Today we picked up our friends, Dave and Linda, and drove initially along the Palm Farm Track (PFT) seeing Stonechat, Marsh Harrier, Song Thrush and Chaffinch. We made our way through the countryside to the village of San Felipe for a coffee and then on to the El Hondo Visitor Centre. At the reserve our first bird was a Purple Swamphen, my first for the year and the first of many at this location. Many Chiffchaff were around the reserve, and from the first hide we watched a Little Egret feeding nearby. On the water Little Grebe, Black Necked Grebe and Red Crested Pochard were seen along with the regular Coots and Moorhens. White Wagtails were seen everywhere, and at the second hide a Common Sandpiper and a Snipe were the only waders in evidence.
After eating our lunch in the picnic area we went back, via San Felipe seeing a snake in the road near the village, and on to the Vistabella road where a Kingfisher was glimpsed briefly on the channel wall before it flew away and a nice Grey Wagtail replaced it. Several raptors were seen in the air from here, including three Buzzards and a Booted Eagle. On our way home we had a brief stop at El Pinet which was very quiet with two Redshank being the only birds seen on the water margins. Down at the beach an Audouin’s Gull flew by, and on the way back across the Salinas a few of ‘the usual subjects were added to our list.
Species list – Little Grebe, Black necked Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Greater Flamingo, Shelduck, Mallard, Shoveler, Red Crested Pochard, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Booted Eagle, Kestrel, Coot, Crested Coot, Purple Swamphen, Moorhen, Black winged Stilt, Avocet, Common Sandpiper, Redshank, Common Snipe, Slender billed Gull, Aoudouin’s Gull, Yellow legged Gull, Collared Dove, Kingfisher, Crested Lark, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Robin, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Song Thrush, Chiffchaff, Sardinian Warbler, Southern Grey Shrike, Common Starling, Magpie, House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch.