We started off pretty late this morning and at 10.30 we were taking our time walking the paths around San Felipe Reserve. Just by the visitors centre we could hear Penduline Tit. A few minutes later and there were 3 birds out in the open showing very well. However, they didn’t show as well as the stunning male white-spotted Bluethroat, just a few meters down the path. Both Marsh Harrier and Booted Eagle were enjoying the hot weather, with as many as 9-10 eagles in the air together. Nothing of note on the first lake, but as I was walking to have a look at the far lake, in the distance, a rather large raptor was flying low towards me. I put my bins up and identified it as Tonn, the Greater Spotted Eagle from Estonia. This time he showed a lot better than before and dwarfed a Marsh Harrier as it flew strongly just above the reeds. I was now following him with the scope from the hide and when he disappeared behind the trees, I looked down and there were 2 Black necked Grebe at close range. Except for a Little Bittern calling close to the right of the hide, there was nothing else of interest. Returning back to the car and we got a female Hen Harrier play fighting with a Buzzard and at least 6 more Bluethroat. None of them showing off like the first one we had earlier. This is my fourth visit to San Felipe and I have not been let down by the birds. We left the reserve and by car we started looking for the Cranes that are wintering in the nearby fields. There was no sign of the Cranes, but we were happy with close up views of many Cattle Egret, Southern Grey Shrike, Hoopoe, Serin, Crag Martin, Green Sandpiper, Black winged Stilt, many raptors, and a stunning male Bluethroat. Also, on the flooded area in the garden where we had the Temminck’s Stint last week were 4 Little ringed Plover, 1 Dunlin and now 13 Little Stint.
San Felipe and Vistabella area
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