A good day except for the weather.
Jayne and I headed off down the coast where I dropped Jayne at the Larios center in Malaga before spending a few hours birding at the nearby Guadalhorce pools. I parked near the school and walked along the embankment to the bridge and across in to the reserve. On the way I picked up Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Crag (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula). Once on the reserve I headed for the main hide over looking Laguna Grande where I soon located a summer plumaged Curlew Sandpiper (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea) feeding along side a dozen or so Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina) and a couple of Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus) which as usual were the commonest wader by far. As I scanned around the rest of the pool I could hear and see a flock of 17 Little Terns (Charrancito Común / Sterna albifrons) which tried several times to land on a small muddy island but were seen off by the pair of Avocets (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta) which were holding territory over it. Next came a single Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia) which flew in and landed out of view behind one of the wooded islands, followed by White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) in the bushes behind the hide, Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus).
I next walked around to the hide over looking Laguna Escondida, from here I added Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) on the track behind the hide, Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae) and Whiskered Tern (Fumarel Cariblanca / Chilidonias hybridus) before I headed on around to the hide on Lagunade la Casilla via the mound, from the mound I saw Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and a Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus). From the hide I had nice views of several more White-headed Ducks, Common Pochard and added a fine male Red-crested Pochard (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina) to the day list before going on to the next hide over looking the wader area on Rio Viejo. Here there were 9 more Curlew Sandpipers, Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula), 2 immature Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus) and lots more Black-winged Stilts. On the lower section of the Rio I picked up the first of several Mediterranean Gulls (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) and a couple of fly over Turtle Doves (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur). I continued on down the track to the sea watch point which smelt so bad of pee that I decided to watch the birds from the beach, here I saw a fine breeding plumaged Med Gull along with loads of Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), a couple of Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and some Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus). I then made the mistake of deciding to walk along the beach, things went well for the first half of the walk and I picked up Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), 2x Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna) and a feeding flock of 70+ Little Terns and the the heavens open and I got soaked. I eventually made it back to the main hide for a second visit and met up with Rob Jones and some other Birders, I stayed here for a while chatting to Rob and added Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia) to the list before moving back around to Laguna Escondida where I had a chat to a Danish Birder and whilst we talked we saw what looked like two male Black-headed Weaver (Ploceus melanocephalus) do a flyby.The whole time I was in the hide it throw it down so when it eased off a bit I did a run for it and headed back to the car picking up a Night Heron (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax) as it flew over the church on the way.
I went back in to Malaga and picked Jayne up and we went for lunch near the airport and the on to Fuengirola where I again dropped jayne at the shopping centre and headed for El Faro beach. As soon as I arrived I was surprised to see a single Purple Sandpiper (Correlimos Oscuro / Calidris maritima) on the rocks along with several Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres), 6 Common Redshank and a pair of Kentish Plovers. I walled along to the seawatch hide and spent some time scanning the waves but only picked up a few Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico /
Morus bassanus) so I decided to walk a little further along the roadside. Just as I started off 2 Pied Oystercatchers (Ostrero Euroasiatico / Haematopus ostralegus) flew past and down the beach towards the hide, they landed on the rock further along so I dropped down on to the beach and went for a better view. Just as I got to a good spot a couple of dog walkers came along and flushed the birds back in the direction I had just come from so I only got flight shots but I also relocated the Purple Sandpiper before returning to the car and heading back to Jayne and then home.
Photographs from the top: Little Terns (Charrancito Común / Sterna albifrons), White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Curlew Sandpiper (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea), Little Tern, 2x Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Mediterranean Gull (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Purple Sandpiper (Correlimos Oscuro / Calidris maritima) and Pied Oystercatchers (Ostrero Euroasiatico / Haematopus ostralegus).