Thursday, September 21, 2017

📖 Diary Update #55🇪🇸

🇪🇸 🍂 ☀️ 25C Thursday 21st September 2017 ~ The first day of Autumn if you're not using the meteorological calendar! I arrived here in Spain yesterday afternoon and after heading down to Fuengirola for some food shopping Dave and I spent the rest of the day just chilling on the terrace. Dave was making me envious recalling what he described as, stunning views of the local Eagle Owl, which was perched up on a telegraph pole one evening last week. Indeed we did hear the barking call of the bird at dusk, but despite hearing the bird on many occasions during my visits here, I've frustratingly yet to connect.

Sardinian Warbler ~ Often heard & difficult to photograph!
Sunrise here isn't until just after 8am so I was up an hour before, drinking coffee on the terrace, listening out and enjoying the cool morning air! Venus is currently a morning planet and just below to the left the rare sight of Mercury. The early birds seem to be Serin, with several just below chattering away in the pines. The usual Crossbills were making their way down from the hills, one perching up briefly. The local Sardinian Warblers then became active, always skulky and then a call of Red-legged Partridge from the scrubland below!

Firecrest ~ One of several today!
In the afternoon Dave had a few chores to complete down in Fuengirola so dropped me at Los Arenales, an area of the old quarry which leads up to around 1,100 meters offering stunning views over the Sierra de Mijas. Here the many repopulated pines produced more Crossbills, Firecrests, Crested Tits and a single Pied Flycatcher.

Rock Bunting ~ Los Arenales is an excellent habitat
At the highest point, I stopped for a while to enjoy some visible migration and this included (5) Honey Buzzard, (20+) Bee-eaters and various numbers of Red-rumped Swallows, House Martins and Swifts, including (4) Alpine! On the descent, the amazing sight of a Lesser Kestrel mobbing a Common Kestrel, the size comparison amazingly distinct. Two Rock Buntings, Peregrine and Booted Eagle to end the visit.

Little & Great Egrets in the evening sun at Guadalhorce...
In the late afternoon, Dave and I walked the perimeter of the Guadalhorce reserve near Malaga airport before heading for dinner. The usual excellent selection of waders included Black-winged StiltLittle-ringed, Ringed and Kentish Plover, Dunlin and a juvenile Knot! A single White Stork was I think my first for the reserve and eight Greater Flamingo, including six juveniles were happily feeding. The sea was particularly quiet, with just a few Gannets offshore.

Knot at Laguna Grande, Guadalhorce
A large selection of Gull's to the rear of the Laguna Grande included Black-headed, Lesser Black-backed, two Mediterranean and a wonderful looking Audouin's! Also of note before departing Hoopoe, Crested Lark and the ever-present Spotless Starlings and Monk Parakeets!

White Stork ~ Guadalhorce