Rufous Bush Robin (1) was our target bird at La Mata nature reserve. We arrived nice and early to get on these birds before any human disturbance as previous trips have confirmed this as the best time to see them. Woodchat Shrike (2 pr) with chicks (35) were also recorded at this sight. Turtle dove, Stone Curlew, Serin (30+), Hoopoe (2) and Montagu's Harrier are also worth mentioning. Spotless Starling were particularly active here today, and although "only a Starling" they are very striking when perched out in the sun.
Santa Pola and El Pinet were our next locations, where we hoped to get close up views of Terns. Anthony had requested some time watching the Terns as they interest him the most. If you have been following the blog you will know that we have several reliable sites for Terns; El Pinet being the best at the moment. Good views of Little Tern fishing just a few metres away from the car at Santa Pola pleased the group. Whiskered Tern along with a variety of waders including Black-winged Stilt (and chicks), Little Stint, Kentish Plover and Spoonbill were also recorded before we moved on to El Pinet.
The habitat at El Pinet Dunes is ideal for the Terns and as Anthony wanted to spend some time watching them the rest of us settled down in the picnic area for lunch. In the two hours we spent there the following species Tern species wererecorded: Whiskered, Little, Common,Gull-billed and Sandwich. The usual Gulls were present in good numbers many with chicks.
We moved onto the Vistabella area of El Hondo and the following species were seen (in addition or different to Mondays visit): Little Bittern (see pic below) Black-crowned Night Heron (see pic below), Purple Heron, Marbled Duck, Great White Egret and Cuckoo.
Black-crowned Night Heron