Saturday, 21 April 2012

Saturday 21st April - Camino Trail

Experience, from years visiting this area of Spain, has taught us that Saturday morning before 2pm and after 4pm (when Siesta is over) is when the local farmers flood their fields. Unlike in the UK, farmers here do not live on the land they work, they travel to the fields to work. It is not unusual to see a farmer clearing the water inlet pipes and/or driving through the field to make "ruts" in the ground, so that the water can flow freely. Water is very expensive and scarce here, so every effort is taken by the farmers to make sure none is wasted

The orange and lemon trees are laden with fruit and many have been harvested during the last week or so. A lot of crop has been gathered and grass cut, so it was no surprise to find a least one flooded field along each of the Caminos we drove down.

One particularly large field held nothing but Cattle Egret and Glossy Ibis - a count produced 50+ Cattle Egret and our best record of Glossy Ibis at 74 birds - a very Impressive sight. As we

Corn Bunting
We watched this bird bathe in the flooded field, then perch up on a branch
right in front of us to dry off.

Cattle Egret
The most handsome one we could find in a field of 50+ birds.

Common Sandpiper

As we were so close to the Saltpans at Santa Pola we couldn't resist a quick stop. The wind has dropped and the temperature has risen so we wanted to check if the more settled weather conditions had brought any waders in. Wood Sandpiper had been recorded at Murcia yesterday, so ever hopeful, we pulled over for a quick scan. No Wood Sand but we did see SpottedRedshank (37), Greenshank (6), Redshank (18), Curlew Sandpiper (21), Kentish Plover (12) and Little Stint (11), along with the usual collection of Gulls, Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper (3) Ringed and Little Ringed Plover.

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