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Tuesday 10 January: Wingspanner and I headed off to Laguna Dulce at Campillos north of Ronda at 0730hrs in a fresh E wind, mostly cloudy starting at just 5C and peaking at 13C; it looks like our long warm and sunny spell has finally come to an end. We were hoping to catch up with some Little Bustard here but they didn't show - we did, however, see Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, 300 Common Crane (see photo),

Jackdaw, Skylark, Calandra Lark including a flock of 25-30, Cattle Egret, White-headed Duck, Tufted Duck, 3 Ferruginous Duck (the diagnostic white iris is clearly visible, even in my long-range digiscoped photo),

Teal, Pintail, Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler, Common Pochard, Red-crested Pochard (see photo),

Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Green Sandpiper (see photo),

Common Kestrel, Coot, Moorhen, Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Corn Bunting, White Wagtail and Stonechat.

In an effort to find some bustards we continued on to Laguna Fuente de Piedra where they can be found in the surrounding fields. Still no luck but we did see Raven, Hoopoe, Southern Grey Shrike, Common Crane, Wigeon, Common Snipe, Lapwing, Black Redstart, Common Starling, Spotless Starling, Greater Flamingo in amongst the large flock of which was a solitary smaller, bright pink/red Lesser Flamingo, Common Shelduck. Also Black-tailed Godwit, Black-winged Stilt and Avocet (all visible in same photo),

Marsh Harrier, Meadow Pipit, Water Pipit, Crested Lark, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Reed Bunting, Zitting Cisticola, Chiffchaff and Blue Tit.

On the way back to Gaucin we stopped at Sierra de Vijan near Cuevas de Becerro where we saw Bonelli's Eagle, Griffon Vulture, Rock Dove, Blackcap, Crag Martin, Common Sandpiper, Grey Wagtail and Great Tit.

A stop at Encinas Borrachas just north of Atajate produced Little Owl, Rock Bunting, Blue Rock Thrush, Thekla Lark, Southern Grey Shrike, Goldfinch, Linnet, Chaffinch, Greenfinch and Serin whilst a final stop on the Ronda Road delivered 3 Black Wheatear.

All-in-all it was a great day's birding with a final species total of 71, albeit missing the sought-after Little Bustard, but including 5 species of lark and some specials (for me, anyway) such as Ferruginous Duck and Lesser Flamingo.

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