El Hondo – Stephan and Els

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We were today in El Hondo Reserve with an excursion of the La Mata Volunteers. Several members of the Volunteers are also members of the CBBC.

A hot morning, but no problem with an early start at 8.30 hours. As usual the large tower at the South of the itinerary provided us with a lot of species, but the first tower was also rather good with views over the wetland area. The two hides at the West side had views of large reed stalks, but the northern one was very good for little birds, several Reed Warblers, and a family of Savi’s Warblers that we observed a long time so that we could compare the whiteness of the breast and belly with the colours of the Reed Warblers.

The bird list – Little Grebe, loudly calling Great Crested Grebe, some Black-necked Grebe, one surprising Cormorant flying over, Squacco Herons everywhere, an amazing amount of Little Bitterns flying to and fro around us at the large tower, juvenile Night Heron, Great White Egret, Little Egret, Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Flamingo, lots of Glossy Ibis, Shelduck, Mallard, Shoveler, Pochard with ducklings, Crested Pochard (we didn´t see any males!) White-headed Duck, Kestrel, Water Rail, Purple Swamphen, Coot, Moorhen, Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, four Black-tailed Godwits, Black-headed Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Whiskered Tern, juvenile Woodpigeons and Swift. A Roller flew by the first tower showing it’s beautiful colours. Barn Swallow, White Wagtail, Blackbird, Savi’s Warbler, Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Jackdaw and House Sparrow. Some of the group saw Hoopoe, and one person had a very short view of a chestnut brown duck that could have been a Ferruginous Duck. We saw a photo of a juvenile Hobby taken by another birder here today – a surprise observation, which suggests we should all look out for the species during the summer.