CBBC Field Trip to El Clot, Santa Pola Salinas

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Great White Egret by Bryan Thomas©
Great White Egret by Bryan Thomas©

We met other CBBC Members at the GA Centre and set off to the Clot. Here the highlight for me was seeing a few Stone Curlew and a Little Owl, and hearing a Green Woodpecker. The pools contained plenty of Shoveler, Teal and a few Little Grebes. We moved on to the lay by at the tower on the Salinas. A Great White Egret was on the far side of the lake and several groups of Spoonbill flew from left to right while we there, and those who are given to counting birds agreed on a total of about 40 of them. A Slender billed Gull was close to shore and one of the pools on the other side of the road contained about 20 Black tailed Godwits. Some of the group had a brief view of a flock of Glossy Ibis when they lifted up above the distant reeds, before disappearing from sight. A Marsh Harrier was also seen hunting above the reed beds.

Our next location was the Vistabella road where the convoy parked near to the two hides there. On leaving the cars we flushed a Kingfisher which flew across the road in front of us. One group went to the furthest hide and I went with another group to the first hide. Here we had a great view of an Osprey perched on a post to our right hand side. A probable Buzzard was perched in a tree opposite and the water held a Little Grebe and a Black necked Grebe, although they were rather distant. When we returned to the cars someone noticed two raptors in the sky and as they came nearer we could see that one was much larger than the other. After some lengthy debate agreement on their identity was reached; a juvenile Greater Spotted Eagle and a juvenile Bonelli’s Eagle. We left this location and ended up following a goat herd and about 50 goats (not by choice), seeing a Green Sandpiper before we turned left and drove slowly along the palm farm track. Unfortunately, this did not produce any new species. Lunch at Tanos was enjoyable as always, and the AGM business was satisfactorily concluded before some of us went down to La Gola beach to look for a Great Northern Diver which Barry had received a report about. Sadly no diver was found, only Cormorants and a Gannet with some gulls following a fishing boat. By 5pm we gave up looking for the diver and set off home.

Species list – Little Grebe, Black necked Grebe, Cormorant, Great White Egret, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Spoonbill, Grey Heron, Common Crane, Greater Flamingo, Shelduck, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Booted Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle, Osprey, Greater Spotted Eagle, Kestrel, Coot, Moorhen, Stone Curlew, Black winged Stilt, Avocet, Turnstone, Green Sandpiper, Black tailed Godwit, Lapwing, Black headed Gull, Slender billed Gull, Yellow legged Gull, Sandwich Tern, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Little Owl, Kingfisher, Hoopoe, Green Woodpecker (HO), Crag Martin, White Wagtail, Stonechat, Blackbird, Cetti’s Warbler, Chiffchaff, Sardinian Warbler, Southern Grey Shrike, House Sparrow, Greenfinch, Serin.