|Woodchat Shrike Alcaudon Comun Lanius senator|
Elena and I met Kevin by the church at ten this morning and we enjoyed nearly four hours at the Guadalhorce. There was a stiff NW´ly breeze which kept us cool, it also kept the LBJ´s out of sight as the only birds of note while entering the site were a flock of Bee-eaters and a very dark morph Booted Eagle which swooped on something in the long grass and was not seen by us again.
|Little Ringed Plover Chorlitejo Chico Charadrius dubius (left) with Ringed Plover Chorlitejo Grande Charadrius hiaticula|
|Departing juvenile Greater Flamingos Flamenco Comun Phoenicopterus roseus|
The main hide initially looked disappointing with relatively few birds in sight other than the ubiquitous Coots, Moorhens, Mallards and Black-winged Stilts. Closer inspection turned up a Ringed Plover being harassed by a Little Ringed Plover cousin; it all ended badly (see photos). While watching a Greenshank foraging in front of the hide Kevin spotted a Curlew Sandpiper close by and then a very small wader which turned out to be possibly the bird of the day, a Temminks Stint with, close by, a Kentish Plover. I then spotted the single Cormorant present in company with a Squacco Heron perched in a dead tree across the lake. Below them, a very handsome Black-necked Grebe together with a dozen or so White-headed Ducks, a couple of Shoveler, two Gadwall and some Little Grebes.
|Temminck's Stint Correlimos de Temminck Calidris temminckii|
A solitary Northerm Wheatear landed on the mud but our attention was distracted by a commotion to our right as a quartering Marsh Harrier put up four juvenile Flamingos, three Spoonbills a Little Egret and two Grey Herons from behind the large island. Shortly after a couple of Avocets flew in. So, including the single Hoopoe that flew across and the Barn and Red-rumped Swallows, Common and Pallid Swifts, Sand and House Martins flying around, the main hide turned out to be very productive after all.
Woodchat Shrike Alcaudon Comun Lanius senator (above) and Northern Wheatear Collalba Gris Oenanthe oenanthe (left).
On the way to the beach we heard a Cetti's Warbler, picked up Zitting Cisticolas, Sardinian Warbler, numerous Kestrels and Crested Lark. The beach itself was notable for the lack of gulls, a few Yellow-legged only until Kevin pointed out the group of four Audouin's Gulls on the old river. Before that, however, we saw a couple of very bright Northern Wheatears and on the fence a female Woodchat Shrike conveniently posed. Later we saw a much larger and very handsome male of the same species.
|(Greater) Ringed Plover Chorlitejo Grande Charadrius hiaticula|
The far side of the site turned up very little, water levels are low and the mud has dried out so there were no waders of note. Apart from a few Pochard the only other species picked up on the way back to the car was a Blackcap, spotted by Elena, and the familiar MonkParakeets near the church.
|The ever-graceful Spoonbill Espatula Comun Platalea leucorodia|
A pity we did not spot the Black-headed Weaver seen by another British birdwatcher this week, but including Goldfinches, Serins, Spotless Starlings, House Sparrows and Collared Doves a total of 41 species was not a bad total for the day.
Great report Steve and makes me even more determined to get out and about within the week.
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