Got up this morning, had a shower, brushed me teeth, tapped the brush two times, cut me nails, or did I do that first before I brushed me teeth. I can’t remember. Hold on a minute, I had me breakfast first and then cut me nails followed by brushing me teeth. Did I pick me toe nails off the floor? Anyway, I made me way outside and I could hear a SERIN in me garden. I found it on the grass. Was I dreaming? Then I heard Bryan shouting me name. No, it was a nightmare!! I looked over me shoulder and there was a stunning BLACK WHEATEAR!! This was followed by a cracking male SARDINIAN WARBLER!! It wasn’t a dream or a nightmare. I was in Alicante, Spain and all these birds that I was seeing, were all in Trish and Bryan’s garden. What a garden! Tean set off to France yesterday on a school trip for ten days. So while she was away, at the last minute, I booked a ticket and yesterday I arrived in sunny Spain. But today, it wasn’t sunny. In fact I was told that it was the first time it’s been cold and cloudy for nearly a month. I didn’t care and started walking down the road, looking for ideal spots for birds. Just ten minutes from the house, I found, what looked like an ideal area and it turned out to be pretty good. There were lots to see including good numbers of Spotless Starling, Dartford Warbler and Sardinian Warbler, Robin and Black Redstart were everywhere. Out of the 30+ Black Redstarts, I only saw one male. Just as I was walking up the road towards the house, I could see the Black Wheatear on Bryan’s garden wall!
Later in the morning, Bryan and I set off to Santa Pola Salt Pans. The salt pans seemed to stretch for miles. Here I saw my first Slender billed Gull, Crag Martin, Greater Flamingo, Crested Lark, Southern Grey Shrike and Fan tailed Warbler as well as other good birds. It was fantastic! I’ve been to a few European countries before, but that was to play football. This is the first time that I’ve ever done any birding in Europe and I was loving it already!
We continued along the coastal road from Santa Pola back to Bryan’s place, stopping off to have a look around. The highlights were up to 5 Audouin’s Gull and a single Kentish Plover. Also a single Long tailed Parakeet over the car was only the second one that Bryan has ever seen. We had an 30 minute look at El Clot Nature Reserve and in front of the hide there was a Hoopoe, the 7th of the day, showing at very close range for ten minutes. With the 15 Moorhen was my first Purple Gallinule. However, a Song Thrush, would you believe, proved to be the rarest bird of the day, if you take away that Parakeet! The last bird of the day was the Black Wheatear just outside me bedroom window!
TOTALS OF SOME OF THE BIRDS SEEN TODAY – 6 CRESTED LARK, 5 FAN-TAILED WARBLER, 6 WATER PIPIT, 80+ GREATER FLAMINGO, 1 PURPLE GALLINULE, 20+ BLACK-WINGED STILT, 10+ SLENDER-BILLED GULL, 2 BLACK-NECKED GREBE, 1 GREY PLOVER, 1 KENTISH PLOVER, 1 SONG THRUSH, 7 HOOPOE, 1 LITTLE GREBE, 5 AUDOUIN’S GULL, 50+ SARDINIAN WARBLER, 40+ DARTFORD WARBLER, 50-60 BLACK REDSTART (only 3 males), 2 MARSH HARRIER, 1 CATTLE EGRET, 12 SANDWICH TERN, 15+ GREAT WHITE EGRET, 30+ LITTLE EGRET, 50+ SPOTLESS STARLING, 100’S YELLOW-LEGGED GULL.