Monday 27 July 2009

Spain – Santa Pola (Salinas) – 4th July 2009

These Salinas lay on the side of the main Alicante road and make for an easy lay-by stop, on the one side there is a large expanse of water leading off to the Hondo reserve area and on the other it is more of a salt marsh before the coast line. We saw an abundance of species so I will detail only those of more interest; a large colony of Greater Flamingo is ever present (over 100 birds), Purple Heron, Squacco Heron, Glossy Ibis, Marbled Duck, Black-winged Stilt (breeding population), Collared Pratincole (larger number of these can also be found nearer La Marina), Audouin’s Gull, Yellow-legged Gull (often feeding on the Black-winged Stilt chicks), Slender-billed Gull, Little Tern and Whiskered Tern, to name but a few. As a side note, in the evening, heading north of Santa Pola on the same road we took turning to the lighthouse and after several unsuccessful years saw Red-necked Nightjar in the late evening light along with Little Owl.
Life bird count: 389 Year bird count: 217 Month bird count: 59

Wednesday 22 July 2009

Spain – Gran Alicant (Woodland) – 2nd July 2009

This particular site was given as a tip to us just a day before we left as a good area for Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin and the information was spot on, in fact it was one of those sightings that was so easy that you were left a little disappointed that there wasn’t more of a chase.
As things worked out we did an afternoon recce to find the exact spot. I jumped out of the car, took my bins to survey, walked about ten yards into the wood and one of the chaps flew right across me and sat in a tree! Fantastic.
We returned to the same place a day or two later and alas had no further sightings but did see numerous Hoopoe, Spotted Flycatchers, Serins and heard Wryneck. Life bird count: 388 Year bird count: 209 Month bird count: 40