San Pedro del Pinatar, Los Montesinos, San Felipe – Paul Coombes

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Day 4 Wednesday 21st November – A day sightseeing around Cartagena with our special Spanish Birding friend José Manuel Escarabajal. A quick stop off at San Pedro Salinas on route, added 4 birds to the trip list Greater Flamingo, Ruff, Black headed and Yellow legged Gull. Plenty of Black winged Stilt were present and a few distant possible Little Stint. Some birds noted during our tour of Cartagena were Monk Parakeet, Black Redstart, Kestrel and a first for the trip Sparrowhawk.

Day 5 Thursday 22nd November –  A lazy morning in Los Montesinos drinking tea and birding from my Mam’s balcony. Monk Parakeet, Black Redstart, Chiffchaff, Hoopoe, Crag Martin, Serin, Collared Dove House Sparrow plus both Spotless and Northern Starling were seen.

Around midday we explored the local lemon groves before making our way to the popular El Hondo reserve, near Elche. At the visitor centre we first booked our visit to the reserves ‘North Gate’ on Saturday morning, then quickly added over a dozen new trip species, namely – Red legged Partridge, Snipe, Kingfisher, Water Pipit Shelduck, Dartford Warbler, Lapwing, Reed Bunting, BLUETHROAT, Purple Swamphen, Red knobbed Coot, Blackcap and FAN TAILED WARBLER. Other birds of note were Southern Grey Shrike, Glossy Ibis, Marsh Harrier and a couple of reeling Savi’s Warbler that frustratingly wouldn’t reveal themselves. Bird trip list – 80 species.