Friday, 5 April 2013

El Hondo Nature Reserve - Parc Natural El Fondo

Today we are birding the caminos that surround the parameter of El Hondo nature reserve.  
Temperature 19/22 degrees with a light breeze and some cloud.

In the previous 3 years we have watched a pair of Kestrel use the same palm tree stump to nest and we are pleased to report they are there again this year.

There appears to have been no significant changes to the landscape and we were soon comfortably birding our regular sites for particular species.  The following birds were recorded throughout the day, some at more than one site and in varying numbers:  Corn Bunting, Purple Heron (see picture below), Little Egret, Fantail Warbler, Barn Swallow, Iberian Grey Shrike, House Sparrow, Cattle Egret (see picture below), Tree Sparrow, Hoopoe, Woodchat Shrike (pr),  Stonechat,  Cormorant, Moustache Warbler (1), Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff (sp), Gt. Reed Warbler, Collared Dove, Cettis Warbler, Moorhen, Black-winged stilt, Booted Eagle (1), Common Swift, Pallid Swift, Collared Pratincole, Marsh Harrier (2), Montagu's Harrier and Bonneli's Eagle. 

 Cattle Egret


 Montagu's Harrier

Collared Pratincole

Lunch at the picnic area at El Hondo, where the Red-knobbed Coot were introduced last year, far exceeded our expectations.   On the pool next to the visitor centre were 5 Red-knobbed Coot showing well and 3 Purple Swamp-Hen (with 2 chicks).  The chicks, a first for us, were perfectly happy to let the adults feed them whilst we watched on.   

 Red-knobbed Coot

 Purple Swamphen

and here with one of the chicks

 Purple Swamphen

 Swamphen Chick

Other birds recorded on the reserve included :  Mallard Duck, Black-necked Grebe, Pochard, Red-crested Pochard, Gadwall, Alpine Swift (4) Great-crested Grebe, Mediterranean Gull. Grey Heron, Crested Lark, Purple Heron, White-headed Duck(3) and Green Sandpiper. 

 Alpine Swift

 Alpine Swift

 Black-necked Grebe

We spent a couple of hours at the visitor centre before heading back towards the villa via a favourite site we know for Little Owl.  Sure enough, there it sat on the same corner of the crumbling farm building we left it last year - an amazing little bird.  An added bonus was Red-rumped Swallow that we observed as they flew above the car and into the water inlet pipe of a farm irrigation canal to collect mud.  It was a lot brighter by now and the blue and sky white clouds provided the perfect backdrop to highlight the colours of the Red-rumped Swallow.  

 Red-rumped Swallow

 Red-rumped Swallow

 Red-rumped Swallow

 Purple Heron

To round off a perfect days birding Mark spotted, what turned out to be, a Black Winged Kite through the reed bed as we headed for the main road back to Quesada.  At first we were not sure that it was even a bird as it was such a long way off.  As soon as we had identified it in the scope, we found a farm track off the main camino, that provided us to get close enough to take a few photographs without disturbing it.  An excellent siting to end our day.

 Black-shouldered Kite

In Flight

No comments:

Post a Comment