Today at El Hondo visitors centre I saw a Swallow, possibly more than one, and a House Martin, possibly over wintering birds or very early migrants.
Note: Malcolm says “the hirundines all have a tendency to overwinter here in small numbers – they get mixed up with Crag Martin flocks. One year, some six House Martins wintered over the old salinas by the Salt Museum at Santa Pola. Oddly enough the only one that you never seem to get in winter is Sand Martin, traditionally the earliest migrant in England. The Problem is high pressure weather – if they’re up at 1,000 ft+ you’ve very little chance of spotting a Swallow amongst a bunch of Crag Martins, and even less chance for a House Martin“.
After some discussion with Malcolm and Barry, we think they are likely to be overwintering birds rather than migrants, although it is impossible to say for certain.