Saturday, June 16, 2018

Its getting hot but plenty to see !

Lucky for me my friend Trevor turn up, so I've had a few days Bonus Birding,
Day 1 Bonete.

Essential early start leaving Gran Alacant at 6.15  arriving  Bonete 8.15  chilly at only 12 degrees, with clear sky's,  first stop and a quick scan/stretch of the legs and a cup of tea while scanning a Great Bustard flew over, so pressures off, having missed them last time.  Also, some Gull-billed Tern.  Rock Sparrows at Chinchilla a  guaranteed place to see them.  On  one of the pools on route to Coral Rubio, had Gadwall,  Shovelers,  Red-crested Pochard.

                                     Rock Sparrow                       

                                                     At Coral Rubio                                                        Black-necked Grebe  Little-ringed Plover,  A male Marsh Harriers,  Lapwings, good number of  Great Bustard around the lakes, but only at first light. We heard a Quail there.  We decided to detour to  Montealegre del Castillo as there are a few nice lakes to check out.  Along with this roadside a fantastic carpets of wildflowers along the roadside.

 At the lakes lots of White-headed Duck,  Great Reed Warbler,  Pochard,  Little Grebe,  Black-necked Grebe,  Greater Flamingos,  Buzzard over. And across the plains  Corn Bunting,  Calandra Lark,  Bee-eaters,  Great Bustards,  Hoopoe's,  Thekla's Lark, Yellow Wagtails,  lots of Gull-billed Terns  and Stone Curlew,

Yellow Wagtail

Arriving at Petrola
Tree Sparrow,  Yellow Wagtails,  Redshank,  Kentish Plover,  Little Ringed Plover, Black-winged Stilt,  Avocet,  Black-headed Gull,  a few Male Marsh Harriers.

Tree Sparrow


Little Ringed  Plover

Heading off to Higueruela across the Plains,  all very quiet and was to be expected as the heat was starting rise.  The plan was to have lunch in the shade and look for Golden Oriole.  They didn't disappoint another good show of the bright yellow and black passerine songbird.

 Bonnell's Warbler

 Mistle Thrush,  Bonnell's Warbler,   Chaffinch also there, Time to head for home but not before a  4  Ibex ran through the Cornfields / Wheatfield's and onto the main road I have no idea what these mammals are doing here. I've been in this area hundred's of times and never seen these before and never heard any reports of them. Could be an interesting find for this his area?

  A Golden Eagle drifted across.  Crazy end to the day.
Species total for the day 60

Day 2
Only extended morning birding today so an early start at 6.30 and look for the Rufous Bush Robin at The Carabassi site.  This historical site has been the best place to see the Robin, but not today, only a few pairs of  Spotted Flycatcher there.

 On to the
 Santa Pola Salinas,

  Little Tern

  Little Tern,  Slender-billed Gull,  Little Bitten,  Red-rumped Swallow, Lots of Pallid Swift,  House Martins,  Fan-tailed Warbler,  good numbers of Great-crested Grebe, Yellow Wagtails,  lots of  Collared Pratincole. 

 At El Pinet 
Surprise bird of the day a Turtle Dove, which was perched in the pine tree next to the car park.  The Common Tern colony is thriving with many chicks already fledged, Sandwich Tern and Little Tern in good numbers. The tracks at the back of La Marine only produced Bee-eaters and a few little Owls.  No sign of the Rollers there. As the birding was flat to cut our  losses and head off to Yecla.

  On route a flooded field with lots of Mediterranean Gulls,  Glossy Ibis, and Cattle Egrets, and  Squacco Heron.  A Roller flew and landed in a palm tree in front of us.

 Mediterranean Gulls

 Cattle Egrets

 Squacco Heron

Arriving at the Claudette end. The Rock Sparrow colony is doing well with plenty of burrows occupied,

  Rock Sparrow

 Woodchat Shrike on the irrigation sprinklers.  Further down the track, Black-eared Wheatear,  Lesser Kestrel hunting over the fields. Without a doubt, we made the right decision more birds at Yecla and cooler,  Stone Curlews and lots of Calandra Larks and Greater Short-toed Lark.

Greater Short-toed Lark

 more surprises in store a Spectacled Warbler showed well in some scrubland.

 Spectacled Warbler

 Trevor picks out a Golden Eagle. We went to the  Pin-tailed Grouse fields and sure enough, they were there, 6 bird in total.

  Pin-tailed Grouse

 A few Chough flying around, and  Golden Orioles calling.  We end our day with a Black Wheatear.
All in All a packed birding morning.
Species total 92
 it's getting hot but still, plenty to see!
Big thanks to Trevor.

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