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Sunday, 12 October 2014


Followed the Swallows south for the first week of October for a sunshine Holiday with my Mrs visiting Torremolinos again, five years since our last holiday there, as before not many birds around the resort but it’s amazing how common Monk Parrots have become, apart from them just mainly Collared Doves, Robins, Blackbirds, Spotless Starlings and House Sparrows, a few Crag Martins and the occasional Pallid Swift flew around the Hotels during the evenings with lots of Yellow Legged Gulls flying over and out at sea as usual plus each evening loads of Gannets appeared offshore and occasionally Sandwich Terns, a couple of afternoons on the beach were enlivened by one or two Slender Billed Gulls flying along the tideline. I had an afternoon out birding at the Guadalhorce Estuary NR in between the resort and Malaga, a great little reserve a shame I didn’t discover it on the previous holidays there, interestingly as I passed the Parador Golf Course en route to the estuary where I had a family party of Superb Starlings feeding on the greens the last visit, one flew over me, they probably originate from escaped birds and it would seem they are hanging on there at the moment. The Gaudalhorce river splits into two as it reaches the sea and the area in between forms the NR, mainly scrub with several lagoons, quite a few Ducks around most notably White Headed, plus Waders including Black Winged Stilts, Little Ringed Plovers, Snipe, Black Tailed Godwits and Common Sandpipers, lots of Grey Herons accompanied by a few Little and Cattle Egrets as well as several Greater Flamingo’s, quite a few Gulls coming and going, mainly Black Headed but also several Lesser Black Backs and a couple of Med Gulls, plenty of migrant Redstarts, Wheatears, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Spotted Flycatchers in the scrub as well as the more local Crested Larks, White Wagtails, Stonechats, Zitting Cisticola’s, Cetti’s, Reed, Great Reed and Sardinian Warblers, several Finch flocks included Serins, a few Swallows also passed through including one Red Rumped and at least three Booted Eagles and a couple of Kestrels patrolled the skies, quite a few Butterflies around but they were very active and I only managed to ID Swallowtail, Red Admiral and Clouded Yellow, Dragonflies included Emperor, Lesser Emperor and Yellow Winged Darters. On the last morning I visited a little Park on the edge of town, quite a formal Park and nothing much was seen but I added a couple of migrant Pied Flycatchers to the trip list.
Monk Parrot on its huge nest in Hotel grounds

Monk Parrot feeding station

Spotless Starling

Pallid Swift and Crag Martin

slightly better shots of Crag Martin

Gaudalhorce NR

Crested Lark

Sardinian Warbler

White Headed Ducks


BW Stilts

Common Sand

Imm Greater Flamingo

plus adult

Yellow Winged Darter

Spotless Starlings

Booted Eagles

showing the "landing lights" to good effect

couldn't work out whether the Eagle was chasing the Starlings
or they were mobbing the Eagle

Cattle Egret

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