Mary’s Blog – El Hondo Fields, San Felipe, Crevillente

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Thursday 9th February

Today we picked up Dave and Linda and headed off across the Salinas seeing the usual Yellow-legged Gulls, Greater Flamingo, Avocet and more exciting, a few Spoonbill. On the way to the old monastery we saw a Little Owl in the usual place on the wall of a garden. At the monastery John had a quick glimpse of a Blue Rock Thrush before it disappeared. A Booted Eagle flew over and Kestrel, White Wagtail, Hoopoe, Magpie, Spotless Starlings and Iberian Grey Shrike were also in the area.

Next we drove along the Palm Farm Track (PFT) seeing Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Stonechat, Crested Lark, Little Owl, Black Redstart, lots of House Sparrows and Chaffinches, and a Snipe by the canal in ‘Green Sandpiper Alley’. We carried on to the San Fulgencio road and turned right into ‘Crane Alley’. No Cranes sadly but plenty of Cattle Egrets, a Grey Heron, Cormorant, Iberian Grey Shrike, and a small group of Glossy Ibis flew over.

After a coffee stop in San Felipe we headed to the reserve centre where there were several Snipe at the edge of the water as we entered. Next we set off along the boardwalk. Two Booted Eagles, one light and one dark phase flew overhead along with several large groups of Glossy Ibis. On and around the water were Moorhen, Coot and a Red-knobbed Coot. Birds were a bit scarce but at the first hide we added Flamingo, Kestrel, Chiffchaff, House Sparrow, Robin and Sardinian Warbler.

After enjoying our lunch in the picnic area we headed up the Crevillente canyon hoping to see Bonelli’s Eagle but no luck. We had to be satisfied with a Blue Rock Thrush on a building as we turned right under the arches, Serins, plenty of Little Owls, a Black Wheatear at the Finca (Bonelli’s Eagle), Crested Lark, Black Redstarts and an Iberian Grey Shrike. It was good to find the road up past the Remar had improved a bit.

Species List – Cormorant, Spoonbill, Grey Heron Flamingo, Glossy Ibis, Cattle Egret, Mallard, Marsh Harrier, Booted Eagle, Buzzard, Kestrel, Coot, Red-knobbed Coot, Moorhen, Western Swamphen, Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, Snipe, Yellow-legged Gull, Collared Dove, Little Owl, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, White Wagtail, Robin, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Black Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Chiffchaff, Iberian Grey Shrike, Spotless Starling, Magpie, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Serin, Crag Martin.