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Birding in Alicante Province

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Old Saturday 30th March 2013, 12:57   #76
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So, I hauled my way up to Crevillent today, into a strong breeze as well as up hill, taking the road around the north of El Hondo from Urb La Marina. I then headed up into the mountains, coming to a couple of signs showing circular walks (pilgrim walks?) so took the rough road heading northwards and upwards, eventually reaching the end of the accessible road and two further tracks both sign-posted Prohibidar so I thought I could go no further. However a grip of mountain bikers came by and went through, so I tried following them, only for them to go off-track pretty quickly. So I turned back, but still made it up to some nice rocky valleys. And what I'd I get for my efforts? Raptor? No! Interesting mountain species? No! Greenfinch and serin? Yes!

Also called in to the two hides near the visitor centre at El Hondo on the way back, but lustred conditions meant very little on view, although had 3 or 4 whiskered terns by the viewing tower
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Old Saturday 30th March 2013, 20:21   #77
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Hi Lazza

The link below shows where you need to head for.

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&...16469&t=h&z=17
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Old Saturday 30th March 2013, 21:17   #78
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[quote=lazza;2694241]So, I hauled my way up to Crevillent today, into a strong breeze as well as up hill, taking the road around the north of El Hondo from Urb La Marina. I then headed up into the mountains, coming to a couple of signs showing circular walks (pilgrim walks?) so took the rough road heading northwards and upwards, eventually reaching the end of the accessible road and two further tracks both sign-posted Prohibidar so I thought I could go no further. However a grip of mountain bikers came by and went through, so I tried following them, only for them to go off-track pretty quickly. So I turned back, but still made it up to some nice rocky valleys. And what I'd I get for my efforts? Raptor? No! Interesting mountain species? No! Greenfinch and serin? Yes!

Have a look at this site Mark.

http://www.fincabonelliseagle.es/index.html
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Old Saturday 30th March 2013, 21:19   #79
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Hi Lazza

The link below shows where you need to head for.

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&...16469&t=h&z=17
Thanks. Wasn't too far off! Will try heading that way next time. Any idea if there's much to see at the lake near Crevillent? Thought I might call by there next time.
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Old Saturday 30th March 2013, 21:39   #80
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Thanks. Wasn't too far off! Will try heading that way next time. Any idea if there's much to see at the lake near Crevillent? Thought I might call by there next time.
Sorry we never really checked out the lake, we did have a couple of Black Wheatears nearby though.

Finca Bonelli's Eagle is in the centre of the map, it's worth dropping in for lunch. We stayed there for a few days and I remember sitting outside with a cold beer watching the Bonelli's Eagles and with a Black Wheatear hopping around my feet. Now that's birding.
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Old Sunday 31st March 2013, 12:11   #81
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I think I read somewhere that it's up for sale. Wasn't exactly sure where it was but now I have the location, I reckon it's just about reachable on my bike. Any ideas about trumpeter finches? Also are there ever any sightings of wallcreeper - looks ideal for them...?
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Old Tuesday 2nd April 2013, 19:32   #82
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I Haven't heard of any Wallcreeper sightings but Trumpeter Finch has been seen there. The best place to see Trumpeter Finch is in the Montnegre area (see link) but I think it would be a canny bike away.

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=Riu+...Montnegre&z=15
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Old Tuesday 2nd April 2013, 20:42   #83
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Advice please

I am staying near San Javier in June and expect to be heading up into Alicante for several birding trips. I think I am OK for sites for Marbled Duck, White-headed Duck and Moustached Warbler but am at a loss on where to start for my fourth target bird, Red-necked Nightjar. Any clues gratefully received!
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Old Wednesday 3rd April 2013, 15:41   #84
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Back home in chilly Northumberland after six days on the Costa Blanca just south of Alicante - our usual Easter break. With family commitments, and this being only a short holiday, I didn't get much time to go birding, but I got out most days on my bike from La Marina for an hour or so.

With 5 good sunny days out of 6, there was plenty of the usual species around, and I also added a lifer and a couple of species to my Spain list.

