El Hondo fields, San Pedro – Paul Coombes

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There was a thick mist yesterday that lingered for a good few hours around Los Montesinos, so my plan of a morning with the Montagu’s Harrier was postponed. A field besides the Lemon groves was occupied by at least 30 Audouin’s Gull, most almost hidden in the damp air.

I headed north to El Hondo and then the southern fields. Birds of note were Whiskered and Little Tern, Purple Heron, Roller, Great Reed Warbler, Great White Egret, Purple Swamphen plus a field full of breeding Collared Pratincole. Very young Pratincole could be seen trying to keep balance amongst the muddied ruts. The young Kestrel seen on Monday were still honing their flying skills around a ruined building near La Marina.

Late afternoon Paula and I ventured south, firstly to San Pedro Salinas then to Los Urrutias on the shore of the Mar Menor. Avocets and Black Winged Stilts were keeping an eye on their young as Sandwich and Little Terns fished the Salinas. On our walk back to the car we found a huge caterpillar! It was a Spurge hawk moth caterpillar, a first for us both.

Los Urrutias was very quiet. A few Ringed and Kentish Plover fed on the shoreline. Both pairs of Kentish had young.