Pied Flycatcher - ficedula albicolis
The migratory period is well under way, Elena has spotted Golden Oriole and Roller from the house recently, passing through on their way to Africa. We had the first Chiffchaff today in the trees behind the terrace and have seen a few Pied Flycatchers and Willow Warblers. Crossbills are sharing the pine cones with our resident squirrel; they are all young birds but some are showing signs of colour as they progress into adulthood and I expect they will be on their way to higher ground soon. Our House Martins are becoming increasingly restless, large groups swoop in and out of the nests at dusk. I wonder what this year´s youngsters make of all the excitement? It appears to be stressful as some of them retreat into the security of the nests during the day.
The birding month started with a walk around the Guadalhorce reserve in Malaga, hoping to see some signs of migration. It was generally quiet however with relatively few birds present but at least this Willow Warbler provided a photo opportunity. Apparently one of Europe´s commonest species they usually make an elegant picture and are well worth recording.
The main hide revealed gulls, coots, moorhens, some grey herons, little grebes, little egret, common sandpiper, ringed and little ringed plover, redshank and black-winged stilt. The only wildfowl present were mallard and a singe white-headed duck. As well as the usual black-headed and yellow-legged gulls there were some meditteranean and a few Audouins Gulls which provided an opportunity for photography. I like this photo (below) but admit that I photoshopped out the bird´s rings, or "Bling" as I like to call it.
Here is the same bird after landing and this time I left the rings on, one on each leg. I did report the PVC ring code via the "Euring" website and it turns out that this bird was ringed in the Donana region and I can now trace it´s history online.
Other photographs of note today were of an Oystercatcher on the Old River pond, and a good shot of a White-headed Duck. These ducks are quite rare in European or Global terms but they are almost always present at the Guadalhorce, and are in fact not difficult to find at all in Southern Andalucia.
Black Stork - ciconia nigra
A visit to the Charca usually springs a surprise and today was no exception. On our way to the main hide Elena spotted this Black Stork circling overhead, a surprising visitor to these parts and evidence that the autumn migration is under way.
The hides showed precious little out of the ordinary on the water however but Pied and Spotted Flycatchers and Stonechats in the trees along the paths provided excellent photo opportunities in the evening light.
A solitary Honey Buzzard passed over heading east on its way to the Straits of Gibralter and Africa. In fact they have been streaming past in numbers for a couple of weeks.
Retired seafarer living in Frigiliana, a white village in Malaga Province in southern Spain. Married to Elena. Keen bird and wildlife watchers.
More interesting sites