Temp - 31C - Clear - Wind S @ 3 mph
Greeting from Spain and a quick update on how the current trip is progressing. We arrived after our crack of dawn flight to Alicante on Friday 13th, not being a superstitious chap it was no surprise we got here safe and sound and without mishap.
However, only hours after arriving I went down with a heavy cold and along with temperatures in the 30C's our birding has been limited thus far. Nevertheless, we've managed a few hours out and about at La Mata Natural Park Lagoons
just on the outskirts of Torrevieja and today a mid morning trip to El Hondo
, around a 30 minute car journey.
|Red-rumped Swallow at La Mata|
First birds of note at La Mata
were a couple of Southern Grey Shrike, Hoopoe
and a hand full of Crested Lark
. By the time we reached the hide, around a 20 minute walk from the nature centre, the heat haze was unbearable, making recognition by scope quite a challenge. Sadly, the birds are a good way off from the hide at present but we did manage several Kentish Plover, Little-ringed Plover
, a couple of Grey Plover
and a decent number of Sanderling
along the shoreline. Some large flocks of Spotless Starling
were also feeding and Gulls included Yellow-legged
. On route back to the car park at least 3 Swallowtail butterfly were on the wing and a short drive around the reserve produced at least 15 Red-rumped Swallow
|Greater Flamingo on the Lagunas|
Today we took the 30 minute drive out to El Hondo reserve before the temperatures rose. Turning into the driveway at least a half dozen Bee-eater were perched on one of several dead trees. On the recently ploughed field a lone Cattle Egret
, a few White Wagtail
and overhead the odd Zitting Cisticola
! No surprise to find the nature centre closed after parking up and so we decided on a short visit to a couple of hides. Here the sun was in a direct line and so scoping was difficult once more, the lack of muddy areas was also a definite minus. Most of the wildfowl were a good distance away but Black-necked Grebe, Red-crested Pochard, Little Grebe
and Green Sandpiper
were all noted. At least four Marsh Harrier
, a fly over of eight Glossy Ibis
, two Kestrel, Little Egret
and Cattle Egret
were the other highlights.
|Juvenile/1st winter Slender-billed Gull|
Finally, feeling like crap once more we took a stop on route home to check out the large numbers of Greater Flamingo on the local mudflats. Lots to see here with Slender-billed Gull, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern
and Little Tern
, plus Turnstone, Common Sandpiper, Kentish Plover, Avocet
and the surprise of the day, 2 Caspian Terns
fishing over the open water.
Tomorrow we drive further south to Mijas, just south of Malaga and a week with my old mate Dave and hopefully I can throw this damn cold!