Mar Menor – Malcolm Palmer

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The Costa Blanca Bird Club held its traditional first meeting of the year beside the Mar Menor, and some 20 members rolled up on a beautiful morning. There was much to be seen and enjoyed around San Pedro, with Spotted Redshank, Common Sandpiper and Ruff on the first lagoon we watched. Then, from the bridge near the Information Centre, Bluethroat, a lovely Kingfisher, Green Sandpiper and Grey Wagtail joined the list, as did a flock of Black-tailed Godwit.

Leaders Rob and Kathy then got us moving, down to the area near Las Urrutias. Two Curlew were there to greet us, and several Black-necked and Great Crested Grebes were out on the water. Further south still, we paused again, and a there was a Sandwich Tern perched on a buoy, as well as a Ringed Plover and two Greenshank in the shallow water. But my attention was drawn to an immature gull sat on an upturned boat, and after consultation with Barry and others, we came to the conclusion that it could not be other than a young Common Gull, and bird which, despite its English name, is far from common along our coast – in fact it was the first I had seen in some four or five years.

After a less successful foray to the Salinas, we repaired for lunch to the reliable Restaurante Campo Verde, where we enjoyed a good lunch, and were even able to add Monk Parakeet to our day’s list! Some members went on then to Cabo de Palas, where they saw Gannet, Shag, and the resident Blue Rock Thrush, whilst those with greater distance to travel headed northwards. It had been a good day.