Santa Pola Field Trip – Malcolm Palmer

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That the Costa Blanca Bird Club’s December meeting was to be combined with its AGM didn’t appear to have had a deterrent effect, as no less than 29 people showed up, including several new faces, as we began searching the Clot de Galvany, on a bright, sunny morning.

A nice male Gadwall soon showed, and it was pleasing to show newcomers some Red-knobbed Coot, even though they were in winter plumage. A Water Rail showed well, and two or three Kingfishers gave views, whilst some members found Black-necked Grebe and Iberian Grey Shrike when they walked a little further.

A brief visit to the coast at Carabassí was only rewarded by the sight of a flock of Shag an a few Sandwich Terns, but those members who then took the coast road to Santa Pola were more fortunate, finding a good sized flock of Razorbills on the sea.  

When we joined up again at the Torre San José, overlooking the Salinas, we all had good views of a perched Osprey, as well as a good number of Great White Egrets feeding a little further away.    

El Pinet was our last ‘port of call’ for the morning, and members were able to see a sizeable flock of Golden Plover at telescope range, as well as the usual Avocets, Slender-billed Gulls and Black-winged Stilts.

It was time to head for lunch at a rather over-stretched Restaurante Los Manchegos, where 27 of us sat down to a tasty meal.  

Birders by Mary Brazier©