16th-26th November – Thanksgiving – Espagna Style

So, deciding that I was tired of seeing the sun, I flew Alex and myself to Manchester, UK (yes, there are other places in the UK beside London!) to see my folks and also planned a nice four-day trip to Southern Spain for some birding, family vacation!

Arrived in Bolton on Saturday morning to cold, but clear skies..wot no rain? Was I in the right country? Off to mum’s for a cuppa PG Tips and a stellar bacon and grilled tomato butty on thick, well-buttered warburton’s toastie bread..yeahhhhh baby!!! UK rocks! Aside from a pair of nice tits in the yard (Coal) and a few Collared Doves cooing on the roof, birds were not evident.

Anyway, Monday morning saw us jet off to Malaga on the south coast of Spain. Warm and blue skies, it was a nice change from the monochrome skies of the UK. Arrived at the hotel and immediately helped a guy break into his own car to retrieve his keys. This act of kindness from yours truly resulted in a thank you beer that evening from the guy, whose girlfriend it turned out was from Bolton..small world!

Hotel was great, nice indoor pool for Alex to mess around in and a few spots close by for me to indulge in some birding.

Alex = quite happy he is not in the UK!

Alex -quite happy he is not in the UK!

The fam..sister Sharon, me mum, yours truly and Alex

The fam..sister Sharon, me mum, yours truly and Alex

A few quick, pre-breakfast trips to Guadalorce river mouth and pools yielded some birds including Booted Eagle and Marsh Harrier, Greater Flamingo, 3 White-headed Ducks and a few other typical European birds.

Booted Eagle -a few wintering birds at Guadalorce.

Booted Eagle -a few wintering birds at Guadalorce.

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Topside

Female Marsh Harrier

Female Marsh Harrier

Marsh Harrier

Marsh Harrier

One interesting thing was the huge numbers of Crag Martins roosting on the beachfront hotels – these birds obviously forming winter congregations.

One of over 100 Crag Martins roosting on the adjacent hotel.

One of over 100 Crag Martins roosting on the adjacent hotel.

Took a ride north to the plains of Antequerra to see a few more birds and to look for wintering cranes. A great place with lots of birds.

Over 200 common Cranes wre found in the fileds surrounding the lake

Over 200 Common Cranes where found in the fields surrounding the lake

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Alex getting his Grus groove on at Antequerra!

In flight..

In flight..

White Wagtail..apparently to some CT birders their call sound like Budgerigars

White Wagtail..apparently to some CT birders their call sound like Budgerigars

After some touristy jaunts to to Marbella to see expensive boats and restaurants that were mostly closed, we headed back to the UK to see even fewer birds, but some great company and chips, mushy peas and gravy..yummy!

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Hasta la vista old people!

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