The Costa Blanca Bird Club, as has become almost a tradition, held its June meeting as a sort of afternoon/evening affair, thirteen members meeting up at El Pinet Reserve, where Avocets and Black-winged Stilts vigorously defended their chicks, and good numbers of assorted gulls and terns were on show in the nearby breeding colonies.
We eventually moved off, and when we arrived at the ‘Old Monastery’ several Kestrels and a couple of Bee Eaters flew around, whilst a well-camouflaged Little Owl watched us from the walls. The local Roller managed to remain hidden, so we continued on to the ‘Palm Farm Track.’ Groups of Glossy Ibis flew over, and a Common Cuckoo perched on wires, but a distant, soaring Short toed Eagle proved to be our best find of the afternoon. As we drove towards the Hondo South Gate, bare fields opposite were dotted with an impressive number of Collared Pratincoles. It was time to visit Tano’s for tapas.
After what, with the benefit of hindsight, may have been somewhat overdone(!) we made for what was, after all, the real objective of the outing. Off the Faro road, on the Sierra de Santa Pola, we parked up, and walked what always seems like miles, and is probably less than a kilometer, to out usual place, where we awaited the first songs of the enigmatic Red-necked Nightjar. A short wait, and sure enough, its ‘Kutuckuctuckutuck’ song was heard, first some way off, then closer, then we saw a pair, on a nearby dead tree, in the gathering darkness, though none responded to Kathy’s handkerchiefs – reputed to attract them!