Friday, 12 April 2013

Cabos de Palos Lighthouse/Calblanque regional Parque

Another beautiful morning here in the Valencian region of Spain, quite a comparison to the weather Ashley is working with in the UK. Whilst he is working in the field in the rain we are birding in glorious sunshine - Do we feel for him ? Hmmmmm let me think --- No !!! We have done our years behind an office desk now it's time to leave it to the young ones. 

Todays destination is the Faro de Cabo de Palos (the lighthouse at Cabos de Palos built in 1865). About an hours drive from the villa and the lighthouse looms in front of us. The sky here is filled with two very different sounds; the harmonious sound of brids calling all around us, is intermittently drowned out by the roar of the military aircraft that train at San Javier airport. 
The vegetation at the foot of the lighthouse is rough scrubland which has never failed to provide us with good views of Sardinian Warbler and Rock Dove, today was no exception. 

Birds of note recorded : 
Rock Dove (12), Spotless Starling (20+), Redstart (9) (6 female 3 male), Whitethroat (2), Subalpine Warbler (5) Woodchat Shrike (1), Bee-eater (3), Northern Wheatear (6), Black- eared Wheater (1), Sardinian Warbler (10+), Spotted Flycatcher (1), Red-rumped Swallow (9), 

 Red-rumped Swallow

 Sardinian Warbler

Dolphins off Cabo de Palos

Lighthouse gardens - Redstart (4), Pied Flycatcher (3), Great Tit (1), Woodchat Shrike (1). We were lucky enough to spot a Pod of Dolphins from the gardens and viewed them from the headland - what a bonus ! 

Northern Wheatear

Cabos de Palos Salinas - A friend who now lives in Spain had told us that it has not been a good year so far at the salinas due to the lack of exposed mud for the waders. As we were so close we stopped off for a quick look over the pools recording: Avocet (4), Slender-billed (6), Yellow-legged (100+) and Audouin's (50+) Gull, Flamingo (3) and Shellduck (4). 

 Common Redstart

                                                                Common Redstart

Pied Flycatcher 

Pied Flycatcher 

Parque regional de Calblanque 
You could easily spend a whole day at this site. It is well managed, clean and has a small information centre that is open during the high season. The Mediterranean Sea laps onto a stretch of sandy beach for about 4km at the back of the reserve providing some stunning scenery. There are wild flowers, natural sand dunes, scrubland and some more mountainous areas for the wildlife, which co-exist comfortably with the beautiful beaches, that are popular with the locals. Runners and cyclists use this area a lot at the weekends and on holidays and we would advise you to avoid these times if you are birding. 

Birds of note: Woodchat Shrike (5), Thekla Lark, Crested Lark, Northern Wheatear, Linnet (30+), Serin, Hoopoe, Blackbird, Turtle Dove, Common Redstart (4), Black-winged Stilt (3) and Audouin's Gull.


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