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Tuesday 29 June, Guadalmar - Rio Guadalhorce 1800-2000hrs

An evening pick-up at Malaga Airport gave me the opportunity to pop into this superb nature reserve. It consists of a series of Lagunas set in reclaimed gravel workings found between two arms of the Guadalhorce estuary. It has open grassland scrub, a length of sandy beach and the reed-fringed lagunas. A small colony of Monk Parakeets breed in a clump of eucalyptus along the approach road at Guadalmar and these noisy foreign breeders are often found on the reserve feeding on thistle heads. It was great to see so many young birds on the lagunas which included Coot, Moorhen, Mallard, Gadwall, Pochard, Black-winged Stilts, Little-ringed Plover and a healthy population of White-headed Ducks. There were 16 chicks spread over 3 of the lagunas!

Lots of Common and Pallid Swifts, Barn Swallows, Red-rumped Swallows, House Martins, Bee-eaters, Zitting Cisticolas, finches and sparrows. There were also several Audouin's Gulls flying to and fro along the sea-shore.

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