While the White-headed Ducks were undoubtedly a highlight of our recent visit to the Rio Guadalhorce reserve, other species of wildfowl were also to be found on what proved to be a highly productive stretch of wetland habitat.
Shoveler are a common bird right across the region during winter and on passage periods…and even when resting in the warmth of the afternoon sun, the green heads, white chests and chestnut flanks of the males made them an easy spot as they dozed in groups out on the lake. Note the White-headed Duck on the right of the image shown above.
Also widespread across Spain in the winter, we had terrific views of Teal throughout the day. One of the smallest species of duck to be found in Europe, Teal always look compact and neat – note the rather plain, streaky brown body of the female shown above. The male shown below is an altogether more attractive sight, with a number of distinctive markings.
Note the black-edged yellow triangle under the tail, and the thin, horizontal white line on the uniformly grey body. The iridescent green band on the brown head looks almost purple under a bit of sunshine!
There are isolated locations in Spain where the Pochard stays on as a resident breeding bird, but it is much more widely ditributed in winter.
The rich, red-brown head, black chest and rear-end, together with the pale grey body of the male shown here usually makes for an easy ID…
…and while the three species we have had a look at here will be very familiar to UK birdwatchers, the lack of wetland habitats locally down here in southern Spain makes each one a nice addition to the month-list.
One of our birdwatching trips and holidays down here in southern Spain could be your perfect introduction to the region, and with destinations like the Rio Guadalhorce on our patch there’s always something interesting to see. Keep reading our posts for all our latest birding news!