Around the local Urbanizacion in La Marina were the usual species - lots of spotless starling, house sparrows, serin and sardinian warbler, but also had a southern grey shrike trilling from a TV aerial, and on my last afternoon, a group of 8 or 9 bee-eaters came down in a neighbour's tree. Also, common swift seem to arrive on the last couple of days, adding to the odd barn swallow .

But also a surprise to me were cormorant flying over almost daily, in the evening. First time I recall seeing them here, but we were a few weeks earlier than usual so it's possible they have all left when we are usually here.

One of the tracks from the Urabanizacion to the coast, alongside one of the many canals, also added proved quite fruitful (I noticed many of the canals were very full at this time of year), with many zitting cisticola, white wagtail, little egret and serin, and several woodpigeon, red-legged partridge and kestrel. Also, a cuckoo calling from the farmland most days, and many fields holding lark sp(presumably crested).

My first proper trip out (on my bike) was past the river crossing over the Vinalopo (as described on the Costa Blanca bird club website), which didn't add the hoped-for Temminck stint, but a 20 minute stop still revealed little grebe and my first sightings of snipe in Spain, along with moorhen and mallard, with a couple of fly-over hoopoe. I moved on to El Pinet salinas, which again seemd to have very high water levels, but plenty of gulls (mostly slender-billed gull and black-headed gull, but also a handful of common terns and mediterranean gulls, and a couple of sandwich tern) and as usual, a large number of water birds (mostly avocet and black-winged stilt, but also flamingo and a pair of shelduck). A later visit back to El Pinet also added another new species to my Spain list, with 3-6 sanderling dabbling about on the beach between groups of walkers and joggers.

I also managed a couple of trips to the public hides around El Hondo reserve (San Felipe de Neri and Vistabella rd hides), which as always, was very fruitful. From the Vistabella road hides I had my only lifer of the trip - a single great white egret present in the same reedbed on both visits - and from the hides were visible several dozen Pochard and coot, as well as red-crested pochard, great crested grebe, white-headed duck and black-necked grebe. On the first visit there were a large number of flamingo, although far fewer later in the week, along with stilt, little- and cattle egret. From the reeds, the warblers were giving it some gusto, mostly reed warbler, sardinian warbler and cetti's warbler (but possibly also an aquatic warbler...?). There were far fewer birds visible from the hides near the San Felipe visitor centre, but the viewing tower gave distant views of collared pratincole, yellow-legged gull, a large number of black-headed gulls, and a small number of black-tailed godwit. Also, on my second visit, a pair of whiskered tern.

Other species seen on the Vistabella road included grey heron, wood sandpiper (on the small pool by the road), northern Wheatear, hoopoe and a flock of about 15 glossy ibis.

As mentioned in my earlier posts above, I also made a trip by bike up to Crevillente, aimed at adding some interesting raptors or mountain species, but it wasn't to be, with greenfinch and serin being the only species seen (and chaffinch heard, I think).

Finally, a couple of trips to Guardamar/the Segura estuary added Audouin's gull on the beaches, and great tit and green woodpecker along the Segura.

So, all in all, 62 species seen, which doesn't seem a bad return for a 6-day family holiday
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Old Saturday 13th April 2013, 12:30   #85
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I am staying near San Javier in June and expect to be heading up into Alicante for several birding trips. I am at a loss on where to start for my fourth target bird, Red-necked Nightjar. Any clues gratefully received!
If you can get to the Gran Alacant urbanisation south of Alicante (on the N332) go up the hill to "Top Alacant" and turn right along Avenida de Escandinavia. This takes you almost to the lighthouse, which is a good site for RN Nightjars and they are also seen around some of the urbanisations along that road.

