El Clot, Santa Pola Salinas, El Pinet and San Felipe – Nigel Bentley

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Dartford Warbler by Tom Birch©

On 18th January Sue and I went with a few friends from Javea down to visit various sites around Santa Pola.

Clot de Galvany The first hide pools, which have been overgrown for some time, have been totally cleared of vegetation. No birds there to report but I look forward to coming back later in the year when some of the vegetation will have regrown. Species of note seen during the visit to the Clot were –  Shoveler, White-headed Duck, Little Grebe, 2 Little Owl, 2 Hoopoe, Iberian Green Woodpecker and Southern Grey Shrike.

Our next stop was Santa Pola Salinas. It was pretty quiet, with 4 Common Ringed Plover giving close views and a Slender-billed Gull dive-fishing like a tern!

From here we moved on to El Pinet Reserve, where we saw 5 Dunlin feeding on one of the small islands, plus a Water Pipit walking along the edge of the waterline. The best sighting of this visit was of a male Dartford Warbler, which was displaying proudly for many minutes.

Next stop El Hondo Reserve, which gave us really good views of around 12 Common Snipe, 6 Red-crested Pochard, Southern Grey Shrike, Water Pipit, several Booted Eagle and Marsh Harrier. The best sighting for me was a Wood Sandpiper, presumably overwintering – Tom Birch took the attached pictures of it. This wandered very close to the hide and gave great views. Our final visit was along the “Palm Farm Track”, from which we saw 4 Common Crane in flight. All together we saw 49 species during a most enjoyable day.