single Bar-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colipinta / Limosa lapponica), a few Black-tails (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa), Common (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) and Green Sandpipers (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus) and a group of four Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), probably a family party as there were two adults and two immatures.
The wader hide was quiet as the water level was high but I did see several Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and very bright Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) which broke cover for all of around 10 seconds before heading back into the vegetation on the margins. From the last hide I only added Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca) and a flying Little Bittern (Avetorillo Común / Ixobrychus minutus) which took off from under the hide and went into the reeds opposite. I then made my way back to the bridge and out to the car before going to the Airport.

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