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201705 Nightjar smThe Andalucia Bird Society meets at one of the classic Andalusian birding destinations: the Mouth of the Guadalhorce Nature Reserve. A few brave birders (Derek, Jerry, Mick, Jacinto and I) attended the first call of the field meeting at 6:00 to visit Zapata before dawn in search for the Red-necked Nightjars. It did not take long until we found the first one and I could manage to take a record picture with the invaluable help of Derek, acting as the perfect Lighting Manager.
Some more nightjars showed up while Nightingales sang from the river forest and Yellow Wagtails, Crested and Short-toed Larks gabbled from their roosting places. A number of Night Herons and Cattle Egrets flew upstream with the first lights of the day, when only Moorhens and a Common Sandpiper wandered about the ford in the river.
201705 NightjarIt was time for breakfast before a call to the reed bed with some more light. It gave us Reed and Cetti’s Warblers in the scrub and Common and Pallid Swifts and Barn Swallows in the air. The bird ringers had their nets set in the ditch and they had caught several finches like Goldfinch, Greenfinch and Serin.
At 9:30 the whole group began the visit to the mouth. We had great views of a Reed Warbler singing quite in the open by the river bank while a Sparrowhawk circled in the distance over Guadalmar. There were some Red-rumped Swallows flying among the House Martins near the bridge to the reserve.
We split the group in two and had a walk around the hides. My group headed to the Laguna Escondida where, apart from the typical White-headed Ducks, Pochards and Little Grebes, Lindsay spotted a Cuckoo that flew into a tamarisk where it sat for a moment before disappearing.
We went on towards the east end of the reserve. We looked for a Nightingale singing from the tamarisks and were lucky enough to find it in the shade, having great views of the concert through the scope.
201705 GullThere was a Spoonbill resting at the Laguna de Rio Viejo and lots of Black-winged Stilts everywhere. While scanning the Rio Viejo, two Spanish friends standing by the group discovered a Roller. It was sitting in a far distant tree and then another one began to fly around it until they finally got out of sight.
We walked across the beach towards the Laguna Grande. There were Crested Larks and several Kentish Plovers beyond the fence and a few Balearic Shearwaters flew grazing the sea to the west. Nothing new at the Laguna Grande but seven Slender-billed Gulls among the Black-headed ones.
After the group said goodbye, Lindsay and I went back to the Laguna Escondida where Derek’s group had spotted the Little Bittern a few minutes ago. We did not find it but had very nice views of the White-headed Ducks in display, a fast flight of a Kingfisher and the visit of a beautiful Bee-eater.
201705 DuckDerek’s group did very well too, with some more interesting views like Little Bittern, Turtle Dove, Red-crested Pochard, Razorbill, Orphean Warbler and Great Reed Warbler.
Another great birding day in a wonderful place in the best possible company!
 
 Luis Alberto Rodriguez

Complete list of birds observed:

 

SPECIES

SCIENTIFIC NAME

1

Balearic Shearwater

Puffinus mauretanicus

2

Barn Swallow

Hirundo rustica

3

Bee-eater

Merops apiaster

4

Blackbird

Turdus merula

5

Black-headed Gull

Chroicocephalus ridibundus

6

Black-winged Stilt

Himantopus himantopus

7

Cattle Egret

Bubulcus ibis

8

Cetti’s Warbler

Cettia cetti

9

Collared Dove

Streptopelia decaocto

10

Common Sandpiper

Actitis hypoleucos

11

Coot

Fulica atra

12

Crested Lark

Galerida cristata

13

Cuckoo

Cuculus canorus

14

Dunlin

Calidris alpina

15

Gadwall

Anas strepera

16

Goldfinch

Carduelis carduelis

17

Great Reed Warbler

Acrocephalus arundinaceus

18

Greenfinch

Chloris chloris

19

House Martin

Delichon urbicum

20

House Sparrow

Passer domesticus

21

Jackdaw

Corvus monedula

22

Kentish Plover

Charadrius alexandrinus

23

Kestrel

Falco tinnunculus

24

Kingfisher

Alcedo atthis

25

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Larus fuscus

26

Linnet

Carduelis spinus

27

Little Bittern

Ixobrychus minutus

28

Little Egret

Egretta garzetta

29

Little Grebe

Tachybaptus ruficollis

30

Mallard

Anas platyrhynchos

31

Monk Parakeet

Myiopsitta monachus

32

Moorhen

Gallinula chloropus

33

Night Heron

Nycticorax Nycticorax

34

Nightingale

Luscinia megarhynchos

35

Pallid Swift

Apus pallidus

36

Pochard

Aythya ferina

37

Razorbill

Alca torda

38

Red-crested Pochard

Netta rufina

39

Red-necked Nightjar

Caprimulgus ruficollis

40

Red-rumped Swallow

Cecropis daurica

41

Reed Warbler

Acrocephalus scirpaceus

42

Roller

Coracias garrulus

43

Sardinian Warbler

Sylvia melanocephala

44

Serin

Serinus serinus

45

Short-toed Lark

Calandrella brachydactyla

46

Slender-billed Gull

Chroicocephalus genei

47

Sparrowhawk

Accipiter nisus

48

Spoonbill

Platalea leucorodia

49

Spotless Starling

Sturnus unicolor

50

Stonechat

Saxicola torquatus

51

Swift

Apus apus

52

Turtle Dove

Streptopelia turtur

53

W. Orphean Warbler

Sylvia hortensis

54

White-headed Duck

Oxyura leucocephala

55

Yellow Wagtail

Motacilla flava

56

Yellow-legged Gull

Larus michahelis

57

Zitting Cisticola

Cisticola juncidis

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