Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Birding in Alicante Province

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 22 votes, 4.95 average.
Old Wednesday 15th February 2012, 11:06   #51
Mark Etheridge
Bird Shooter (With A Camera)
 
Mark Etheridge's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Aberdeen and Gran Alacant
Posts: 405
Hi Ralph

Your "small duck" is likely to be a Little Grebe - there seems to be at least one in every drainage channel in that area! The only other regular drainage channel bird is Moorhen, but that doesn't dive.

Crested Larks are common in that area, you might also get Thekla Lark which is a b*gg*r to separate from Crested, even to the experts

When you get to El Hondo, keep your eyes on the sky above you - you will certainly get Booted Eagles and Marsh Harriers soaring overhead at this time of year, and more importantly there are at least 4 Greater Spotted Eagles on site
__________________
Bird photos from the Costa Blanca and Elsewhere - my bird photo site.
Mark Etheridge is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 2nd March 2012, 15:42   #52
Ralph Spilsbury
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Marjal
Posts: 3
Hi Mark

Have been to El Hondo a couple of times, nice place, thanks for bringing it to our attention.

We got the booted eagles (a first for us), loads of marsh harriers, our first Purple Swamphen and Iberian Shrike. Nice place to pass a morning or afternoon.

Hope to see the Greater Spotted eagle next time.
Ralph Spilsbury is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 7th April 2012, 22:06   #53
lazza
Registered User
 
lazza's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
Posts: 1,561
So, my first trip to Spain since learning of El Hondo's existence, and today made my first visit. Took a slightly different route than suggested, heading to the main visitor centre via Catral and San Felipe Neri.

And spent the full morning there from about 09:30 until 1pm.

First sightings were a wheatear and three stonechat in the car park, which was a nice start. Lots of singing, jingling corn bunting also along the track to the car park. At the first hide, there were lots of pochard and coot, plus two red-crested pochard, several little grebe and a single great-crested grebe.

The reeds were full of great reed warbler screeching and scratching away - heard but not seen - and I think also some reed warbler, although not quite sure. There were also many Sardinian warblers, very visible but not vocal, and a lot of zitting cisticola being much more confiding than I'm used to.

On the way to the second pool, a marsh harrier glided over, and the skies were full of swift (not sure if there might have been pallid swift among them). At the second lagoon, there were many more pochard and little grebe, joined by a large number of black-necked grebe - a lifer for me! Then straight after, a second lifer, and one of the reserve's primary species, white-headed duck, with three asleep in the distant reeds but three more quite close to the hide showing very well. Also in the reeds were several moorhen and two little egret.

Next, I headed out to the southern part of the park, along a path parallel to a canal where there were several showy serin and plenty of gulls flying over, mostly Mediterranean gulls as far as I could tell. Every now and then there was the same unidentified song coming from out of the shrubs, a very loud and musical whistle that I have no clue about (reminding me of how poor my song recognition is)! Further down the canal path the gulls gave way to terns, a few little tern, but mostly whiskered terns, a third lifer for the day!! Also visible in the same large lagoon were avocet, stilt and collared pratincole, and two grey heron on the far side.

I couldn't find my way out of the southern end of the park, as there were large gates erected (although I later found out that I could've got round them) so headed back to the visitor centre which had opened by this point, and where there were several spotless starling.

And finally back to La Marina via Dolores and San Fulgencio, turning up a couple of fighting/displaying(?) kestrel by the main road, a greenfinch in a tree by the La Marina turn off, two white wagtail in an empty car-park, and finally a woodchat shrike dashing low over a field of artichokes!

So, although no spotted eagle (already flown north) or marbled duck (not arrived yet), IMHO not bad for a morning's birding!

