San Felipe and Crevillente

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Today we met with other members of the Costa Blanca Bird Club for the March field trip. Our first location was the El Hondo Visitor Centre at San Felipe. First we had a look at the pool by the picnic area where some of us saw aYellow Wagtail and others saw a Bluethroat, not many managed to see both! The usual Coots and the re-introduced Red knobbed Coots could be seen, along with a Purple Swamphen. We walked around the boardwalk seeing aBooted Eagle flying, before moving on to the two hides. On the way to the first hide someone spotted a raptor over the lake, an Osprey, which we were able to watch hunting over the reedbeds for a while. At the second hide there were plenty of ducks, including White headed Duck, Pochard and Red Crested Pochard, and the odd Mediterranean Gull was found amongst the Black headed Gulls. A flock of Glossy Ibis flew over the lake while we were there. Walking back along the path, a couple of Alpine Swifts flew overhead giving good views of a bird normally seen from a distance, flying higher up. These were joined by a Pallid Swift. We Left San Felipe and headed up to Finca Bonelli’s Eagle where Colin and Jane provided a welcome drink with biscuits and cake. A Raven was seen flying near the cliff top and a Red billed Chough was perched on a rock. One of the Bonelli’s Eagles made an appearance sitting on a ledge for a good while giving plenty of time for everyone to have a look at it through one of the scopes. As we left a Bonelli’s Eagles took off and gave us nice views of it in flight. Jane asked me to thank everyone for coming as she enjoyed seeing the bird group members once again. We didn’t stay for lunch or for the afternoon session as John ‘had to’ get home to watch Cheltenham Races! It was good to see everyone again and the top birds for me were the Osprey and the Alpine Swift, both new for this year’s list.