April Visit to the Costa Blanca by Andy Lamb

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Some highlights from a visit to the Costa Blanca.

My first sighting of Marbled Duck, at El Hondo, from the small hide near to the San Felipe Neri visitor centre.

Sightings of Garganey – a pair at El Pinet Salinas on 2nd April, and a single male from the last hide on Vistabella road on 3rd April.

Calling Stone Curlew along the track between Urb La Marina and Vistabella road, flushed from the edge of the track as I passed.

An almost daily encounter with a large Cattle Egret roost (50-80 birds) in the same location, on pylons, trees and a pumping station(?) adjacent to the triangular pool at the CV858-CV860 junction, always containing a single Night Heron.

A single Osprey over the same triangular pool on 7th April.

On 7th April, a few Sand Martin among the House Martin and Barn Swallows at El Hondo, from the Vistabella hides, along with a handful of distant Whiskered Tern and a single Great White Egret.

My first 2015 Great Reed Warbler at the triangular pool on 11th April, and my first Woodchat Shrike of the year on the same day along the CV855.

Almost daily sightings of a small flock (15-20) of Tree Sparrow in the same location on the edge of Urb La Marina.

Some general impressions: compared to previous years (I visit the area every Easter and Summer), there seemed an abundance of Cuckoos (heard at Urb La Marina, El Pinet dunes, near the St Francis of Assisi hermitage ruins, between Catral and Dolores, etc.) and singing Corn Bunting seemed to be everywhere, but there seemed to be very few Glossy Ibis around (only single birds encountered 2 or 3 times).