Last edited by lazza : Sunday 8th April 2012 at 09:48.
lazza is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 9th April 2012, 20:57   #54
lazza
Registered User
 
lazza's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
Posts: 1,561
A brief trip to El Pinet this morning. Nothing too unusual there, but a good number of flamingos, avocets and stilts, also with several collared pratincole and slender-billed gull, a couple of redshanks, many many Med gull and common tern. Also, a pair of shelduck arrived just as I was leaving. The highlight, however, was on the way down from La Marina Urbanizacion on my bike, via some tracks through the scrubland, where I picked up a little owl. Along the same track, there were also countless serin, several Sardinian warblers, and a hoopoe. Have often seen roller along the same track, but not today - too early perhaps?
lazza is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 10th April 2012, 10:39   #55
Mark Etheridge
Bird Shooter (With A Camera)
 
Mark Etheridge's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Aberdeen and Gran Alacant
Posts: 405
I think Rollers won't be back for another two weeks or so, but you should be able to find Bee-eaters by now - I had them on the 19th March!

If you take the Elche road from La Marina (CV853) and turn left just before a sharp right-hand bend about 1 Km after going under the N-332, go along this road for about 2Km and you will come across a series of electrical pylons. If you don't get Bee-eaters perching on the wires somewhere along here you will be very unlucky! (My Avatar piccy was taken there!). I've also had Rollers there but as I said it might be a bit early.

There is a semi-derelict monastery building further along on the right-hand side, take the track to the right (rough but quite driveable), there may be more Bee-eaters in the fields on your left, and a good chance of Woodchat Shrike too. You can continue along this track which will bring you out just short of the crossroads which starts the Vistabella road.

Good hunting!
__________________
Bird photos from the Costa Blanca and Elsewhere - my bird photo site.
Mark Etheridge is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 11th April 2012, 16:42   #56
lazza
Registered User
 
lazza's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
Posts: 1,561
Thanks Mark. Sadly, it was a brief trip - just a long weekend - as I had to be back at work this week. But as the family are out there the whole Easter break, I though it would be worth a few days away!

I thought I might be too early for rollers, but I didn't get bee-eaters either. The Urbanizacion where my in-laws live is quite good for bee-eaters, especially late afternoon. Their call is unmistakable. Also, I remember on a couple of excursions on my bike that I've had them just off the CV855 on the way to Elche, on the parallel track that descends into the small river valley (Vinopolis?).

Looking back, Easter was much later last year, when I got my first roller. There was also a marked difference in the number of calling warblers. The great reed warblers were very vocal this time, but the Sardinian warblers weren't singing much, so I guess that this must start in the next week or two.
lazza is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 11th April 2012, 16:47   #57
lazza
Registered User
 
lazza's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
Posts: 1,561
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Etheridge View Post
If you take the Elche road from La Marina (CV853) and turn left just before a sharp right-hand bend about 1 Km after going under the N-332, go along this road for about 2Km and you will come across a series of electrical pylons. If you don't get Bee-eaters perching on the wires somewhere along here you will be very unlucky! (My Avatar piccy was taken there!). I've also had Rollers there but as I said it might be a bit early.
I just had a look on google maps, and I know just where you mean. In fact, the track that goes off left (directly south) from this bend in the CV853 is a track I use a lot on the mountain bike. It's where I picked up the Little Owl and the hoopoe that I mention in the earlier post! And it is where I've seen rollers a couple of times.
lazza is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 14th April 2012, 22:32   #58
Hotspur
James Spencer
 
Hotspur's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Nafferton, East Yorkshire
Posts: 6,601
Blog Entries: 19
Had an excellent 11 days in southern Alicante. 113 species recorded and missed a few easy ones. Great variety in passage migrants with the pick being a Tawny Pipit at La Mata. 4 Lifers with Rock Bunting at Maigmo, Great Spotted Cuckoo at El Hondo (plus another at La Mata), 23 Griffons at Alcoy plus the aforementioned pipit. Got about 20 Spain ticks as well. Very good fun. Will put a full write up on the blog.
__________________
Idiocy Birding
Tophill Low Ringing
My Flickr
Last Yorks: White-rumped Swift (321)
Hotspur is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2010 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Monday 16th April 2012, 14:16   #59
DEREK CHARLES
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: belfast
Posts: 878
Hi, just to let locals know that there was an Azure Winged Magpie last Thursday in the pines north of Santa Pola (on the road to the Airport).
For anyone visiting El Hondo over the next period bring strong insect repellent as they took a fancy to me last weekend!

derek
__________________
Derek Charles
DEREK CHARLES is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 16th April 2012, 15:31   #60
Hotspur
James Spencer
 
