La Pedrera, Sierra de Escalona, Sierra de Altaona and San Pedro del Pinatar

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20Feb-2On Thursday we took a long drive round various sierras, finishing up at San Pedro del Pinatar. Our first bird was a Sandwich Tern seen as we crossed the Santa Pola Salinas, but no Osprey today sadly. We stopped by the lake at La Pedrera where there was the usual absence of birds, apart from a Great Crested Grebe on the water, and Chiffhaff, White Wagtail, Blackbird and 2 Red legged Partridge around the area. Next we stopped below the Sierra de Escalona where we set off into the woods to see what was about. There were plenty of Long tailed Tits along with Serin and Greenfinch in the woods, and a Southern Grey Shrike out by the blossom trees. Our next stop was along the mountain road in the sierra de Altaona. As we scanned the mountain opposite we saw four raptors but they disappeared before we were able to identify them. In the same area a number of smaller birds started to appear and we soon realised they were Red billed Chough. As more appeared we counted about 65 birds in two seperate flocks flying above the mountain with some birds landing on the rocks. A good bird and new for my year list. We drove out of the sierra and found another 4 Chough feeding in a field. Leaving this area we headed for a road that passes through a small gorge. When we came to the end of the gorge we turned round to head back the way we had come and as we were turning Bryan spotted two raptors flying over the nearby mountain. We soon identified them as Golden Eagles, a great bird and another one for my year list. Once the eagles had flown out of sight we found a small picnic area where we ate our lunch, while Long tailed Tits flitted about in the trees overhead.


20Feb-4Our final stop was at San Pedro del Pinatar where we picked up a few waders, including Black tailed Godwit, Ruff, Redshank, Black winged Stilt and Avocet. The usual Flamingoes, Slender billed Gulls, and Yellow legged Gulls were here and a Spoonbill flew across the road. Another good day had been enjoyed with a few more species being added to our lists.