The Clot (the word means ‘depression’ or something like that in Valenciano) is situated between the busy N332 coast road between El Altet and Santa Pola, and the coast itself, where the burgeoning urbanisations of Santa Pola (Gran Alacant) and Elche (Los Arenales) almost meet. Here the coast road runs along the beach southwards from the resort of Arenales, and, just before the steep climb up to Gran Alacant, you can take a right, and find yourself adjacent to the visitor centre of the reserve, where there is an ample picnic area and parking space, and from where a nature trail is laid out.
The ‘Monitors’ there will usually be on hand to provide information, in the form of leaflets, but opening hours are not always predictable, and English is not necessarily either spoken or available in written form. It may be best to drive a little way inland along the same road, and park where there is an obvious gap in the fence.
From here you can walk to the right and obtain access to two hides. One overlooks the excellent Charco de Contacto, which has resident Purple Gallinule, and is often host to Marbled & White-headed Ducks as well as many other species. The other one is much newer, and it is hoped the pool will attract waders – this remains to be seen.
The whole area around here is covered in good scrub, which attracts many small birds, and Wryneck and Iberian Green Woodpecker are frequent. Walking either left or straight on leads you into a well sign-posted four kilometre circuit of the whole reserve – a fine walk, especially in spring, when you may well see Rufous Bushchat and other rare species. A lot depends upon water levels, which in turn depend upon rainfall, but there is permanent water at some points – these are the best places to see White-headed Duck.
I have received some information about the recent walk/meeting at El Clot. It would appear that parts of the Clot may be under threat from development which I think a lot of us would strongly oppose. Here are a couple of links with photos from the walk. El Clot 1 and El Clot 2. Hopefully, the committee might be able to keep us up to date with any developments and can advise us if there is any action we can take against any insensitive development.
The species list for El Clot has been prepared by me (MB) based on my own experience between 2006 to 2018, with additional information being provided by regular Clot visitors Malcolm Palmer (MP) Mark Etheridge (ME) and Bryan Thomas (BT). Thanks go to them for their valuable input. If anyone wishes me to add any species they have seen at this site, please contact me via the website.
SAT NAV CO-ORDINATES – N38 14.298 W 0 31.239 (main car park)
El Clot is located in the Gran Alacant area, which is just north of Santa Pola, and is accessible from the N332.