Hotspur's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Nafferton, East Yorkshire
Posts: 6,601
Blog Entries: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by DEREK CHARLES View Post
Hi, just to let locals know that there was an Azure Winged Magpie last Thursday in the pines north of Santa Pola (on the road to the Airport).
For anyone visiting El Hondo over the next period bring strong insect repellent as they took a fancy to me last weekend!

derek
Apparently the AW Magpie was at El Clot but I couldnt find it when I was there. I got 29 bites to face and neck at El Hondo despite being in a hoodie. Viscious!
__________________
Idiocy Birding
Tophill Low Ringing
My Flickr
Last Yorks: White-rumped Swift (321)
Hotspur is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2010 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Monday 16th April 2012, 15:56   #61
DEREK CHARLES
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: belfast
Posts: 878
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotspur View Post
Apparently the AW Magpie was at El Clot but I couldnt find it when I was there. I got 29 bites to face and neck at El Hondo despite being in a hoodie. Viscious!
Thanks Hotspur,
i didnt know about the Clot sighting, but it was only 2 mile away as the Magpie flys!

I got a total of 18 bites which swelled up overnight. Person i was with was untouched!

d
__________________
Derek Charles
DEREK CHARLES is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 17th April 2012, 09:19   #62
lazza
Registered User
 
lazza's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
Posts: 1,561
Quote:
Originally Posted by DEREK CHARLES View Post
For anyone visiting El Hondo over the next period bring strong insect repellent as they took a fancy to me last weekend!

derek
haha! I must have missed the worst of it; even though I was there on my bike in only shorts and t-shirt, I only got 3 bites, although 2 did itch like hell! I think the 100s of swifts were managing to swallow anything that got too close....
lazza is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 29th May 2012, 19:18   #63
Mark Etheridge
Bird Shooter (With A Camera)
 
Mark Etheridge's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Aberdeen and Gran Alacant
Posts: 405
Back in Spain for another two weeks, the mozzies aren't too bad at the moment, spent an afternoon in the Clot de Galvany and only got bitten once.

My first photographic expedition was to the Carabassi woods to see if the Rufous Bushchats were back and indeed they were - at least 3 singing males.

You know how everyone keeps various lists - birds seen in the garden, local patch, county, country, abroad etc? Well I have decided to keep a new list which I hope others may contribute to. While I was taking the attached photos, at one point the Bushchat was right over my head, and proceeded to do what birds do.

I have been pooped on by Pigeons and various species of gull, but I bet I am one of the few on BirdForum who has been anointed by a Rufous Bushchat...
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	RBC1.JPG
Views:	134
Size:	182.7 KB
ID:	387538  Click image for larger version

Name:	RBC2.JPG
Views:	134
Size:	197.0 KB
ID:	387539  
__________________
Bird photos from the Costa Blanca and Elsewhere - my bird photo site.
Mark Etheridge is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 31st May 2012, 20:50   #64
Mark Etheridge
Bird Shooter (With A Camera)
 
Mark Etheridge's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Aberdeen and Gran Alacant
Posts: 405
I'm sure we've all seen Barn Swallows collecting nest mud, but here in Alicante we are fortunate enough to see Red-rumped Swallows as well. The water levels in my local reserve have been allowed to fall - not good news for the local ducks and other aquatic birds, but the mud flats make a good DIY shopping centre for the swallows of both species.

Every cloud as they say - it is a worry though, the reserve is owned by Elche Council, and as water costs money, it looks as though the Spanish economic crisis will have an adverse effect on wildlife as well...
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	RRSwallow2.JPG
Views:	129
Size:	187.7 KB
ID:	387831  Click image for larger version

Name:	RRSwallow3.JPG
Views:	126
Size:	214.9 KB
ID:	387840  
__________________
Bird photos from the Costa Blanca and Elsewhere - my bird photo site.
Mark Etheridge is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 19th July 2012, 12:30   #65
lazza
Registered User
 
lazza's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
Posts: 1,561
Three weeks and counting until my next visit to Spain :)

I'm wondering what I might be able to find at this time of year. From previous years, I know I should pick up rollers and bee-eaters, and probably also hoopoe and turtle doves around the Urbanizacion. And then I'm sure there'll be red-rumped swallow and alpine swift around the coasts.

