Mary’s Blog – Gran Alacant to San Felipe

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Day two saw us on our usual route across the countryside towards the El Hondo Visitor Centre at San Felipe. It was a hot day for February with the temperature reaching 25 degrees in places.

Leaving Gran Alacant we first saw a Cattle Egret and some Crag Martins. As we crossed the Salinas I spotted a Great White Egret, with a second one seen shortly afterwards. A stop in the lay by found us Flamingo, Cormorant, Avocet, Black Winged Stilt and Slender Billed Gull.

We drove up the pallet road, adding Kestrel, Serin and Sardinian Warbler before moving on to the old monastery road. Here we found House Sparrows, Magpie, 3 Southern Grey Shrike, 3 Hoopoe, 3 Buzzard flying nearby, 2 Stonechat, Spotless Starlings and a Booted Eagle.

Next we drove along the palm farm track where we saw another 3 Buzzards (or possibly the same ones), 2 Magpie, 2 Blackbird, Linnets, Serins, and a Great Crested Grebe in the canal. A Water Rail was heard screaming from the reeds past the water channel. We turned into green sandpiper alley where we added White Wagtail, 4 Greenfinch and a Green Sandpiper.

We crossed the Vistabella road and turned right into the raod that leads to the sheep sheds. Along here we saw Stonechat, House Sparrows, White Wagtails, Southern Grey Shrike and Collared Dove.

We passed through the village of Santa Agueda but couldn’t get to the platforms as there had been a fiesta, and a market was still on in the narrow streets. John managed to get through the village and we stopped for coffee in the square.

Paul and Greta had warned us about the bad state of the track to the visitor centre but we thought we would give it a try. The road was full of pot holes so we drove very slowly and eventually made it to the car park. The first lake held plenty of Shoveler, Moorhen and Coot, plus a few Teal and a few Western Swamphens.

We ate our lunch in the picnic area having had a quick look in the pool which held Coot, Marbled Duck, Little Grebe and another Western Swamphen.

A walk round the boardwalk added a couple of Red Knobbed Coot, Chiffchaff, 2 Swallows, a single House Martin, Sardinian Warbler, Booted Eagle, Marsh Harrier and a Cetti’s Warbler was heard. We arrived at the first hide where we there were more Shoveler, Coot, Teal, Mallard, Little Grebe, Western Swamphen, Grey Heron, Black Winged Stilt, and I spotted a Little Bittern as it flew quickly across the water before disappearing into the reeds.

We headed home after this having had a really good day out.

Species list – Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Little Bittern, Great White Egret, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Greater Flamingo, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Marbled Duck, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Booted Eagle, Kestrel, Water Rail (HO), Coot, Red Knobbed Coot, Western Swamphen, Black Winged Stilt, Avocet, Slender Billed Gull, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Swallow, House Martin, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, Robin , Black Redstart, Whinchat, Stonechat, Blackbird, Cetti’s Warbler (HO), Chiffchaff, Southern Grey Shrike, Spotless Starling, Magpie, House Sparrow, Greenfinch, Serin, Linnet.