Tuesday, September 15, 2015


My last day of this visit and an early morning start at Gudalhorce. When I parked up at the church at Guadalmar the first thing I noticed was that the wind had increased considerably since leaving the villa only 20 minutes earlier. The walk up to the bridge crossing was quiet enough, with the exception of a Zitting Cisticola and calling Cetti's Warbler but when I stood checking out the many House Martins, Barn and Red-rumped Swallows around the bridge a Hen Harrier took the eye, passing quite low before heading off, a first for me here!

Monk Parakeets - A real feature of Guadalhorce
I took my usual route checking out the hides that run along the track which leads down to the sea view point. The regular White-headed Duck and Little Grebe were mostly asleep, (4) Teal flew through and a Kingfisher made a noisy pass. (5) Black-winged Stilt , (2) Greenshank and single Little Egret, Common and Green Sandpiper made up the numbers. Coming away from the del rio Viejo hide a noisy Serin followed by a bird which dropped down onto the path. This turned out to be a stunning male Common Redstart, sadly not lingering long enough for a photo. The old river was teaming with life, holding many Black-headed Gulls, (4) Audouin's Gulls and a single Mediterranean. Waders were in good numbers and included (2) Wood Sandpiper, (3) Curlew Sandpiper, (2) Knot, (1) Ruff , (1) Redshank and various numbers of Dunlin, Sanderling, Little-ringed, Ringed and Kentish Plover. Only a single juvenile Greater Flamingo present today.

Can't get enough of these Audouin's Gulls!
I spent a while checking out the open areas just prior to entering the sea-view tower. Across on the rio Veijo one or two Little Terns were fishing and a bird perched on some dead wood turned out to be a juvenile Woodchat Shrike, in fact two were present. Crested Lark, Skylark, Chiffchaff, Whinchat and Hoopoe all made an appearance before I headed off along the beach to find small groups of Sanderling scurrying up and down.

At least a dozen Alpine Swift in among the constant flow of Common Swift!
The short walk from the beach to the Laguna Grande hide produced a large flock of Greenfinch, Sardinian Warbler and both Common Kestrel and Sparrowhawk over the scrub. Overhead migration was full tilt with many Common Swifts on the move, along with over a dozen or so Alpine mixed in. (11) Honey Buzzard passed through and while sitting in the hide my first Osprey of the visit, dispatching a sitting Cormorant from the Osprey pole before deciding not to bother perching at all! The Laguna wasn't particularly busy but brief visits from both single Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwits were a bonus and 63 species was a fair haul to end my short break.