Around El Hondo and Santa Pola area by Stephan and Els

posted in: Birders Reports | 0
Glossy Ibis by Bryan Thomas©
Glossy Ibis by Bryan Thomas©

Today we saw between many Crag Martins an early (or wintering?) Red rumped Swallow above the Consorcio Road. In the dead tree at the beginning of the Green Sandpiper Ditch (at the other side of the Vistabella Road) we could clearly but briefly see a Spotted Eagle (immature). In the mentioned Ditch itself … yes, seven Green Sandpipers. From the Palm Farm Road we saw 1 Glossy Ibis. To the Squacco Heron seen between Catral and Dolores we added several heron / egret species to the bird list. An Osprey flew by, as did a group of 48 Cranes. A group of Starlings behaved as normal tourists do; they were taking a sun bath. At El Pinet Salinas and Shore it was rather quiet. Nevertheless, on the sea we saw a Balearic Shearwater flying. At the Tower at the Santa Pola Salinas we observed 7 Spotted Redshanks, a flight of Dunlins and 1 Spoonbill.


The path to the hide nearest to the Vistabella house gave us a good view of a Jack Snipe flying up in front of us, showing the short bill, the short appearing body and tail, and then dropping down again. It was a long time ago we saw one in Spain, though according to the books the species winters in this part of the Costa Blanca. From the hide we counted 115 Black necked Grebe, about 30 White headed Ducks, several Tufted Ducks, 1 Purple Gallinule and lots of Chiffchaffs. We did not even start counting the birds in the long pink ribbon in the distance: we estimate that several thousands of Flamingos are wintering now in Santa Pola and El Hondo.

At home we discovered that we had been in the vicinity of a rare vagrant: a Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes). See the always interesting AHSA blog for details!