I arrived at El Hondo this morning at 06.45 and had to wait until 08.15 for the gates to the reserve to open. Whilst waiting I birded around the entrance track, recording the following species; 4 Roller, 3 (all male) Montague's Harrier, Common Tern, Purple Heron, Squacco Heron, Sardinian, Reed and Cetti's Warbler, Green Sandpiper and a family of Water Rail (see below).
Unlike my last windswept visit, the reserve was very calm today. Although the lack of 40mph winds did make things easier when birding in a 40ft wooden tower, it did mean many of the terns were feeding further out on the main lagoon. The Spoonbill found last week remained and was feeding in close proximity to 3 Glossy Ibis. The following species were also seen from the tower, Whiskered, Gull-billed, Little, Common and Black Tern, Squacco, Purple, Night and Grey Heron, Little and Cattle Egret, Little Bittern, 1 Pintail, 2 Garganey, 18 Curlew Sandpiper and 22 Black-tailed Godwit.
I arrived at the Marsh Hide to find Ignacio Garcia Peiro ringing. Ignacio has been studying the birds of El Hondo for many years and has wrote a book on his studies. I spent a fantastic couple of hours with Ignacio in which time we caught, 3 Reed Warblers, Moustached Warbler and a superb female Little Bittern (Below).
The following species were recorded around the Marsh Hide area whilst watching the nets, 14 Collared Pratincole, 8 Bearded Tit, Cuckoo, Golden Oriole, Cettis Warbler, Nightingale, Green Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, White-headed Duck (still with 5 chicks), Red-crested Pochard, Squacco Heron, Purple Swamphen and Osprey.