Late News - 3rd and 4th of July
With the heat and in particular the heat haze increasing daily now in Spain, I decided I would return to the UK for a few weeks with the aim of visiting some favourite birding locations and doing some sea-watching at the end of the month. Before leaving for the airport I made a visit to the south end of El Hondo to check if the Western Olivaceous Warbler was still present. After about 10 minutes the male bird began singing from the Tamarisk bush and was shortly joined by a second bird (presumably a female), both birds showed well together briefly before the Male's attention was focused on chasing away a nearby Reed Warbler. The female bird disappeared into the Tamarisk and was not seen again, although the male was very active patroling his territory during the following 30 minutes. Although my time was spent trying to video the Western Olivaceous Warbler (in vain!) I did manage to see a few other bits, 3 Squacco Heron, 15+ Collared Pratincole, 1 Male Moustached Warbler and a single Great Egret.
As many birders will know; when arriving at a new destination there is always some debate within the group as to what species will be the first you see! Despite all optimism it usually transpires (in the case of Alicante airport) that House Sparrow or Spotless Starling take the number 1 spot on the trip list. It is for that reason that I was over the moon to see 3 Red-rumped Swallow feeding over the long grass as we taxied along the runway for take off, a good bird to tide me over while I'm away.
Today I spent a few hours out with my dad Mark Powell visiting Inner Marsh Farm and Frodsham Marsh (Cheshire). Inner Marsh Farm's main pool held a good wader group despite the tide being low on the salt marsh, Redshank, Lapwing and Black-tailed Godwit were all present in good numbers along with a single Ruff and Little Ringed Plover. A few juvenile Black headed Gull remained on the pool and 6 Teal were joined after 20 minutes by 3 drake Wigeon in beautiful eclipse plumage.
Frodsham was alive with Goldfinch, Linnet and Reed Bunting especially around the edge of number 6 tank where Sedge and Reed Warbler where also very vocal. The tank itself held numerous Ringed Plover and a nice find in the form of 2 Avocet. After we had finished watching number 6 tank we moved down to the weaver bends; birds of note here included, 8 Common Sandpiper, 4 Ringed Plover, 6 Redshank, 50+ Black-tailed Godwit and over 40 Shelduck Chicks.