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The Andalucia Bird Society  |  ABS Open forum  |  Calendar Events  |  Topic: Field Meeting for October 2012 « previous next »
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Author Topic: Field Meeting for October 2012  (Read 3948 times)
Bob Wright
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« on: September 19, 2012, 12:55:41 pm »

October's Field Visit will be to the Guadalhorce in Malaga on Saturday 13th with a 9.30 start.  Given the sun direction, especially if a very sunny morning, we will taking the clockwise circuit meeting at the track leading up the river bank opposite the school playing field.  This will mean that we can walk over the footbridge and on the far, eastern arm, of the Guadalhorce to check out the pools and old river with the sun behind us.  It also means that by the time we get back to the main hide on the Laguna Grande, again, the sun should have moved on round to still be, basically, to our advantage.  When visited in early to mid-September there was a very good level of water in the main pools but both the "Wader Pool" and "Old River" (Viejo Rio) were somewhat reduced in quantity.  But we are expecting rain in the next couple of weeks and the levels are prone to fluctuate rapidly.  With a 9.30 start I would estimate our visit stay at about 4 hours - but much depending upon what is about and especially if there is any activity to be seen of the beach from the "Sea Watch".

Summary:  Clockwise direction from the footbridge to the the two hides on the eastern arm of the river and then on to the Sea Watch for beach/sea views.  Depending upon weather, or choice, either along the beach and back in to the reserve to visit the main pool and hide followed by the little pond (Laguna Escondida) and back to the footbridge or retrace steps to first two hides and then on to the main hide via Escondida.  Footwear is never a problem on well-laid tracks - unless you wander into the sea!

Directions and Parking:
For those who know this site and want to start at the mouth of the western arm so that they can check the pool at the mouth of the river, you will need to allow at least thirty minutes to park and walk back along the river bank to the meeting place.   Similarly, my advice is still not to park next to the path leading up to the river as there have been car break-ins in the past.  Better to park either at the Guadalmar church and walk the 500 metres down to the meeting place or even near the primary school itself where, at least, cars are overlooked by houses.

To find the Guadalmar area take the motorway to Malaga and do not leave as if going to the airport.  Approaching from the east (Granada/Almeria direction) keep left when the road splits for the airport.  Ignore the next exit which is only an hundred meters or so further on  and you will cross the Guadalhorce flood plain.  The next exit is indicated "Guadalmar and San Julian" and can also be identified by all the new motorway extensions which will eventually link up with the airport.  As you come off down the ramp to the roundabout you will see the green  "Leroy Merlin" DIY store sign in front of you.  Go round and take the last exit (a if you were turning left) and you will see the only exit save returning to the motorway in the opposite direction.  Drive 100 metres to a small roundabout and turn left if you wish to park in front of the church.  If not, carry on till you come to the "STOP" sign and then turn left and you will find the school at the end of this road.  From here you simply walk back an hundred metres or so to the track.  If you wish to park near the beach and mouth of river, then stay on road until you reach a cross-road with a "No entry" sign in front of you.  Turn left to the end of the road and then right and park when you can find a space.  You will see one or more paths leading up the embankment from where you can see both the sea and the topside track that takes you up river to the meeting point.

For those approaching from the west (Marbella direction) stay on the motorway after the airport exit, go past the first exit to the shopping centre at Plaza Mayor and then take the next indicated as previously described.  You will come down the slip road and turn immediately right with the above small roundabout and "Guadalmar" sign in front of you.  Then same choice as already described.

I shall be at the Guadalhorce tomorrow so will be able to add any late relevant information if need be.

Following the visit, there are a number of local bars and restaurants that will be open on Saturdays for those wishing to replenish the inner-self.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2013, 08:59:46 am by David » Logged

David
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« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2012, 09:30:43 pm »

Hi Bob,

Micky Smith and I look forward to seeing you on Saturday morning.

David
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David
Bob Wright
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« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2012, 06:31:52 pm »

Just back from a very pleasant morning at the Guadalhorce, Malaga with eight other ABS members.  By may reckoning, until someone corrects me, we recorded a final total of 41 species.The morning's events can best be summed up by reference to the following which has just been posted on my personal blog.


A very pleasant morning down at the Guadalhorce Ponds in Malaga with members of the Andalucia Bird Society.  Mind you, when we all gathered at 9.30 there was a fair amount of cloud, a hazy sunshine at best and even a couple of drops of something wet which, in other parts of Europe, has the common name of rain!  Thank goodness that I had my sleeveless coat on as there was a cool breeze in the air but, fortunately, I did change into sun glasses.  just as well as by late morning there was not a cloud in the sunny sky and the temperature was becoming very warm indeed.

