Mary’s Blog – El Hondo Fields

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After going around the fields on Tuesday when it was cloudy we took a return trip today in the sunshine. Some White Headed Ducks were on the pool at the start of the Salinas and at last we ticked off Spoonbill further along the lagoons, although we had only a distant view. After a quick look up the pallet road where we saw mostly Serins, we headed up the road towards the old monastery where, on Tuesday we had seen our first Little Owl of the trip, today it was there again and this time it gave me a chance for a photo. We turned left at the monastery and once again we found a Blue Rock Thrush on the roof of a building. Next we drove around the monastery track looking for the Great Spotted Cuckoo once again, but still no luck! We did, however, have a lovely view of a Linnet which perched helpfully for a picture, and the usual Hoopoe and Southern Grey Shrike were seen.

We continued to San Felipe village for our ‘second breakfast’ of tea and tomato on toast, before driving towards San Felipe where we didn’t risk the potholed road but went up the track on the other side of the water channel which was a lot better road. At the end there was a small pool containing mainly Coots and two Green Sandpipers flew away across the pool. Lots of small birds were in the area, mainly Crested Larks and Chiffchaffs, and a few Marsh Harriers flew nearby. Next we headed back to the Santa Agueda platforms where a Buzzard was perched on a pylon and later flew around, along with a few Marsh Harriers. Once again lots of small birds were flitting about, including more Chiffchaffs, Black Redstarts, White Wagtail and what we thought was probably a Water Pipit, if not a Meadow Pipit. From here we headed back to the Consorcia gated road, looking for Hirundines. Where are all the Swallows and House Martins this year? No Hirundines were seen but an Osprey flying above was a great compensation.

We headed back towards home re-tracing our tracks and adding a few of the usual suspects to the list as we crossed the Salinas.

Species list – Cormorant, Great White Egret, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Spoonbill, Grey Heron, Greater Flamingo, Shelduck, Mallard, Shoveler, Pochard, White Headed Duck, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Osprey, Kestrel, Water Rail (HO), Coot, Moorhen, Black Winged Stilt, Avocet, Bar Tailed Godwit, Green Sandpiper, Slender Billed Gull, Yellow Legged Gull, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Little Owl, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Water Pipit (?) White Wagtail, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Blue Rock Thrush, Blackbird, Cetti’s Warbler (HO), Chiffchaff, Sardinian Warbler, Southern Grey Shrike, Spotless Starling, Magpie, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Serin, Goldfinch, Linnet.