San Vicente and El Clot

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Today we had a morning visit to San Vicente. We didn’t see any rare birds but we did see a ‘rare birder’, namely Malcolm Palmer. Well he is rarely seen at the moment due to him being ‘confined to barracks’ following his hip replacement. The last time we saw him he was recovering well, but sometime after our last visit he overdid it and ended up back in hospital for another eleven days. I’m sure he will tell you the whole painful story if you ask him! We had a pleasant morning chatting about a rare bird twitch Malcolm went on in the 1990s, and this and that.

Now onto the birding. Quite limited today but we did have a walk round El Clot where the usual species were showing well. From the main hide I saw a White headed Duck before it swam quickly out of sight and John missed it. John is sure he saw a Water Rail from the ‘new’ hide but that also scuttled out of sight before I managed to see it. It could be worth looking out for that when visiting the Clot in the next few weeks. As we walked along to the ‘marsh hide’ we saw 2 Stone Curlew flying across the path and into the scrub. At the ‘marsh hide’ we watched a Marsh Harrier hunting and many groups of Starlings were flying in from our left to join up, presumably to carry out their famous Starling dance before settling down for the night. As we left the Clot there was no sign of the Starlings despite the fact there must have been several hundred birds, so I am not sure where they had gone. It was a short visit but I still managed to add a couple of birds to my year list. We really need to start visiting some different places now to see a few different birds.

Little Grebe by Mary Brazier
Little Grebe by Mary Brazier

Species list – Little Grebe, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, White headed Duck, Marsh Harrier, Water Rail, Coot, Moorhen, Stone Curlew, Hoopoe, Crag Martin, Grey Wagtail, Robin, Black Redstart, Blackbird, Chiffchaff, Sardinian Warbler, Southern Grey Shrike, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin, Goldfinch.