Passing the resident Blackbirds and Rock Doves as I approached the meeting place at the top of the path leading up to the track towards the footbridge, not only was I met by a resting Booted Eagle in the bare tree opposite but the bird remained quite contentedly in place until all participants had had a good view.  Below, the river had a number of Moorhens and Coots plus many Grey Herons spread along the river bank and a short-visiting Little Egret.  From the track we could see both resting and flying Cormorants moving to and from the Laguna Grande and we even had a pair of Hoopoes travelling upstream near the far, eastern, canal.  Approaching the eastern arm of the river we were greeted by a passing Osprey which was quickly replaced by a Booted Eagle.

The morning was generally marked by a lack of small birds but there was plenty of water in all the pools.  The Laguna Casillas held  at least a dozen Common Pochards along with a few Coots and the first of many Little Grebes.   In addition to a number of Mallards a trio of Teal came to join in the fun plus the first Kingfisher who flashed across the pond away from us.  With Monk Parakeets regularly passing overhead and the sight of Spotless Starlings on just about every lamppost on the nearby motorway, we made our way on to the Wader Pool.  Almost no waders here apart from the three Snipe but a single Greenfinch passed through.  At the back a trio of Shoveler and a handful of Gadwall.  A pair of Collared Doves past overhead so we knew it was time to move on.

The Rio Viejo (Old River) was somewhat better as we got our eyes focused with a single juvenile Flamingo and then at least a dozen Dunlin, most of the latter now in full winter plumage.  At least a handful of Redshank and a couple of Greenshank plus a Little Stint and a pair of Kentish Plovers added to the enjoyment.  Likewise, Black-winged Stilts numbered at least twenty and there was always a Common Sandpiper to be seen.  We even had a solitary Sanderling in with these small waders.  Yet another dashing Kingfisher and the Booted Eagle had returned with a partner giving excellent views to all as it passed immediately overhead.

The walk down to the beach and the Sea Watch produced very little.  Yes, a handful of Barn Swallows passed westwards followed by a pair of White Wagtails but little else other than the first Zitting Cisticola.  On the water itself, a small number of Black-headed Gulls in the slightly larger group of Yellow-legged Gulls.

Nothing on the beach as we made our way the main hide, recording a Chiffchaff as we walked the short path from the beach to the main track, until we were overlooking the Laguna Grande where we were greeted by yet more Coots and a small number of Yellow-legged Gulls.  However, resting with the latter was a single second-year Audouin's Gull (ring number BN34).  We did manage to locate a single Black-necked Grebe in addition to the many Little Grebes plus a Common Sandpiper and a lone Ringed Plover.  There were scores of Cormorants and a dozen or more Grey Herons plus a pair of visiting Little Egrets.  The juvenile Flamingo had either moved across to the water or there are two individuals on the reserve.

A final stop at the Laguna Escondida was so secret that very few birds had decided to visit.  A few Coots, Mallards and a couple of Gadwall and a pair of Shoveler just about summed up the total.  Just before we left a number of Terrapins decided to leave the water to bask in the sunshine and a pair of Willow Warblers were busy feeding in the nearby tree.  At the far end of the water a Kingfisher was busy doing what it does best but in such a hurry as to make photography almost impossible.

The final walk back to the cars was to take an anti-circular loop passed the open observation platform at the back of the Laguna Casillas where yet more Coots were found plus another Kingfisher.  Either we recorded at least six Kingfishers or there was one very mobile and roving individual!  A Zitting Cisticola was also seen but not one solitary White-headed Duck all morning; have they all moved over to the Laguna Dulce near Campillos?

A very pleasant morning's birding in lovely company and a final total of 41 species made it all worthwhile.


Birds seen:
Gadwall, Mallard, Teal, Shoveler, Pochard, Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Heron, Flamingo, Osprey, Booted Eagle, Moorhen, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Dunlin, Sanderling, Little Stint, Snipe, Redshank, Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Audouin's Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Kingfisher, Hoopoe, Barn Swallow, White Wagtail, Blackbird, Zitting Cisticola, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Spotless Starling, Greenfinch.


« Last Edit: October 14, 2012, 12:02:46 pm by Bob Wright » Logged

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The Andalucia Bird Society  |  ABS Open forum  |  Calendar Events  |  Topic: Field Meeting for October 2012 « previous next »
 


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