An Evening in June – Malcolm Palmer

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Not having an ‘official’ field trip assigned to the month of June, eight members of the Costa Blanca Bird Club arranged an ad hoc meeting for one fine evening, meeting at the reserve at El Pinet, where we observed the comings and goings of the Terns and the sizeable colony of Slender-billed Gulls, with a scattering of handsome Mediterranean Gulls.

After a while, we decided to head off inland, and made for the Vistabella fields, where good numbers of egrets fed, and small groups of Glossy Ibis flew over. Goldfinches were very numerous in the reeds, from where Great Reed Warbler sang. As the view opened out, we were able to see along a line of pylons, and at last two Rollers perched, intermittently flying down in search of their prey. After watching the colourful birds for a while, we went on, and were surprised to find a pair of Tawny Pipits on one of the few bare patches of ground.

It was time to drive into Santa Pola for excellent tapas at reliable Tano’s, then we made for the scrubby woodlands of the euphemistically-named Sierra de Santa Pola, where we parked up, and walked through to a favoured spot to listen for the rhythmic ‘tuc-tuctuc-tuc’ of Red-necked Nightjar. We soon heard at least two birds singing, then saw first of all a couple of them in the distance, then one somewhat closer, perched atop a bare tree. Kathy did her stuff with the white handkerchiefs – which theoretically attracts them, as they mistake them for moths, but, on this occasion, our bird was not to be fooled. It had been, however, an enjoyable evening, and our thanks go to David for the organization.