Anyone know if there is much to report on the salinas or at El Hondo?
lazza is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 12th August 2012, 04:55   #66
Strontium Dog
Registered User
 
Strontium Dog's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Liverpool, UK
Posts: 346
Off to Guardamar del Segura again next week.

Since I don't drive, I normally just gravitate to one of the parks at either end of the town or stroll along the river past the football field.

Is there anywhere I can easily get to by bus and see some birds?

Excellent thread and very informative.
Strontium Dog is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 18th August 2012, 15:59   #67
lazza
Registered User
 
lazza's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
Posts: 1,561
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strontium Dog View Post
Off to Guardamar del Segura again next week.

Since I don't drive, I normally just gravitate to one of the parks at either end of the town or stroll along the river past the football field.

Is there anywhere I can easily get to by bus and see some birds?

Excellent thread and very informative.
I'm in La Marina at the moment and been seeing good birds in several locations. Not sure about bus routes though. For what it's worth, El Pinet at the very north end of La Marina might be an option. If you can get a bus into La Marina, El Pinet is 10 minutes walk down hill! Next stop for me is the two-lake area of Torreveja-La Mata which I'm sure might also be possible by bus from Guardamar heading south.

I had 4 Curlew Sandpiper at El Pinet briefly this week and also lots of Collared Pratincole. Also v good for stilt, avocet and flamingo - although many more of the latter at El Hondo this year. Several Kentish Plover and Slender billed gull too.

If you get a chance, and don't mind a 3 or 4 mile walk, you might also want to take a walk around some of the farmland west of the N332 from Guardamar (maybe start off along the path the Rojales along the river and divert off along one or more of the tracks) as I've had large flocks of Glossy ibis in with the egrets several times - mostly early morning.

Good luck... And please do report back!

Last edited by lazza : Saturday 18th August 2012 at 23:21.
lazza is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 18th August 2012, 23:18   #68
lazza
Registered User
 
lazza's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
Posts: 1,561
So, as alluded to above, a good trip for birds so far.

Two trips to El Hondo/El Fondo have provided two lifers for me, with an early evening trip last week being especially good. First was a very good view of a Little Bittern which flew into reeds right opposite one of the public hides near the visitor centre and spent around 5 minutes surveying the lake from a perch high up the reeds before flying to more reeds left of the hide where it was beautifully illuminated by the setting sun. Then no sooner had it disappeared than a chuckling purple swamphen burst out of the reeds directly in front of the hide and into cover nearby. Surprisingly big bird yet remarkably good at hiding itself away!

Also had a couple of brief visits to the public hides by the main road to Dolores (Vistabella road I think), giving remarkably good views of flamingo and stilt but also with a small flock of black-tailed godwit and plenty of whiskered terns. Was also surprised to find a couple of white-headed duck in the water right by the main road, having only seen them before with much patience further into El Hondo.

Finally, through my other amblings about by bike, I've managed to find roller (on the wires above the road near Urb Oasis), bee-eater (near where you suggested Mark, there were around 50 on the pylons and wires! But also had several fly over the house on Urb La Marina), little owl (2 not far from Iceland in La Marina early one morning!), whinchat (on artichoke heads in a field near Dolores), grey shrike, crested lark (I think...not sure of the differences with Thekla lark) and, I'm pretty sure, also a tawny pipit on a phone wire over tracks near Urb La Marina.

Finally, a mystery raptor crouched on top of a dead palm-tree trunk near the marked-out cycle route from El Hondo to San Fulgencio. Mid-sized to small, it was very rufous breasted possibly with a darker tail, and clearly paler legs. Difficult to judge any facial markings due to its posture, but appeared to have a paler neck or face band. The top of the tree trunk was quite well marked with droppings so I assume it's a regular perch but I have not seen it again since, and i admit it's a complete mystery!!
lazza is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 21st August 2012, 22:20   #69
lazza
Registered User
 
lazza's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
Posts: 1,561
Had a cycle over to La Mata/Torrevieja lakes early this morning and must admit to being a little disappointed. Where are all the birds?! Had several crested lark around the lake and a single hoopoe, but the water was almost completely devoid of life!

