The first of many hours birding with Stephanie and Ken from South Africa.
I met up with Stephanie and Ken down in Malaga and we made our way to the beach sea watch point to have a look at what was passing. We dropped lucky as there was a fishing boat away out which had a good number of birds following it including Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Mediterranean Gulls (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus) plus a couple of distant Balearic Shearwaters (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus) which Ken picked out but they unfortunattly eluded Stephanie. In the same area we also recorded the first Common Sandpipers (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) of many, a single winter plumaged Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica). I then drove down to the main reserve entrance and parked before heading around to the main hide over looking Laguna Grande. On the way we saw Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and Monk Parakeets (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus).
We arrived at the main hide just as two cracking Caspian Terns (Pagaza Piquiroja / Sterna caspia) were lifting off from the near island which was a shame as they would have made a nice picture, in the area we also saw Lesser Black-backed, Yellow-legged and Black-headed Gulls, Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), a single Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Kentish (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus) and Little Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina), Whimbrel (Zarapito Trinador / Numenius phaeopus), Common Sandpiper, Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus).
On the way around to the next hide we picked up a couple of Common Redstart (Colirroja Real / Phoenicurus phoenicurus), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), a male Banded Grondling (Brachythemis leucosticta) and several Large Whites (Pieris brassicae).
Once we were in the next hide we added White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and got flight views of the Caspian Terns again.
Time was now moving on so we completed the loop back to the car adding Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and two female type Pied Flycatchers (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca) which only I saw whilst fetching the car.
From here we headed up o the house where Jayne had prepaired us a nice meal which we had out on the terrace before a good nights sleep.