Having read about four Ospreys and plenty more being seen at the Guadalhorce recently we decided to have a look around for ourselves this morning. I had just about given up on this location which in my opinion has been in serious decline for some time now. Nothing I saw today made me change my mind. Yes there was a pair of Ospreys, also a pair of Booted Eagles. The main hide showed a few waders and one nice surprise, a solitary juvenile and blinged Slender Billed Gull . But compared with a few years ago the place was virtually empty.
Five years ago the "Old River" Hide would have been teeming with a great variety of Waders at this time of year. Today would you believe there was not one single bird present, Nothing! It must have something to do with the water quality. We did see a man taking water samples around the Reserve today which reinforces my view that something is seriously wrong here. The beach was deserted except for one naked man and a solitary Wheatear, at least I got a shot of the more interesting of the two.
There was a small party of Flamingos, the usual Black Winged Stilts, Ringed and Kentish Plovers and a few Redshank, not much for a site of such former glory. Mallard, Pochard and a few White headed Duck were all the wildfowl present, none in any real numbers. Small birds were conspicious by their absence, a few Sparrows, Stonechats, Serins and Goldfinches. A single Spotted Flycatcher, one Kingfisher, Monk Parakeets squawking loudly, a Zit and a Sardy or two, but no signs of any other warblers or passage migrants, very dull.
I will not post dull record shots of Osprey or Booted Eagles at long range, preferring another shot of the friendly Wheatear, and a couple of Black Winged Stilts looking quite attractive standing on dry ground. Two of the few bright spots in an otherwise disappointing day. I remember what this place used to be like.