Mary’s Blog – El Pinet, Monastery, El Clot

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Tuesday 19th March – We have had a few days in Gran Alacant spent mainly looking for birds. An afternoon drive across the salinas to the monastery and beyond found us the usual species on the Salinas, including, Flamingo, Yellow-legged Gull,  Kestrel, and Avocet.

Near the old monastery we saw Collared Dove and Iberian Grey Shrike. Driving around the tracks we added Little Egret, Glossy Ibis, Cattle Egret, White Wagtail, Swallow, Woodpigeon, House Sparrow, Magpie and Spotless Starling.

At night, as we left Cocoa Bar, there were a few Pallid Swift flying around the buildings. A quiet start but it was good to be back here.

Wednesday 20th March – Our first stop today was at El Pinet where there were plenty of Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Slender-billed Gulls and a couple of Kentish Plover on the various islands. In addition we saw Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Flamingo and Little Egret.

Revisiting the area around the Monastery we saw two or three Iberian Green Woodpecker, Kestrel, several Hoopoe plus a Booted Eagle flying around.

Crossing the salinas a Great-white Egret briefly showed as it dived into cover and at Santa Pola port a Little Egret sat on the rocks close by.

After shopping and lunch we had a walk around El Clot. From the Marsh hide we had Cormorant, Coot, Blackcap male and female, Sardinian Warbler, White Wagtail, Marsh Harrier, Swallow, House Martin, Yellow-legged Gull, Mallard and House Sparrow. At the new hide there was nothing much but a Great Tit calling loudly. The scrape held a Red Crested Pochard but not much else so we continued.

At the main pool hide there were several Little Grebe, good numbers of Red Crested Pochard and Marbled Duck, a Common Pochard, a Gadwall and a female White-headed Duck. The stars of the show were three Night Herons sitting in the reeds at the far side of the pool and two, or maybe three Little Bitterns which flew past and around a bit, before disappearing into the cover of the reeds. A couple of Audouin’s Gulls landed on the water in front of the hide.