Thursday, 30 December 2010

Wetlands and Raptors

Having met up with Mark and Sarah at 08.15 we headed for Santa Pola and the first port of call for our day. Here we managed to clock up a good number of species, including many of the wetland birds we had hoped for. The scrub land surrounding Santa Pola produced Richard Pipit (2), Fan-tailed Warbler (numerous) and Black Redstart (numerous).
Wetland species recorded during the 2 hours spent at Santa Pola consisted of, Avocet (numerous), Greater Flamingo (30+), Slender-billed Gull (numerous), Spoonbill (8+), Great Egret (3), Black-winged Stilt (numerous), Shelduck (numerous, below), Little Stint (8+), Dunlin (20+), Grey Plover (2), Kentish Plover (4), Spotted Redshank (7), Redshank (4), Greenshank (2), Green Sandpiper (3), Common Sandpiper (1) and a nice flock of Golden Plover.

Shelduck Flock - Santa Pola

Next stop was El Hondo where we managed to add species to our increasing day list in the form of Moustached Warbler, Stone Curlew (4), Common Crane (9), Red-crested Pochard (12), Black-necked Grebe (numerous), Crag Martin (numerous), Bluethroat (4+), Whinchat (1) and Penduline Tit (2).
During a brief break in the overcast conditions the place went raptor crazy and during a one hour period we recorded an excellent total of - Marsh Harrier (10+), Kestrel (4), Peregrine Falcon (2), Booted Eagle (10+, below), Osprey (1), Common Buzzard (3), Greater Spotted Eagle (2 - 1 3rd winter and 1 adult, below) and an immature Golden Eagle! Despite all these great birds, find of the day was without doubt a male Yellowhammer which was losely associating with a group of Reed Bunting on the South West track from the Vistabella road. Species Total of 121 for the 2 days with Mark and Sarah was great and I think our guests were equally as happy!

Greater Spotted Eagle, Adult - El Hondo
Above image and below 2 images - Pale morph Booted Eagle, El Hondo.

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