Alternatively you can continue along the N332 south past Gran Alacant for about 1Km and you will come to a road on the left signposted "Faro del Cabo de Santa Pola", which is a long straight road taking you to the same lighthouse. If you go along this road just after sunset you are almost guaranteed to pick one up sitting on the road in your headlights!
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Old Monday 22nd April 2013, 20:17   #86
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Just came back from a week in Torrevieja. Covered La Mata on three days with a visit to Santa Pola on one and El Hondo with Graham Critchell last Saturday. My first visit to this area and I would recommend the area for birding. As we did not hire a car there were limited chances for new birds for me. Highlights of the trip were White-headed Duck, Montagu's Harrier, Purple Swamphen, Osprey, Booted Eagle and Marsh Harrier at El Hondo. I definitely will return and maybe this time go inland for some upland birds.

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Old Monday 3rd June 2013, 20:23   #87
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I am staying near San Javier in June and expect to be heading up into Alicante for several birding trips. I think I am OK for sites for Marbled Duck, White-headed Duck and Moustached Warbler but am at a loss on where to start for my fourth target bird, Red-necked Nightjar. Any clues gratefully received!
Further to the above, can anyone offer a good site in the south of the Alicante region for Western Olivaceous Warbler?

ta, Phil
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Old Monday 22nd July 2013, 12:41   #88
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OK, my countdown has started: 15 days until I jet out to Alicante for my annual stay at the in-laws in La Marina.

Nothing reported on the CBBC web-site for a while, so wondering what's around at the moment. Anyone any recent news and views?
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Old Monday 12th August 2013, 14:20   #89
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Been here a couple of days and had a visit to El Hondo yesterday afternoon about 4pm.

Only able to visit the 2 hides in the public part of the reserve, and was rather shocked that there was a young Spanish couple with a dog sitting on the mud on the other side of the fences by the larger lagoon, as if it was some kind of holiday park beach! The dog was jumping into the water and swimming out near to other islands and barking non-stop while the idiotic owners just chilled out. As my Spanish is non-existent (and I have a semi-irrational fear of dogs!) I admit I did nothing about it, but was very sad to to see.

The other hide did not have too much to see, but a purple heron, a grey heron, and a little bittern all visible in the same binoculars view was rather special. And also added a lifer on the track to the reserve from Dolores, with a pair of stone curlew present on the way there and the way back.
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Old Monday 12th August 2013, 16:04   #90
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.... shocked that there was a young Spanish couple with a dog sitting on the mud on the other side of the fences by the larger lagoon, as if it was some kind of holiday park beach! The dog was jumping into the water and swimming out near to other islands and barking non-stop while the idiotic owners just chilled out. As my Spanish is non-existent (and I have a semi-irrational fear of dogs!) I admit I did nothing about it, but was very sad to to see.
Nothing irrational about a fear of dogs - the darn things can give you a nasty bite & have been known to kill!

My linguistic competence seems similar to yours, but I find a loud 'Oi!' is fairly international and, accompanied by gesticulations, finger pointing, etc. and cod-Spanish like 'Reserva!' 'No es permisso' etc. works surprisingly well! Or at least it has on the ******* idiots who insist on windsurfing in front of the hide at Playa de los Lances.
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Old Monday 12th August 2013, 17:38   #91
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Going to be in Denia from Sept 11th for 10 nights and hope to get the binos and camera out. Can anyone suggest somewhere in that area worth a few hours, preferably with a hide to sit in or an easy walk?

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Old Tuesday 13th August 2013, 07:05   #92
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The problem of inappropriate behaviour in reserve areas is always worst during the summer months. I have been forced to beat a hasty retreat from the hide along the Vistabella road, as well as the one at El Pinet, by a group of stark-naked gentlemen who were occupying the hide - to what end I didn't stop to ask....

The Clot de Galvany reserve near my holiday home is practically a no-go area during August due to the influx of spanish families to nearby Los Arenales. Fortunately they are mostly gone by September, which is when I'll be back out there!
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Old Tuesday 13th August 2013, 07:33   #93
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The problem of inappropriate behaviour in reserve areas is always worst during the summer months. I have been forced to beat a hasty retreat from the hide along the Vistabella road, as well as the one at El Pinet, by a group of stark-naked gentlemen who were occupying the hide - to what end I didn't stop to ask....
Hehehehe! I thought being forced out by giant hornets was bad enough! Surely you can't be against naturist naturalists!

