Vistabella fields and El Hondo Visitor Centre – Paul Coombes

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Day 9 Spain – Only a few hours out and about this afternoon as I have been having car problems. I didn’t want to risk getting stranded in the mountains and trying to explain where I was when not really sure myself . Anyway, that turned out to be a good decision.

The Vistabella fields were very quiet. I’ve had a few attempts at finding some wintering Crane or even a Sociable Plover / nice Raptor that perhaps no one has found yet, but still no joy. The usual Meadow Pipit, Stonechat, SOUTHERN GREY SHRIKE were present and the only raptors seen were a lone Kestrel, Marsh Harrier and a Little Owl along the Camino del Hondo.

On to El Hondo visitor Centre. It was here, after a wander around, that the car refused to start again. Only this time I couldn’t get it going. Starter motor failure! It wasn’t the end of the world and whilst I waited for the cars’ owner to arrive, I enjoyed a good hour or so with some obliging BLACK REDSTART and the numerous PURPLE SWAMPHEN on the visitor centre pools. Crag Martin were in their hundreds overhead and the sun had come out to play. Seems like a new car is required for my last few days here. Bird Trip list 107 species.