Sunday, 9 May 2010

Saturday 8th May - El Hondo North Gate

Access to the North Gate of El Hondo had been arranged for between 08.15 - 11.15. The North Gate is only accessible between this time on a Wednesday and Saturday which is a shame as it is arguably the best part of the reserve.

Marsh Hide
The walk down to the hide indicated immediately just how many Great Reed Warblers had arrived in the few weeks I had been away, with at least 30 birds being recorded in the short walk down to the hide. Between the Great Reed Warblers a couple of Moustached Warblers were heard and subsequently located, as well as a Savi's Warbler. From the hide Whiskered, Little and Common Tern were all present in good numbers along with Purple Heron and Black-tailed Godwit. Other noteworthy additions included; 5 Night Heron, 7 Squacco Heron, 7 Wood Sandpiper, 12 Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Pintail, Garganey (drake), 2 Marbled Duck and a fantastic White-winged Black Tern.

Squacco Heron

South Hide
Ringing was taking place at the entrance to the hide which is undertaken to monitor the population of breeding warblers. My timing was impeccable as the team of Spanish ringers were just processing a re-trapped Moustached Warbler. From the hide: 57 Curlew Sandpiper, Gull-billed Tern, 2 Purple Gallinule, Water Rail (with 3 chicks), Spotted Redshank, Montague's Harrier, Marsh Harrier and Booted Eagle were all recorded. A brief stop at the Roller site on the way home was not disappointing with 3 birds present.
After Lunch I had a walk around the lakeside scrub and pines at the back of the house with great success. The circular walk produced Spotted and Pied Flycatcher (both in good numbers), 2 Iberian Green Woodpecker, 2 Turtle Dove, Cuckoo, 12 Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit and Willow Warbler. A single Turnstone on the edge of the lake was the first I had seen at this site and it ended a great days birding perfectly.

Pied Flycatcher

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