Santa Pola Field Trip – Barry Chambers

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Twelve members of the CBBC met at the Tamarit Tower on the salinas at Santa Pola on a very overcast day. The early arrivals were greeted with great views of a Short-toed Eagle that circled overhead for several minutes quickly followed by an obliging Osprey. A Marsh Harrier and Great White Egret were also present and a Blue Rock Thrush appeared on top of the Tower.  We then moved a few 100 metres along the N332 to a layby where we viewed 12 Spoonbills and 12+ Ruff which were feeding on pools across the road. An early migrating Yellow Wagtail obliged by perching on a nearby post. 

Our next stop was El Pinet where Black-tailed Godwits mingled with the many Avocets. From the hide we saw a Stone Curlew, scores of Sandwich Terns roosting, along with Mediterranean Gulls and many Slender-billed Gulls showing off their pink summer plumaged breasts. The rain started so we took cover in a nearby beach bar for coffee. We then moved on to the El Hondo Visitor Centre at San Felipe. The rain became heavier but we still managed great views of two male Garganey and a further two were seen later. Western Swamphen, Snipe, Red-knobbed Coots, Red-crested Pochard and Teal were also present.  As we made our way back to the car park we were fortunate to see 5 Temminck’s Stints and 4 Little Ringed Plovers before we moved on.

We headed to Crevillente for lunch at Las Palmeras Restaurant where we all enjoyed a very good meal in classier surroundings than is normal for our club lunches. The trip planned for after lunch to visit the Bonelli’s Eagles breeding site was cancelled due to the inclement weather. Despite the weather we had all enjoyed a great mornings birding observing 52 species in total.