El Pinet, Crevillente and El Clot

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23Jan-1This week we had a few short trips out to find some birds. On Tuesday we visited El Pinet where we didn’t see any of my ‘hoped for’ species (Water Rail, Black tailed Godwit, Common Scoter) but we did see a few other birds, including 20+ Greater Flamingos, 15 Avocets, 4/5 Shelducks and a few Black winged Stilts on the lagoons and a nice group of about 30 Dunlin feeding at the water’s edge. The usual Black Redstarts, Sardinian Warblers and a male and female Stonechat were in the trees of the reserve. Near the beach we saw Crested Larks, Hoopoe and Southern Grey Shrike and a couple of Great Crested Grebes were on the sea. When we returned to the car we met a group of people whose car had been broken into while it was parked next to our’s. A timely reminder to never leave anything on display, or even hidden under the seat of your car when out birding. Even if you put things in the boot, be aware that someone could be watching you.

On Wednesday we went up to Finca Bonelli’s Eagle. On the way we had a quick look at Elche tip (a lovely location) where we counted 30 Grey Herons sitting on the wall along with numerous Cattle Egrets, Jackdaws and gulls. The highlight of our visit was, of course, seeing 2 Bonelli’s Eagles flying and sitting on the cliffs near their nest site. The usual suspects put in an appearance, including Black Redstarts, Sardinian Warblers, Hoopoe, Southern Grey Shrike and a Red legged Partridge. We also enjoyed catching up with Colin and Jane and meeting their new dog Teddy.

Today we had a quick walk round the Clot where a lot of work has been done cutting down excess vegetation in the areas in front of the hides. The Scrape now holds a good amount of water and Teal, Moorhen and Coot have moved into the area. We also saw Cattle Egrets, Snipe and a Grey Wagtail here. At the main hide we added Little Grebe, Chiffchaff and Goldfinch to our list before having a look at the marsh hide. Here a Marsh Harrier was patrolling the reedbeds and a few small birds were moving about in the vegetation. A quiet week really but not long now until the spring migrants start to arrive.