Monday, 10 June 2019

España malaga

For those that need the translation of the title its "Spain Malaga" 🤦‍♂️ and this is where i found myself for the first few days in May and all because of beer. Yep beer, it has a lot to answer for on birders drinks however on this occasion it turned out fine.

No, better than fine, absolutely amazing as my first official birding trip took shape. The plan........ 

Visit Spain for 3 full days birding covering various habitats. Flying from Southend using East Jet - £45pp for return flights, staying in the Hotel Campanile within the commercial area of Malaga £172pp, a room each. Now with prices this cheap it meant that two of the three didn't have to listen to the third snoring all night. You nose who you are.......🤣. The hotel was chosen as it meant an easy walk to our first destination, it also allowed our guide to pick us up with ease for day 2 & 3.

Day 1: Parque De Guadlehorce
Day 2: Osuna
Day 3: El Torcal de Antequera & Hoz De Marin

As already mentioned days 2 & 3 were to be guided. We used Luis from A lovely guy who went out of his way to find us birds. He knew his stuff, he knew the places to go. Highly recommended and i would use him again.

So, who was going i hear you good friends Dave "the Peregrine" Morrison & Martin "the Monkey" Blow.

Martin, Me, Dave
Day 1: Parque De Guadlehorce

A early start saw us walking to the river mouth. It was dark and we were hoping to see maybe Purple Heron out of roost; However the walk took a little longer than anticipated and we also slowed up as we approached the reserve from the main road. Nightingales played out their tunes from nearly every bush. Bird song was being thrown at us from every direction.

We entered the track leading to the reserve and as we distanced ourselves from the main ring road through Malaga the cacophony of bird noise increased. zii zii zii  as i heard my first ever Zitting Cisticola and from there on in these little birds were everywhere. The light started to increase and slowly but surely birds started to take flight. Serins on mass, these little birds seemed calling from every single tree.

Then.........Hellllooooo......a flock of 18/20 Greater Flamingo's came in and disappeared onto one of the pools we were yet to see. Do a little dance  and so i did as this became the 1st, no 2nd, life tick of the day, forgot zii zii zii

Finally we found the entrance to the reserve itself, back across the river. We stopped here for some time on the bridge, a few House Martin, a few Barn Swallow however the star of the show was untold numbers of Red Rumped Swallows. They were showing amazingly well for us as they flew close and some times within a matter of feet around our heads and our feet.

I was having a great time and yet there was more to come - A LOT MORE to come. We started our wander around Guadlehorce, the sun was rising well, the temperature at this time was great but it was to get a lot warmer.

"Hold on; what are they" - 6 Squacco Heron; they too lowered themselves onto a pool we hand not come to yet. The 1st lake we came to held White Headed Duck, a male as well. Black Winged Stilt was also here and in addition to these 4 birds, they were in large numbers all over the varying pools.

We caught up

Life Ticks for me were rolling in and this theme was set to continue over the next couple of days. Birds like Kentish Plover, Slender Billed Gull, Gull Billed Tern, Booted Eagle, Monk Parakeet, Crested Lark, Pallid Swift.

I like this little photo

We did the whole place in a slow and well covered way; more birds Black Crowned Night Heron included.

This post could actually just go on and on as so far i've only covered the morning....... It was now very hot and we needed food and drink so we headed back to the hotel. After a reasonable break we headed straight back for yet more.

Oh - i forgot - Fudge Duck, Curlew Sandpiper, Bee Eater from the morning.

Pale Morph Booted Eagle

I think we ended up on 75 species for the day and we walked......wait for it.......wait for it.......21km, yep that's right we did half a marathon. 13 Lifers 💥✔✔✔💥

The afternoon was spent retracing our steps and covering the place yet again; we also spent a lot of time trying to photograph birds from the hide. Nothing is ever close enough when the camera is in hand all though i was pleased with some of the stuff i got.

from memory we counted 50 odd Slender Billed Gulls

Ahhhh - Woodchat Shrike as well......... Audoins Gull.......

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