El Hondo countryside – David and Margaret Gartside

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Palm Farm track – Stonechat, 2 Kestrels, 2 Grey Herons, 2 eagles (not positive ids, but both on the ground and the same – probably Booted Eagles?), Black Shouldered Kite on wires towards end of track. No sign of usual Green Sandpipers.

First hide at Vista Bella – the water level is low and reeds have been cut down immediately in front of the hide. 3 Purple Swamphen, 6 Grey Herons, 2 groups of Spoonbill (27 and 41), 3 eagles soaring together (not positive ids, but probably Booted Eagle), 6 separate Marsh Harriers, 1 Cormorant, 1 Tern (unidentified), 1 Little Grebe, 200+ Greater Flamingoes, 200+ Little Egrets,  several hundred varied and unidentified ducks.

The water is so low that the large fish (carp?) are showing their backs above the water surface. The path to the hide is perfectly dry and the hide is tidy and comfortable.  Reeds have been thinned giving medium views into the pools on the right as you walk to the hide – full of Little Egrets. No sign of Cranes yet. Altogether an excellent morning.