|Chiffchaff Mosquitero Comun Phylloscopus collybita|
|Departing Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo|
|Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus|
Moving on down the track we had a few more birds on the Rio Viejo on the right. First Black-winged Stilts and then a pair of Dunlin along with a pair of Common Sandpipers. A single Redshank and three Snipe were observed on the far side of the river. Kestrels hovering overhead and at least a pair of Booted Eagles resting in the trees to the rear with a small number of Spotless Starlings and Cormorants occupying the spare branches. On the newly-cleared ground in front of the river a couple of Meadow Pipits and a good number of foraging Chiffchaffs and Stonechats plus the occasional Goldfinch and Serin. Then, at last, a few Kentish Plovers located with their cousins on the near bank of the river.
The walk on down to the Sea Watch revealed the great progress achieved at improving the breeding area for the Kentish Plovers. With all the debris cleared away we can all expect to see the benefit in a few months time and, perhaps, lots more[pipits and wagtails, etc. Looking at the area revealed another pair of Crested Larks and a small flock of about five Sky Larks. From the far end of the track and Sea Watch we could see a reasonable number of Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the sea but no terns. Then, just off the beach, a group of three feeding Black-necked Grebes which remained in the area the whole time that we were present. The bank of the eastern arm of the Guadalhorce held a dozen Sanderling and at least four Turnstones plus, surprise surprise, another Black-necked Grebe.
|Black-necked Grebes Podiceps nigricollis|
The walk along the beach gave us an opportunity to further appreciate the recent management work to the area and also good sightings of the soaring Booted Eagle. Just to add tot the fun, we also had a magnificent view of a male Marsh Harrier displaying itself in all its handsome glory. Over the area a score of Crag Martins were busy feeding and a solitary Hoopoe flew eastwards along the edge of the reserve.
And so to the Laguna Grande where most of the bird life was congregated - probably as a result of the work currently under progress on the eastern bank. Lots of Shoveler and White-headed Ducks, a few Pochards plus five juvenile Flamingos and a good number of Black-winged Stilts. The occasional Coots put in an appearance along with a single Moorhen and there was no shortage of Little Grebes plus a small number of Black-necked Grebes. In front of the hide we had a couple of feeding White Wagtails and a Little Ringed Plover with yet more Chiffchaffs. Needless to say, there were scores of Cormorants present, a lone Little Egret and a small number of Herons.
Finally, the Laguna Escondida produced very little other than a small number of White-headed Ducks so we made our way out of the reserve to the accompaniment of Robins and Black Restarts with the sun beating down and the temperature rapidly rising. A wonderful way to end the morning with a final tally of 44 species.
|Kestrel Cernicalo Vulgar Falco tinnunculus|
|Stonechat Tarabilla Comun Saxicola torquatus|
|Sleeping juvenile Greater Flamingos Flamenco Comun Phoenicopterus roseus|
Birds seen:Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Pochard, White-headed Duck, Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Heron, Flamingo, Marsh Harrier, Booted Eagle, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Turnstone, Dunlin, Redshank, Snipe, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Rock Dove, Monk Parakeet, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Sky Lark, Crag Martin, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, Robin, Black Restart, Stonechat, Blackbird, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Chiffchaff, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin and Goldfinch.
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.