Highlights from a Week in Spain – 16th – 23rd January – Trevor and Bryan

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Sat 16th January – El Hondo – A Spotted Eagle was soon seen in it’s favourite tree and later observed drifting down to a favoured spot on the edge of the lagoon. The long staying Sociable Plover was picked out amongst an incoming flock of Lapwings. The birds landed within telescope range affording views for a number of birders. Also seen here was a House Martin and a low flying Merlin.

In the days that followed a Razorbill was seen in Santa Pola harbour and a Siskin on the Maigmo mountain was good to see.

The Guadalentin Valley produced great views of Spectacled Warbler (5), Little Bustard (16) and Black bellied Sandgrouse (20+). These were all viewed from a single location at the same time. The Bustards and Sandgrouse were on the ground at fairly close range for a least half an hour. A Common Crane was noticed overflying us whereas a much more distant Golden Eagle stayed well clear. A pair of Chough helped make this a memorable day.

A morning at Yecla again produced quality birding. A group of 17 Little Bustards and close views of flying Great Bustards were good to see. Pin-tailed Sandgrouse (20+) were observed, calling and displaying overhead. Perhaps the greatest surprise here was the flock of 70+ Chough. Larks were in abundance with Cresteds and Calandras joined at times by Theklas and Short-toeds.

A short visit to Torrevieja to check out the Azure winged Magpies produced 5 birds within about 5 minutes.

My normal target is to see 100 species in a week (including some on non-birding days). This week my total was 126, partly thanks to Bryan’s eagle eye!