Jenny and I were in Malaga by 10.30 this morning to visit Trafico and try and sort out the medical aspect of our UK driving licences (don't get me started!) and within thirty minutes were in front of the functionaria ready to do battle with, what we hoped, would be all the necessary paperwork. What fun. You can have the medical report noted but the licence will only last fopr two years when you will have to change to a Spanish driving licence. (Not true but carry on anyway.) Or you can change to a Spanish licence which will last for five years. (Again, most strange as the latest reports state that Spain has reverted to two-year licence renewals for the over-seventies.) In the end we opted for the latter, isappeared to the kiosk outside to have all manner of documents copied (€1.20 to cover both of us) and then back inside, pay the €26.60 each and rejoin the queue.
That done and still not midday we decided a quick visit to the ponds might be in order, so whilst Jenny went for a coffee on the beach I walked down the main track to the Laguna Grande and then on down and along the beach back to the road. Just over and hour later we were on our way back home. So what did I see?
Nothing apart from the birds on and over the water apart from a Crested Lark and a Kestrel at the end of the morning as I neared the end of the walk back along the beach. At least a score of Cormorants present with many still in adult breeding plumage plus a single Little Egret. Two pairs of Black-necked Grebes and the same number of Little Grebes including on very pale specimen of the latter. If we had actually had some rain you could have described the bird as "washed-out!"
A sing;e, lonely-looking Black-headed Gull remained motionless in front of and even when joined by a whole bunch of his relatives refused to move let alone depart with the. Me thinks he may be "legs up" by the 'morrow. Before long he had been joined briefly by a wandering Redshank and a pair of Little Ringed Plovers whilst all around a good number of Coots continued feeding. Only a single Pochard noted but three pairs of White-headed Ducks were present. Not having gone over to the eastern arm I could not check what was present but on the main pool only two of the juvenile Flamingos were resting. A single White Wagtail, a small number of Chiffchaffs and a good-sized flock of Spotless Starlings also made themselves visible.
Overhead, there was a good feeding representation of both Barn Swallows and House Martins and then a dark morph Booted Eagle put in an appearance. Before leaving I also recorded tow pairs of Black-winged Stilts and a trio of Mallards dropped in to get out of the strong breeze. At this point, Antonio turned up and reported that he had seen a pair of Garganey on the Laguna Casillas just after 9 o'clock this morning but no time for me to go exploring as 'er indoors would be getting a little on the frustrated side should I not put in an appear within the next ten minutes or so.
The only other bird of note, unlike most visits recently, was the presence of many Moorhens on the main river, so bring up the short visit's total to 23 species. No House Sparrows, Collared Doves or Monk Parakeets; what a difference a day makes!
Birds seen:Mallard, Pochard, White-headed Duck, Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Flamingo, Booted Eagle, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Back-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Redshank, Black-headed Gull, Rock Dove, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, House Martin, White Wagtail, Chiffchaff and Spotless Starling.
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