Thursday, 18 November 2010

Wildfowl and Waders

Grey Plover - El Hondo

Today we visited the southern side of all El Hondo NP in search of waders and wildfowl. Much of the reserve is dry at the moment, however there is a large area of shallow water overlooked by a hide at this southern extremity of the site, which is currently at a perfect level for waders. We spent a couple of hours at the hide as things were constantly dropping in and moving off. Lots of waders were present including the Grey Plover pictured above which was one of 11 feeding on the waters edge. Other species recorded were; Mallard (1000+), Shoveler (300+), Teal (7), Little Stint (14), Dunlin (35), Black-tailed Godwit (2), Golden Plover (9), Green Sandpiper (2), Lapwing (16), Kentish Plover (3), Avocet (2) and Water Rail (3).
As usual this part of the reserve holds many of the raptors which can be seen in the area, today we managed to find - Osprey (1), Booted Eagle (3), Spotted Eagle (3, 2 3rd year birds and a juvenile), Common Buzzard (2), Kestrel (4) and Marsh Harrier (7).

One of the most enjoyable parts of the day was watching 2 Purple Swamphen feeding out in the open during a light rain shower, the above video clip is of one of the birds feeding actively. Whilst walking back to the car a Fan-tailed Warbler decided to perch out in the open only a few feet away, I managed to get a few shots but the light wasn't good at all. Why do they never sit out like that when its sunny!?? The Grey Phalarope is still present in La, Manga and so I couldn't resist putting up another shot of this superb little bird (see below).

Fan-tailed Warbler - El Hondo

Fan-tailed Warbler - El Hondo

Grey Phalarope - La Manga Salinas, Murcia

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