Friday, April 21, 2023

πŸ“– πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Έ Guadalhorce ~ Spain 20/04/2023

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Έ Thursday 20th April 2023 πŸŒ€ 23C ~ Wind SE @ 3MPH ~The start of just over two weeks in Spain, staying as usual at my friend's villa in Mijas. I decided to begin this visit with a leisurely stroll around Guadahorce in the early afternoon, site details can be found on my blog HERE or by clicking on the SPAINπŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Έ link on the top header bar.

Love them or not Monk Parakeets are a common feature around Guadalhorce

A Hoopoe calling and plenty of House Martins as I walked down to the bridge crossing from the church. The House Martins were busy nest building under the bridge arches and beyond under the road bridge the usual Rock Doves. A few Sardinian Warblers and in the reeds along the river Cetti's Warbler and Reed Warbler and I could already see and hear the marauding Monk Parakeets as I entered the reserve!

Marbled Duck ~ One of six birds noted today

A Zitting Cisticola was busily zitting overhead and a Nightingale was singing as I reached the hide at Laguna de la Casilla. It seems that last year's reintroduction of Marbled Duck to the site is progressing well as almost immediately after taking a seat a single bird dropped in, six were noted in total today. A half dozen Little Grebes and five Little Egrets, plus a few nest-building pairs of Black-winged Stilt.

One of three Booted Eagles

My next stop was the del Rio Viejo hide and as a walked along the track three Booted Eagles and a Common Kestrel were overhead. More Black-winged Stilt nest building with Redshank, Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Shelduck on the pool, which had receded a good distance back from the hide. 

Slender-billed Gull on the old river section.

On the old river Sanderling, Ringed Plover and Dunlin were feeding along the waterline, along with two Slender-billed Gulls a short distance out.

One of the many Sandwich Terns on the Laguna Grande

Very little of note on the sea from the de Aves Marinas and similar along the shoreline as I made my way around to the Laguna Grande, even the fenced nesting area was devoid of birds with the exception of a single Crested Lark.  

A Woodchat Shrike in the heat haze

Walking from the beach to the Laguna Grande a passage of Bee-eaters, plus a Woodchat Shrike, which I managed to photograph through the heat haze. 

Greater Flamingos from the Laguna Grande hide

As always the Laguna Grande was the most productive and so I spent a good hour here. I estimated over 100 Sandwich Terns resting on the surrounding islands mixed in with Mediterranean and Black-headed Gulls. Two Spoonbills were asleep on the far side of the lagoon and out on the water were three more Slender-billed Gulls. A stunning Audouin's Gull stood out for me and of course not to mention the odd Yellow-legged Gull. Five Greater Flamingos were also busily feeding during my stay.

An Audouin's Gull stands out on Laguna Grande

There were a number of wader species to be found and these included Kentish Plover, Ringed Plover, Sanderling, Dunlin, Greenshank, Curlew Sandpiper, Avocet and Common Sandpiper. Strangely no Little-ringed Plover today!

A single Curlew Sandpiper on the Laguna Grande

My final stop was the Laguna Escondida and here a single Kingfisher just below the hide,  along with a few Black-tailed Skimmer dragonflies and lots of Terrapin. Two Marbled Ducks and at least five White-headed ducks were also noted at the rear of the Lagoon.

Painted Lady


Lulworth Skipper

Butterflies of note today included several Painted Ladies and two Swallowtails and I was quite surprised to find so many Lulworth Skippers on the reserve.

More Images of the Day...

Black-winged Stilt

Little Grebe


Kentish Plover


Slender-billed Gull

Audouin's Gull

Audouin's Gull

Curlew Sandpiper

Yellow-legged Gull

White-headed Duck (f)