Mar Menor Field Trip – Barry Chambers

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Fifteen members met, including Kathy and Rob our leaders, on a cold but sunny morning at San Pedro Salinas for the CBBC first outing of 2022. The first birds seen were Little Stints, Redshanks, Sanderlings, Greater Flamingoes plus four species of Gulls. We then moved on towards the beach on the way seeing Red Legged Partridge, Linnets, Hoopoe, Crested larks and many Stonechats. Unfortunately, the beach was busy with walkers meaning no birds were present.

We then drove to San Pedro visitor’s centre and also viewed the nearby Salinas where we added Avocet, Shelduck, Blackcap, Grey Wagtail and Common Sandpiper to our list. From the visitor’s centre we travelled to El Mojon where we added Little Egret and Grey Heron to the bird list.

Next we journeyed further afield to South Los Alcazares near El Carmoli where a Kingfisher darted past us twice and two Snipe flew overhead. Several Black necked Grebe and Little Grebe were on the sea and, as well as distant views of Grey Plovers a Zitting Cisticola was seen. Next stop was The Yacht Club at Los Urrutias which produced a good number of wader species including Redshank, Grey Plover, Kentish Plover, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Turnstone and Great White Egret, plus scores of Sandwich Terns.

Our final brief stop before lunch was to look across the reed beds at El Carmoli which gave us a Marsh Harrier, Kestrel and Magpies. We then went for lunch at Casa Valentin, Los Urrutias, seeing many Monk Parakeets on the way. We had a very good lunch with friendly excellent service.

Our final stop of the day was Salinas de Marchamalo near Cabo de Palos which provided two Greenshanks, Shelducks, Avocet, Stone Curlew, Iberian Grey Shrike and a possible Spoonbill. Eventually after much searching a group of Golden Plover were spotted. Our trip ended with a total of 61 species plus a possible Spoonbill, it had been a very enjoyable day with perfect sunny weather for our first outing of the year.