Andalucia Trip Part One – Malcolm Palmer

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Thirteen members of the Costa Blanca Bird Club met at Alhama de Murcia to commence a 3-night trip to Eastern Andalucía, in beautiful weather, starting off on the hard-pressed plains of the Guadalentin, where agriculture encroaches more annually. We soon saw a nice Golden Eagle perched on a pylon, and a Spectacled Warbler sang nearby. Several pairs of Calandra Larks and the odd Lesser Short-toed Lark were in evidence as were lots of Corn Buntings, but it took patience to see a single Little Bustard fly by.

After bumping around the uneven tracks for a while we drove on south, took lunch just south of Puerto Lumbreras, then set off for the ‘Costa Plastica’s ‘ horrors and Cabo de Gata. Once there we headed for the lighthouse, where views of Black Wheatear and Blue Rock Thrush were obtained, then a young Bonelli’s Eagle soared over at some distance. We made for the hide beside the salinas, where the previous year’s trip had realized a Trumpeter Finch. No such luck! Just lots of Corn Buntings. But the line of gulls included some nice pink Slender-billed Gulls, and a Spotted Redshank waded deep nearby. A big group of Spoonbills was out across the water, and a solitary Curlew called plaintively, then showed itself.

It had been a long day, with, as is usual, some successes, and some disappointments.