TRANSFER FROM MALAGA AIRPORT TO TARIFA WITH STOPS AT GUADALMAR – MANILVA GOLF COURSE – CAZALLA RAPTOR WATCH POINT
WEATHER; wall to wall sunshine, some cloud, top temp.26C, very windy at Tarifa
I had a busy morning at Malaga airport my group arrived on 4 different flights starting at 9:45 and ending at 12:55. I ran a shuttle service between the airport and the Desembocadura de Guadalhorce Nature Reserve at Guadalmar.
Once we were all assembled at the Nature Reserve we birded the east side of the reserve for a further 30 minutes before beginning the drive to Tarifa. Monk Parakeets were one of the first birds on the list quickly followed by Northern Wheatear (my first sighting this Autumn of this species).
Monk Parakeets - an evasive South American species now very common in all major cities of Spain
Plenty of waders we in the muddy east channel of the Rio Guadalhorce, at least 50 Little Ringed Plovers, a dozen Greater Ringed Plover, singles of Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper and a couple of Black-winged Stilts. Also a single Yellow (now Western Yellow) Wagtail ( female Flava flavissima).
Other birds seen included: a distant Booted Eagle, lots of Collared Doves, Black-headed, Lesser Black-backed and Yellow-legged Gulls, a Grey Heron and a Zitting Cisticola.
We set off at 3pm and drove for 40 minutes before stopping at a Golf Complex near Manilva, our first bird sighting there was of a Eurasian Hoopoe, our target bird. Then at a small pond we found Common Kingfisher, Common Stonechat, Little Grebe and some dodgey ducks.
The Fairways along the golf course were fairly quiet, we added several Red-rumped Swallows, House Martin and a couple of White Wagtails and that was all. A couple of Booted Eagles drifted over and a very distant Griffon Vulture was spotted over the mountains.
We made our second stop around 5pm at Cazalla Raptor Watch-Point at Tarifa but we had seen dozens and dozens of raptors over Algeciras and Gibraltar so we knew that the wind direction was not favourable for sightings at Tarifa.
The only other sightings I can think of were of White Storks on their nest at San Roque and a large flock of Bee-eaters near Algeciras as well as Cattle Egrets and good numbers of Spotless Starlings.