What was particularly annoying is that there are literally thousands of secluded places this couple could have gone all through the arable farmland around the area.

Latest sighting news, while I'm here: no less than three squacco heron along the canals near Urb La Marina last night.
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Old Thursday 15th August 2013, 22:02   #94
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Latest sighting news, while I'm here: no less than three squacco heron along the canals near Urb La Marina last night.
New birds for my Spain list coming thick and fast. Yesterday, an early morning trip to the easternmost hide along Vistabella road rewarded me with great views of a night heron (on the short wooden bridge over the canal) and a pair of wood sandpiper, both new to me for Spain, as well as more flamingos than I've ever seen here, with large numbers on the lake and several flocks flying in/over, plus stilt, black-tailed godwit, purple heron, dunlin, glossy ibis, little egret and redshank. And my first white-headed duck this summer. There was so much to see, I didn't even have time to visit the hide further west (and I also noticed a new bridge over the canals not there on previous visits so need to go back to investigate!)

Then today a loop up to Santa Pola, passing through the Salinas on the N332 on the way home, another addition to my Spain list (and also a lifer!) turned up in a single spotted redshank near the tower, with 3 turnstone. Also seen were dozens more flamingo, stilt and several avocet, as well as a few large groups of floating slender-billed gull, and a large crowd of swift (common and pallid) with (I think) a pair of woodchat shrike among them, all over one small pool.
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Old Sunday 18th August 2013, 21:42   #95
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To my relief, El Hondo was virtually deserted today, so birds on the larger public pond were much closer to the hide. Highlights were a couple of purple swamphen, one on the larger pool which walked along the reeds on the island in front of the hide for 10-15 minutes, before striding out across the shallow water all the way across the pond to the main western bank (what big feet!), and one on the smaller pond appearing only briefly. Again lots of herons and waders, but some ID problems for me which I need to work through with my photos and Collins guide (but at least 5 squacco heron and one night heron)
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Old Wednesday 4th September 2013, 05:09   #96
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We rent out our house in Gran Alacant when we're not there - one of the selling points is that it is 10 minutes drive from the airport. When I got here on Monday it took five.

The taxi driver was an absolute maniac, he went through the tunnel at El Altet at 140 kph, just as well the cops weren't in their usual place. I usually look at the telephone wires along the main road to see if there's a Hoopoe waiting to greet me but I was torn between shutting my eyes or watching for the crash. I think I must have left finger impressions on the seat of that taxi.

A quick tour around my usual haunts produced a mixed bag. El Hondo water levels were at the best I've seen them at this time of year so the drainage works have been effective. It has been a good breeding season, with plenty of Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Squacco Heron and Little Egrets in evidence. The new footbridge over the canal that lazza saw leads to the refurbished small hide which has been out of use for some time, it's in a good position but the approach is not shielded off so you put the birds up before you get to it. Some seats inside it would be nice too....

The Salinas at El Pinet were a bit quieter, but Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit and Collared Pratincoles (youngsters) were about. Plenty of Flamingos around, both here and in El Hondo.

On to the Clot de Galvany which once again is a disaster area . The pools are full of duckweed, and on the Charco pool the only water birds in evidence were a couple of Moorhens and a Little Grebe manfully diving through the green carpet on the water. Plenty of attractive dragonflies were about to relieve the gloom, among them Red Darter and Lesser Emperor.

The wader scrape is awful - there is some water in it but again covered in duckweed. They appear to have planted some trees in the damper parts of this area, but to what end? You can't see very far into the area from the Zeiss hide, these trees will only restrict the view even more.

Small birds were around but in limited numbers - the Goldfinches seem to have had another good year, and of course Sardinian Warblers were everywhere.

The good news is that there are very few mozzies about to eat you!
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Old Wednesday 4th September 2013, 10:28   #97
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That reminds me that I never came back to report on the 2nd week of my holiday....need to dig out my notes. Will try to post later.

