Today we had a drive around the El Hondo fields, with the main purpose being to try to map the area so that I can attempt to produce maps for the website. On the way we managed to spot a few birds despite me being a bit distracted by drawing the maps! There were plenty of Swallows about everywhere, along with House Martins and Pallid Swifts. As we drove along the palm farm track John saw a Kingfisher as it sped across in front of the car and a Zitting Cisticola sat on a bush at the edge of the road giving me a great view of it. At the water channel we found a few Blackcaps and a Kestrel was sitting inside the nest box on the telephone post. A Booted Eagle gave us good views as it flew up out of the water channel along ‘Green Sandpiper alley’ and a single Green Sandpiper flew out of the channel and away over the reeds. Many Corn Buntings were singing at the edge of the field although spotting them proved a bit of a challenge. We crossed the Vistabella road and headed towards Santa Agueda passing the regular Little Owl in the usual place on top of a derelict building. From one of the viewing towers at Santa Agueda we could see many Shelduck on an island beyond the reeds and numerous Swallows were feeding.
Apart from seeing a Marsh Harrier, the place was otherwise quiet so we set off back towards the Vistabella house where a large flock of Glossy Ibis flew over the road. We parked near the bridge which leads to the two hides and met an ex-pat birder called Mark from Los Montesinos. I was happy to find he is, like me, a fan of Wolverhampton Wanderers! We headed back via a brief stop at El Pinet where the Avocets have started nesting. On the way back we added a few more birds to the list as we drove between the Salinas, then it was time for our regular Friday lunch at Pena Grande.
Species list – Little Grebe, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Greater Flamingo, Glossy Ibis, Shelduck, Marsh Harrier, Booted Eagle, Kestrel, Coot, Black winged Stilt, Avocet, Green Sandpiper, Slender billed Gull, Audouin’s Gull, Yellow legged Gull, Woodpigeon, Little Owl, Pallid Swift, Kingfisher, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Swallow, House Martin, White Wagtail, Blackbird, Chiffchaff, Sardinian Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Blackcap, Southern Grey Shrike, House Sparrow, Goldfinch, Corn Bunting.