Vistabella hide, Palm Farm road and Carrizales de Elche reserve

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14March-02We collected Bryan and Trish from home at 10am and headed towards the Vistabella road. During a quick stop at the rocky lay by on the Salinas we saw a Spoonbill in flight, along with all the regular birds, and a single Glossy Ibis flew over as we drove towards the hides. In the hide we found Paul and Greta who, after a quick catch up, left us to go looking for more birds elsewhere. The lake held Little, Black necked and Great Crested Grebe along with plenty of ducks including 125 White headed Ducks (counted by Bryan!) A group of Cormorants included one of the local breed with an incredibly white neck. A Marsh Harrier was sitting on the nest platform at the edge of the lake and another flew over the reeds. We saw only a few small birds other than Chiffchaff and Reed Bunting, and a Moustached Warbler was glimpsed by Bryan before it disappeared into the reeds.

We left the hide and drove along the track towards the Palm farm road, seeing several Green Sandpipers along the track as we often do. A Kestrel was on the ground near the Palm farm and appeared to be eating a small bird. The wall at the side of the water channel held a Blackbird and a nice Song Thrush and further along a couple of Corn Buntings and a Great White Egret posed for photos. We decided to have a look at the Carrizales de Elche where we saw several Zitting Cisticolas as we walked along the track towards the reserve and 4 Stone Curlews were flushed and flew away. Luckily, the log over the stream has been made into a wider bridge allowing easier access. The reserve was quiet with just Coots on the water and a few small birds in the reeds at the far side of the lake, which were too far away to identify.

Species list – Great Crested Grebe, Black necked Grebe, Little Greve, Cormorant, Great White Egret, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Spoonbill, Grey Heron, Greater Flamingo, Glossy Ibis, Shelduck, Mallard, Pochard, White headed Duck, Tufted Duck, Marsh Harrier, Booted Eagle, Kestrel, Coot, Moorhen, Stone Curlew, Black winged Stilt, Avocet, Green Sandpiper, Black headed Gull, Yellow legged Gull, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Little Owl, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Swallow, White Wagtal, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Chiffchaff, Zitting Cisticola, Great Tit, Southern Grey Shrike, Magpie, Jackdaw, House Sparrow, Serin, Corn Bunting, Reed Bunting.