But I did manage to get over to the new hide, and agree it's not great for a subtle entry, but the longer walk through the reeds to the hide is very pleasant, with plenty of warblers to see (all reed warbler, as far as I could tell) and and a good number of white-headed duc. And the hide itself gave excellent views of whiskered tern, in various guises - summer plumage, moulting and juvenile.
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Old Wednesday 4th September 2013, 15:29   #98
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To my relief, El Hondo was virtually deserted today, so birds on the larger public pond were much closer to the hide. Highlights were a couple of purple swamphen, one on the larger pool which walked along the reeds on the island in front of the hide for 10-15 minutes, before striding out across the shallow water all the way across the pond to the main western bank (what big feet!), and one on the smaller pond appearing only briefly. Again lots of herons and waders, but some ID problems for me which I need to work through with my photos and Collins guide (but at least 5 squacco heron and one night heron)
So the waders turned out to be a couple of curlew sandpiper and a little stint, both new for my lifetime Spain list, and rather a surprise (seems early to me for Autumn migrants...?).

Further visits to the hides on Vistabella road - all three of them - were also quite productive for wading birds, with a great white egret present on one visit, and again several squacco heron, a couple of moulting curlew sandpiper, with kentish plover and ringed plover. Also spent a good hour being entertained by 2-3 large family groups of little grebe fishing directly in front of one of the hides, the birds often very clearly visible under the water scattering shoals of tiny fish.

A trip by the Rio Vinalopolo bridge was not overly rewarding, although it was yet another site holding squacco heron, and also had good views of a roller.

Last but not least, on my last day, I had a final cycle along the N332 past the Santa Pola salinas, which held a glut of small waders- one group of 8 birds feeding no more than 20ft from the road containing 4 species - 2 dunlin, 2 little ringed plover and a little stint, plus 2 juvenile and 1 adult avocet. And the pool furthest south contained around 200-300 flamingo, plus many more avocet and stilt.

So the Spain total for 2013 reached 90 species (10 more than last year): 61 species on my brief visit over Easter, and 78 species in August. I know there are still species I am missing out on because of my poor identification skills and lack of time/patience, but am still pleased with this total, and it included 3 lifers for me.

For the record, species seen roughly in order, with first sighting location were:

Spotless Starling, Urb La Marina, March
House sparrow, Urb La Marina, March
Southern grey shrike, Urb La Marina, March
Sardinian warbler, Urb La Marina, March
Serin, Urb La Marina, March
Common swift, Urb La Marina, March
Feral pigeon/rock dove, Urb La Marina, March
Magpie, Urb La Marina, March
Cormorant, Urb La Marina, March
Kestrel, Urb canals, March
Woodpigeon, Urb canals, March
Red-legged partridge, Urb canals, March
Cuckoo, Urb canals, March
Little egret, CV-860 Elche road, March
White/pied wagtail, Elche road, March
Zitting cisticola, Elche road, March
Collared dove, Elche road, March
Crested lark, Elche road, March
Glossy ibis, Elche road, March
Moorhen, Rio Vinapolo, March
Blackbird, Rio Vinapolo, March
Little grebe, Rio Vinapolo, March
Snipe, Rio Vinapolo, March
Mallard, Rio Vinapolo, March
Barn swallow, Rio Vinapolo, March
Hoopoe, La Marina scrub, March
Common tern, El Pinet, March
Black-headed gull, El Pinet, March
Mediterranean gull, El Pinet, March
Slender-billed gull, El Pinet, March
Black-winged stilt, El Pinet, March
Avocet, El Pinet, March
Greater flamingo, El Pinet, March
Shelduck, El Pinet, March
Goldfinch, El Pinet, March
Great white egret, El Hondo, March
Pochard, El Hondo, March
Red-crested pochard, El Hondo, March
Coot, El Hondo, March
Great crested grebe, El Hondo, March
Reed warbler, El Hondo, March
White-headed duck, El Hondo, March
Cetti's warbler, El Hondo, March
Marsh harrier, El Hondo, March
Whiskered tern, El Hondo, March
Collared pratincole, El Hondo, March
Yellow-legged gull, El Hondo, March
Cattle egret, El Hondo, March
Black-tailed godwit, El Hondo, March
Grey heron, Vistabella road, March
Wood sandpiper, Vistabella road, March
Northern wheatear, Vistabella road, March
Greenfinch, Serra de Crevillent, March
Mute swan, Guardamar, March
Audouin's gull, Guardamar, March
Great tit, Rio Segura, March
Green woodpecker, Rio Segura, March
Sandwich tern, Playa El Pinet, April
Sanderling, Playa El Pinet, April
Bee-eater, Urb La Marina, April
Black-necked grebe , El Hondo, April

