Toady we met up with bird club members for the CBBC’s December field trip. It was great to catch up with old friends and new. Our first stop was the Clot but on a cloudier day than yesterday. John and I visited the new hide first seeing Pochard, Red-crested Pochard and Marsh Harrier again, but there were not as many birds as yesterday. On the way to the main hides we saw a male Blackcap, Black Redstart, Robin and Blackbird. At the scrape there was a pair of Gadwall, a nice group of Red-crested Pochard close by looking very colourful and a Grey Wagtail on the island. At the main hide the usual Teal, Shoveler, Mallard and Pochard were seen, some Marbled Duck were sitting on the left bank and a Western Swamphen was skulking in the reeds. The Little Egret was in the same place as yesterday in the far left-hand corner and many Crag Martins flew around, a bird we hadn’t seen yesterday.
The group moved on to the tower lay-by on the Salinas where we flushed a few Turnstones close to the bank. Flamingos were distant on the far lagoon and Barry found a Curlew on the far bank. Not a common bird here but one we see a lot of in Northumberland. Someone found an Osprey sitting on a low post. We enjoyed good views of it through various scopes which the owners kindly allowed us to look through.
Our next stop was El Pinet beach where we saw not a lot. Back at the lagoons the usual Avocets and Black-winged Stilts were in evidence and a Slender-billed Gull was showing off it’s lovely pink plumage. Redshank and Spotted Redshank were seen from the boardwalk and a group of Sanderling flew by flushed by a Marsh Harrier. A Kestrel flew in and perched on a post at the far side of the lagoon, clearly eating something it had caught. A Hoopoe appeared near to the Kestrel before flying over the lagoon and a small group of Long-tailed Tits moved around in the trees behind us giving quite close views. While we were on the boardwalk a group of Spoonbills flew overhead which was quite a sight. Eventually, we gave up on the birds and headed off for lunch and the club AGM.
There were a few birds seen by others which we missed but that is often the way. My top birds for the day were Osprey and Spotted Redshank. All in all we had a really good day.
Species list – Little Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Spoonbill, Grey Heron, Flamingo, Mallard, Gadwall, Teal, Marbled Duck, Pochard, Red-crested Pochard, Marsh Harrier, Osprey, Kestrel, Coot, Moorhen, Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, Sanderling, Turnstone, Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Curlew, Slender-billed Gull, Hoopoe, Crag Martin, White Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Robin, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Blackbird, Sardinian Warbler, Blackcap, Long-tailed Tit, Iberian Grey Shrike, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Greenfinch, Serin.