El Hondo and San Felipe – Rex Walker

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On 24 February I visited the North Gate area of El Hondo with AHSA. Highlights included Osprey, Great Spotted Eagle, 6 Snipe in flight, Moustached Warbler, a Booted Eagle flying in to perch in a tree no more than 20 yards from us, and later two groups of 11 and 4 Booted Eagles rising on the thermals. Also a Ruddy Shelduck amongst a large flock of Shelduck in the large laguna on the right, apparently it is a hybrid. Thanks to Amigos de los Humedales del sur de Alicante for organising and helping in identification.

I went back to the visitor centre on 25 February at 9.30 a.m. (before the weekend madding crowds get there), and saw the Spotted Crake on the left immediately where the path becomes the boardwalk. I had excellent views for about 5 minutes while it foraged in the mud or went into the undergrowth on the left, apparently unaware of me, before it went into hiding in the big clump of reeds 5 yards further on.