Another trip along the Malaga Coast with a few nice year ticks.
Jayne and I headed off down to Malaga City for some shopping, on the way we saw Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and a single Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) which was soaring above the motorway.
I dropped Jayne off at the Lario's Centre and made my way out to Guadalhorce. I parked next to the school and then walked on to the reserve calling at the hide over Laguna Grande first, on the way there I saw several Black Redstarts (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Common Stonechats (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Sardinian Warblers (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus) and Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis). On the small pool just before the hide I found a small group of female looking White-headed Ducks (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and a couple of winter plumaged Little Grebes (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis).
The laguna was quiet except for hordes of Great Cormorants (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), several Grey Herons (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), lots of Common Chiffchaffs (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) and Spotless Starlings (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and a single pale phase Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) and nothing else.
I moved around to next hide and things did not get much better, new species for the day from here included House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris). From here I walked around to the raised bank over looking the next lagoon, whilst I was scanning the almost empty pools I had a small group of Penduline Tits (Pájaro Moscón / Remiz pendulinus) fly into the reeds below me and from this point in the visit I was almost constantly hearing Pendulines all the way round the reserve.
I again moved on around the bank to the hide on the far side of the laguna picking up a Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) and several Small Whites (Artogeia rapae) on the way. The hide produce just a single female Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina). I continued to the Wader hide and the moved on down to the beach seeing a single Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula), 2x Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), 4x Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), 4x Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus) on the way only to find four lads who had cycled past me a while earlier urinating in the seawatch point.
Making a comment and getting a gob full of Spanish abuse from the four Gents I moved on down to the beach and walked west picking up several Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), Balearic Shearwaters (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Mediterranean Gulls (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), a single Whimbrel (Zarapito Trinador / Numenius phaeopus) and several Crested Larks (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) before taking the track to the main hide again but little had change and it was still Quiet.
I next walked back to the exit bridge, on the way I saw a Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), 2x Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), a pair of Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and a Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula). On the bridge I met a couple of Birders from the UK and we had a chat before I headed to the car, just before I dropped down off the bank I scanned the reeds and trees seeing a couple of Marsh Harriers (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) in flight and a distant Osprey (Águila Pescardora / Pandion haliaetus) sat in the trees on the far side of Laguna Grande.
I got back to the car, picked Jayne up and went for some lunch before continuing the shopping. Late in the afternoon we headed a little further down the coast to Fuengirola where I had a look at the beach by the hide at El Faro. On the rocks just in front of the hide I found two Purple Sandpipers (Correlimos Oscuro / Calidris maritima), 13x Ruddy Turnstones (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres) and a single Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba). Out to sea I saw some of the species seen from the beach at Guadalhorce but picked up singles of both Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Audouin's Gulla (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii) before again picking Jayne up and heading home.
Photographs from the top: Purple Sandpiper (Correlimos Oscuro / Calidris maritima), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Great Cormorants (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), 2x Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Mediterranean Gulls (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus) and two more Purple Sandpipers.