Santa Pola Field Trip – Malcolm Palmer

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An encouraging turnout of 28 hardy souls met on a chilly, dank morning, first visiting the Clot de Galvany. Hundreds of Crag Martins fed over the lagoon, and a couple of stray Barn Swallows joined the throng. Plentiful duck included a few Gadwall, and some members saw a pair of Tufted Duck amongst the Pochard. Two female Marsh Harriers perched nearby. The Zeiss hide was good for views of Red-crested Pochard, and a Grey Wagtail, whilst members who visited the Charco de Contacto were fortunate to see 2 Little Bitterns, as well as Western Swamphen and Marbled and White-headed Ducks.

We moved on to the Salinas de Santa Pola, where a nice Osprey perched obligingly, and waders included a solitary Curlew, a few Dunlin, a Grey Plover and a Common Sandpiper.

El Pinet was the next stop, and, after a fairly fruitless seawatch (which only realised a hotly-disputed distant auk) we headed for the reserve. There waders were interesting. We watched a nice Greenshank wading beside a Redshank, then a Spotted Redshank gave good views. A party of Sanderling flew around, whilst overhead a formation of around twenty Spoonbill flew over, high, towards the south.

It was time for lunch, and we repaired to Tano’s, Gran Playa, for a good repast, just before the forecast rain began to fall.

After the meal, we held our Annual General Meeting, at which our excellent President, David Roe, during his address, announced his intention to stand down next December. His will be a hard act to follow. Heather and Martin Tearle are to take over the duties of secretary, and Greta Owen will continue as treasurer. We discussed future field trips, and the results of that discussion will eventually appear on our website, which Mary Brazier will continue to maintain.

It is worth adding that we in the CBBC are by no means an elitist – or exclusively English-speaking – organisation, and anyone with an interest in our feathered friends is welcome to come along to any of our field trips, which are held on a monthly basis, in different areas of the Costa Blanca. Novices will find ample help in identification, if so required, and the more experienced may well find new and interesting sites. We always incorporate a ‘menu del día’ into the day, which makes for a pleasant social ambience.