Saturday, April 04, 2015

My Birthday Day! Spain Day 2

Temp - 14C/19C - Occasional cloud and hazy - Wind SE @ 10 mph

I can't quite get used to the sun not rising until just after 8am in this neck of the woods and arrived at Guadalhorce a little earlier than anticipated this morning. The Scops Owl which had been calling just below the villa last night was still going when I got up and in fact after dinner tonight in Fuengirola we may well go in search of him.

Record shot of last nights Turtle Dove singing to the rear of the villa!
On arrival at Guadalhorce shortly after first light there were around a dozen or so House Martin as I crossed the footbridge onto the reserve. A Cetti's Warbler was calling from the reed bed below and also within the same clump of reeds my first Reed Warbler of the year. I decided to begin at the Del Rio Viejo and Laguna de la Casilla hides and on route the usual Sardinian Warbler and Serin, along with small groups of House Sparrow and Goldfinch. However, It wasn't long before the calmness of the morning was shattered by around a half dozen Monk Parakeet!

Lots of Black-winged Stilt around Guadalhorce
On the lagoons a brace of Spoonbill were still napping alongside four Little Egret and at least four White-headed Ducks, a half dozen Pochard, a lone Little Grebe and a couple of Gadwall were noted. Waders included Greenshank, Little-ringed Plover, Green Sandpiper and several Black-winged Stilt.

Kentish Plover on the beach this morning
The walk to the seafront was pleasant enough and I managed the briefest views of what I believe could well have been a Bonelli's Warbler. The old river was incredibly quiet, with the exception of around thirty or so Black-winged Stilt. A Green Woodpecker, Crested Lark, Zitting Cisticola, a number of Barn Swallow passing through, several Greenfinch and a few Spotless Starlings kept things going until I reached the observation area. The sea itself was flat calm and save for a few Yellow-legged Gulls there was nothing else to get excited about. Along the beach a lone Sanderling, along with a half dozen Kentish Plover before I reentered the reserve and stopped off at the hide overlooking Laguna Grande. The laguna was probably the fullest I've ever seen it, offering little for any passing waders and I managed no additions to my day list on a rather quiet visit.

Two species of note over the villa this evening, the first a very large unidentified raptor, which passed at height when I wasn't prepared, the second my first Short-toed Eagle of this visit.