Mary’s Blog – Salinas to San Felipe – 5/12/22

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This was out last day and happily it was warm and sunny. We planned to drive across to the El Hondo Visitor Centre at San Felipe stopping at various points on the way.

Crossing the Salinas we saw the usual Yellow-legged Gulls, Flamingos, Black-winged Stilts and Avocets, and two Spoonbill flew over. On the road to the monastery two Little Owls were on the posts of a house where they can usually be seen. At the monastery the Blue Rock Thrush was on the roof along with another Little Owl and a Black Redstart. I caught a glimpse of a Black Wheatear as it flew through the monastery grounds.

We continued our route along the ‘little reserve’ track where Marsh Harrier, Kestrel and Magpie were seen. We turned right at the end and crossed the Dolores road heading towards the bottom of the palm farm track (PFT). Driving along this track which I previously named ‘green sandpiper alley’, (GSA) we saw, guess what? A Green Sandpiper! There was not a lot on the PFT apart from a Chaffinch, and a Glossy Ibis flying over.

We drove round to the vistabella road, seeing nothing much, and on to the track by the sheep sheds. Along this road we saw Cattle Egret, Kestrel and a nice Booted Eagle on a wire. Near the village of San Felipe there were lots of Glossy Ibis and Cattle Egrets on a flooded field.

We continued to San Felipe and walked around the boardwalk and on to the two hides. Birds seen included, Iberian Grey Shrike, Coot, Moorhen, Chiffchaff, Little Grebe and along the path to the hide loads of Bluethroats! One of my target species for the day. Also along the path we heard a Cetti’s Warbler and saw a Reed Bunting. Back at the picnic area we ate out lunch and looked at Red-knobbed Coot and Marbled Duck on the small lagoon. A Western Swamphen was close to the path on the left hand lake. On the way back we called at Santa Agueda platforms where there were more Bluethroats and a few Sardininan Warblers. We drove back along ‘crane alley’ where there were plenty of Glossy Ibis but no Cranes.

Species list – Little Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Spoonbill, Grey Heron, Flamingo, Glossy Ibis, shelduck, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Marbled Duck, Marsh Harrier, Booted Eagle, Kestrel, Coot, Red-knobbed Cott, Moorhen, Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, Green Sandpiper, Slender-billed Gull, Tellow-legged Gill, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Little Owl, Crag Martin, White Wagtail, Robin, Bluethroat, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Black Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Chiffchaff, Sardinian Warbler, Iberian Grey Shrike, Spotless Starling, Common Starling, Magpie, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Reed Bunting.