El Hondo and Crevillente

posted in: Spiders Blog | 0

21dec-02At 08.15, Bryan and I were at the North Gate at El Fondo. The gates are only open twice week and you have to be out by 11.15. So we didn’t have much time and this reserve is the size of St Mary’s back home. All we saw was 1% of the reserve as we spent all our time in the elevated hide looking over El Fondo largest lake. On here there were large numbers of wildfowl including 10+ Black necked Grebe, 40+ Red crested Pochard, 150+ Pochard, 200+ Shoveler and Teal, and 40+ Pintail. In all the time we were there, an Osprey was on a post in the centre of the lake. Up 5-6 Marsh Harrier, a female Hen Harrier and 3-4 Booted Eagle were also present. However there was no sign of any of the 3 Greater Spotted Eagles. We also just missed a Black shouldered Kite that Graham Critchell got before we arrived. Graham stuck around with us for nearly 3 hours and we all exchanged views. A brief look at the Western Lake, but this proved difficult with the sun low in the sky making identification almost impossible. What we did manage to ID were 120+ Black winged Stilt, 7 Avocet, 350+ Greater Flamingo, Little Stints, Dunlin, Little ringed Plover and Kentish Plover and on the posts that are scattered around the lake were 10 Booted Eagle. Returning to the elevated hide, Penduline Tits, Cetti’s Warbler and Reed Bunting were calling and Graham heard a Moustached Warbler, which showed very well. There were also lots of Chiffchaff in the area.

Our next stop was for Bonelli’s Eagle in the canyons of Crevillente. We got there at 12.30 and there was no sign of the eagles until they came in at 17.00! While waiting with Eddie Walker in the hottest day of my trip so far, mid 70’s, we were entertained by 4 Black Wheatear, 2 Blue Rock Thrush, 5 Thekla Lark, Chough (heard only) and 10 Crag Martin. We had almost given up when a Bonelli’s Eagle came straight into roost in the cliff face to join another Bonelli’s Eagle that we did not know was there. Later on they came out for a brief display before disappearing over the cliffs. We left ‘Finca Bonelli’s Eagle’ and Colin and Jane,who live below the cliffs where the eagles breed. Highly recommended and a warm welcome awaits. Finca Bonnelis Eagle