Admittedly I didn't circumnavigate the whole of either lake, but the parts I visited were extremely quiet. La Mata had 4 common sandpiper on a small island and 2 coots and one fly-by from a yellow-legged gull, while Torrevieja lagoon seemed to contain no birdlife at all except for a flock of gulls too distant to identify.

Is there a problem at this reserve? Or is it more suited to spring migrants? I looked ideal habitat for waders so it was disappointing to find so little.
lazza is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 21st August 2012, 23:44   #70
Hotspur
James Spencer
 
Hotspur's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Nafferton, East Yorkshire
Posts: 6,601
Blog Entries: 19
Most of the galerida larks at La Mata are Theklas. I usually have to work for a crested when I visit there.
__________________
Idiocy Birding
Tophill Low Ringing
My Flickr
Last Yorks: White-rumped Swift (321)
Hotspur is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2010 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Wednesday 22nd August 2012, 21:46   #71
lazza
Registered User
 
lazza's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
Posts: 1,561
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotspur View Post
Most of the galerida larks at La Mata are Theklas. I usually have to work for a crested when I visit there.
Thanks Must admit I wasn't sure. The song was 3-4 notes which I took to be crested but in all honesty I struggle to differentiate the two. What do you use as your main pointers?
lazza is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 22nd August 2012, 21:48   #72
lazza
Registered User
 
lazza's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
Posts: 1,561
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotspur View Post
Most of the galerida larks at La Mata are Theklas. I usually have to work for a crested when I visit there.

Thanks Must admit I wasn't sure. The song was 3-4 notes which I took to be crested but in all honesty I struggle to differentiate the two. What do you use as your main pointers?
lazza is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 15th January 2013, 20:01   #73
Big Den
Registered User
 
Big Den's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Midlothian
Posts: 177
Hi there, looking for some help and advice on where to go birding near to Murcia. I'm heading there in April for the first time and just looking to find out where the best sights are and what I can expect to see.

Many thanks in advance

Dennis
Big Den is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 25th March 2013, 08:37   #74
david kelly
Drive-by Birder
 
david kelly's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Tranent
Posts: 1,100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Den View Post
Hi there, looking for some help and advice on where to go birding near to Murcia. I'm heading there in April for the first time and just looking to find out where the best sights are and what I can expect to see.

Many thanks in advance

Dennis
I am going to Torrevieja next month (April) so any news, tips or other gen would be most helpful. Bought the Graham Ctitchell book direct from his website and am waiting for Mark Palmer's A Birdwatching Guide to Eastern Spain from Amazon.

Regards

David
__________________
We ain't never gonna change
We ain't doin' nuthin' wrong

Last edited by david kelly : Monday 25th March 2013 at 08:51.
david kelly is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 25th March 2013, 17:53   #75
lazza
Registered User
 
lazza's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
Posts: 1,561
Coming over for a long weekend from Wednesday to Tuesday, so looking forward to getting back to El Hondo and getting my 2013 Spain list going. Woohoo!

I'm thinking of seeing if I can get up to the mountains north of Crevillente on my bike, but it's probably on the limits of where my legs can get me from La Marina. Are there any good lower lying parts of the Serra de Crevillent that would be a good bet for some of the key species there (especially raptors), or is it necessary to go all the way up into the mountains?

Last edited by lazza : Monday 25th March 2013 at 18:08.
lazza is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Snake ID Alicante Province Spain DOC REED Reptiles and Amphibians 9 Friday 19th February 2016 20:58
Alicante Province 18th-27th April 2011 Hotspur Spain including the Canary & Balearic Isles 0 Thursday 28th April 2011 19:04
Lizard ID - Alicante Province, Spain Hotspur Reptiles and Amphibians 2 Monday 10th August 2009 17:03
raptor ID,Alicante province,Spain,last week DOC REED Bird Identification Q&A 20 Monday 20th April 2009 08:11
Alicante Province, Spain 25th March - 2nd April Hotspur Vacational Trip Reports 8 Thursday 3rd April 2008 08:59

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.17608690 seconds with 36 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 09:56.