Santa Pola Salinas, El Hondo fields and El Pinet

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1May-1Between paying some bills in Elche and getting some food from Iceland, we had a strange detour across the El Hondo fields to see if we could find any of the newly arrived birds. Amazingly, we did find one of our target birds, aRoller but that was about all for Wednesday.

On Thursday we linked up with Dave and Linda to visit the area again but this time without the distraction of shopping! Our first stop was at the Salinas where we watched Little Terns diving for fish and also spotted a couple of young Redshanks and a Turnstone flew past. On to El Pinet with a brief stop on the way after I spotted a couple of Beeeaters on a wire, another of our target birds for the year. At El Pinet there were more LittLe Terns as well as nesting Common Terns, Avocets and Slender billed Gulls. A single Kentish Plover was also seen on the far side of the lagoon. Next we set off across the countryside, stopping at our known Beeeater site where we foundSwallows and Red rumped Swallows but no more Beeeaters. We continued past the little reserve and a little way along the track where we saw a single flying Glossy Ibis before doubling back and heading along the palm farm road. We turned right onto the track alongside the water channel where we spotted a heron standing in a field and I was very pleased to find was a Purple Heron. It allowed me one photo before it flew away and out of sight. Next we stopped by the Vistabella house but there was nothing much to see so we moved on to the parallel road that goes to the El Hondo to see if we could find the Roller again for Dave and Linda. We stopped by the overgrown football pitch but had no luck there. We drove a little further along the road and there was ‘our’ Roller sitting at the top of a palm tree and posing nicely for a few photos from the car. It had been a good start to our return to Spain.

Species list – Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Shelduck, Mallard, Kestrel, Moorhen, Black winged Stilt, Avocet, Kentish Plover, Redshank, Slender billed Gull, Yellow legged gull, Common Tern, Little Tern, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Little Owl, Beeeater, Roller, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Swallow, Red rumped Swallow, House Martin, Blackbird, Zitting Cisticola, Southern Grey Shrike, Spotless Starling, Magpie, House Sparrow, Goldfinch.