Woodchat shrike, La Marina, August
Green sandpiper, Vistabella road, August
House martin, Vistabella road, August
Common sandpiper , Urb canals, August
Little owl, El Pinet, August
Little tern, El Pinet, August
Kentish plover, El Pinet, August
Roller, Urb Oasis road, August
Stone curlew, El Hondo, August
Purple heron, El Hondo, August
Little bittern, El Hondo, August
Redshank, El Hondo, August
Kingfisher, El Hondo, August
Long-tailed tit, Guardamar, August
Squacco heron, Urb canals, August
Night heron, El Hondo, August
Dunlin, El Hondo, August
Lapwing, El Hondo, August
Curlew sandpiper, El Hondo, August
Turnstone, Santa Pola salinas, August
Ringed plover, Santa Pola salinas, August
Spotted redshank, Santa Pola salinas, August
Pallid swift, Santa Pola salinas, August
Jackdaw, San Felipe Neri, August
Shoveler, El Hondo, August
Purple swamphen, El Hondo, August
Little stint, Santa Pola salinas, August
Little ringed plover, Santa Pola salinas, August

Monk Parakeet, Barcelona, August
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World life list: 512 (Blyth's Reed Warbler, Northumberland; May 2018)
UK life list: 225 (Little Tern, Low Newton, Northumberland; May 2018)
Morpeth Garden list: 68 (Kestrel, January 2018)
2018 year list: 189 (Greenshank, Druridge Bay, Northumberland; May)

Last edited by lazza : Wednesday 4th September 2013 at 15:56.
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Old Saturday 7th September 2013, 05:40   #99
Mark Etheridge
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You might have to review your list if you had the same birds I had yesterday. I have been taken to task on the ID forum over what I thought was a Reed Warbler, but it turned out to be a Savi's...

Most of the usual suspects on show at El Hondo yesterday, including a distant Osprey which I hoped would take off and give me a closer view, but he just sat on the same pole for well over four hours, I had to give up on him in the end due to the heat.

In other news, Tonn the satellite-tracked Greater Spotted Eagle has arrived back for his sixth winter here. I kept an eye out for him yesterday, but no luck - I have a further week here so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
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Old Sunday 8th September 2013, 20:13   #100
lazza
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Etheridge View Post
You might have to review your list if you had the same birds I had yesterday. I have been taken to task on the ID forum over what I thought was a Reed Warbler, but it turned out to be a Savi's...

Most of the usual suspects on show at El Hondo yesterday, including a distant Osprey which I hoped would take off and give me a closer view, but he just sat on the same pole for well over four hours, I had to give up on him in the end due to the heat.

In other news, Tonn the satellite-tracked Greater Spotted Eagle has arrived back for his sixth winter here. I kept an eye out for him yesterday, but no luck - I have a further week here so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
I saw your ID request, so could've been the same species for me! Regarding the osprey: was it at the platform visible from one of the Vistabella road hides? When I visited at Easter, someone in the hide told me an osprey had been seen visiting the platform, but I didn't see it.
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World life list: 512 (Blyth's Reed Warbler, Northumberland; May 2018)
UK life list: 225 (Little Tern, Low Newton, Northumberland; May 2018)
Morpeth Garden list: 68 (Kestrel, January 2018)
2018 year list: 189 (Greenshank, Druridge Bay, Northumberland; May)
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