With the Costa Blanca Bird Club. John and Mary Brazier picked Bryan and myself up and then we teamed up with nearly 30 birders at the local supermarket. We all set off to visit San Felipe and our guide was Malcolm Palmer. Malcolm told me that he was involved in the trapping of the first Blackpoll Warbler to be recorded in Britain on St Agnes, October ’68! If that wasn’t enough, he went to visit Bardsey Island a few days later and was there when they trapped the second British record of Blackpoll Warbler!! What’s the chances of that happening?
We arrived at San Felipe just after 10.00 and started seeing the same species that Bryan and I saw on our last visit, 5 Booted Eagle, 7 Marsh Harrier, Penduline Tit, heard only, Cetti’s, Fan-tailed, Dartford and Sardinain warbler. It wasn’t until later that we got species that we didn’t get last time including, Ring tailed Hen Harrier, 2 Little ringed Plover, Bluethroat and the highlight was a very showy Temminck’s Stint feeding with 6 Little Stint. The stints weren’t on the muddy margins of a pool or in a flooded field, but in a small puddle in a garden! There was also a Water Pipit here with 2 more birds just up the road. I finished off the evening at El Clot and the first bird that I saw, was a Hoopoe. The only one of the day. I could hear Long tailed Tits coming towards me and as they flew passed I counted 5 birds. The trill call was more abrubt and harsher than the ones I hear at home. Instead of a single Song Thrush, I had 4 birds, and on the pool was my first Water Rail of the trip. Since I arrived in Spain, I’ve heard and seen them only in flight, daily, but today I got cracking views of an Iberian Green Woodpecker. I stayed at the reserve to almost dark, and as a result I got up to 5 Little Owls.