Thursday, December 19

The Good The Bad and the Ugly Site Review



Trevor's back 
So we're birding

For this review, I'm going to highlight the places/areas that we've been too, and not getting into a list of birds seen over last week or so, but more importantly is it's worth the time and effort involved in getting there.
And are there any birds?

I'm going to include some photo taken from this week at the sites mentioned and also a few photos taken from my catalogue from previous visits to show the potential.


Santa Pola Salinas

Spoonbill
2018
Always worth a look, you can never overlook this place and the surrounding areas.  It's not the easiest place for parking and getting off and back on the road.

 But you can build a big list. If you spend time there going through the birds, best bring a telescope as it a big area of water.
Definitely worth a look.

San Pedro
It can be good,  lots of water. In the past had some really good birds.

Wilson's Phalarope
2018

 This week's visit,  Black-tailed godwits, Spotted Redshank, Dulin, Ruff,  Little Stint,  Grey Wagtails,  Kingfishers,  M Pipits, W Pipits,  Grey Plovers on the beach, and plenty more resident birds, as you'd expected for a winter visit.
Definitely worth a look you never know?


Montnegre
It was very disappointing in fact it was crap. Only thing to report was 13 Griffon Vultures despite a thorough going over.
In the winter nothing much goes on here birds wise. Its like the
Land time forgot. But I do like to check it out,  just in case.
A very beautiful place, but never the less, spend your time somewhere else if time is precious.
 But a must-see-visit place in the spring and summer for Trumpeter Finch.

Trumpeter Finch
from this summer
2019

Sierra Espuña

Hawfinch
 2018

Siskin
I thought this was a Serin when I photographed it but NO
 Picnic area
2019
All though Sierra Espuña has been taken off the itinerary on some webs site and guides books to visit. I believe it's a very big mistake not to go there, as this area does have its moments. its about an hour and a half drive + to get there from Santa Pola.
It's a great place to bird with plenty of options.

Great-spotted Woodpecker
record snap 2019

Ring Ouzel
2019

On this visit Great-spotted Woodpecker, Ring Ouzel,  Firecrest, all the Tits, and Crossbill, Siskin, Dartford Warbler,  Cirl Bunting, Treecreeper, Jay and more.

Golden Eagle
Sierra Espuña 2018

 There is one area near a Restaurant and picnic area which has a mixture of different types of trees,  Fig, Almond, Olive, Pomegranate which acts as a magnet for many birds.

Crested Tit
 Picnic Area 2019

As it's mostly pine forest everywhere else.
 There is also a small water fountain which attracts birds, and its worth waiting there, using the car as a hide, give it some time and see what drops in for a drink?
Definitely worth the effort going there but avoid the weekends.

Firecrest
At the water fountain
2019


Yecla
This has been one of our favourite places to go for years and can be brilliant with a big species list for this small valley. Good birds seen there have been Rock Thrush,  Lesser Kestrel
Golden Eagles, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Golden Orioles, Red Kites, all the resident Larks, both Sand Grouse, Bustards, Black-eared Wheatear and loads more.

Rock Thrush
2018

And after me, Building Yecla up, as a place to visit was probably the worst its ever been,  maybe because it was cold and windy conditions with light rain.
With nothing moving at all.  And after 6 hours on-site, The highlight of the day was around 600+ Calandra Lark and Sand Grouse calling,  that was the best of it.

It is worth going there? A definite Yes despite it failing so very badly this time.
Yecla normally repays you for your effort.

Sierra Escalona

This place had fallen out of favour in recent times, as it was the place to go and
see a distant Eagle Owl perched on a tree.  The tree has now disappeared and so has the Eagle Owl. The ridge which runs along for miles can have Golden Eagle and other raptors soaring along its ridge but not on this visit.
  There is a circular route around through Cabezo Dela Plata which looks perfect for something to turn up?  The reality is, its crap,  nothing going on anywhere.  I've seen a few high up Golden Eagles and Chough going through this mountain range on previous trips but that about it.
It's not somewhere I would recommend,  its a long trip out, and so much further away than you think and no reward for effort. Thumb down for this place
Recommend to give it a miss
crap


Bonete. Higueruela, Corral Rubio and Laguna Salada de Pétrola.

These areas have more or less given us a big returned for our efforts, With the exception of Petrola lake, it's not performed well for the last few years maybe it's the water quality? I've commented about this before on my blog?


 Getting there and the distance involved is major. Is it worth it? Yes.  If you want little Bustard and Greater Bustard it the best place to go too and has the potential to turn up anything.
  miss out Petrola lake for now and spend time searching elsewhere.


Lots of birds can be seen all the year-round.  In spring the
the seasonal lake can be amazing for waders, but timing is most important.  Most birders are happy to connect with the Bustards,  Great Bustard is easy to see, I've only once not connect with these birds.
little Bustard are a little harder as much depends on the height of the crops, and time of year.

Hen Harrier
record shot 2019

To days visit almost first bird out of the box was a lovely Male Hen Harrier, followed by a total of 15 little Bustards and shortly after 25+ Great Bustard.  It was good around here with lots of different birds.  I asked Trevor if we stayed longer in this area what else do you think we would see?
So we both agreed to leave. And give Yecla the benefit of the doubt, and travel 54 kilometres down the road.
  Fingers cross hopefully we've made the right choice.

45 minutes later we're birding Yecla.  Thousands of Calandra Larks and good numbers of Sky Lark,  when Trevor called Great Bustard its the biggest group of flying Great Bustard I've ever seen maybe 60 to 80 birds "impressive" and close.

   Great Bustard
Just a quarter of what was flying

Then the birding moment happened from absolutely nowhere a Spanish Imperial Eagle appeared, "it was close"  I couldn't get my words out so i blurted out some bad language which ended in Eagle.

Spanish Imperial Eagle

My instinct is to get the photo so that's what I was up to, clicking away when all of a sudden,

Spanish Imperial Eagle

 Trevor called "F***ing hell"  more bad language followed ending in shit there's 2 of them?  I know It's hard to believe but it was joined by a third bird. All Spanish imperial Eagle.

The proof
3rd Spanish imperial Eagle
Yecla smashed  IT

And in the same moment, the sound of Sand Grouse filled the air,  I looked behind and watched 50+ Pin-tailed Sandgrouse land in the field. maybe It was because of the Eagles?

Pin-tailed Sandgrouse

 Trevor continued to follow the Imperial Eagles over the mountain ridge till they disappeared.

Spanish imperial Eagle

Not having any Werthers sweets, to celebrate this major birding moment we had to make do with Christmas mince pie.

So Yecla paid off big time, it's not the first time we seen Spanish imperial Eagle at Yecla but to calm 3 is absolutely mind boggling and crazy.  Glad I've got the photos to back it up.



Have fun
Cheers BT










Tuesday, December 3

Summery of our Birding Week


To sum up 
Trevor Birding Week

It's been a little bit flat birding this week and to be honest we probably expect too much? and set our sights too high,  we've put the time in and worked at it.

Spotted Redshank

  some times I feel like we are going around with our eyes closed compared to other claims. 


Black Redstart

we did see a few good birds?  And, I did manage a few photos

Turnstone
Thank you to all who follow my blog Birding Costa Blanca.
 With almost 14000 hits and now in the top 350 of birding blogs sites, thanks for all for your support
I really appreciate it.


Water Pipit
A very wet Water Pipit
Missing the two central tail feathers.


Red-knobbed Coot

Update
And so Trevor's Bird list total was 101.
We only birded locally and not out of the area and just the mornings, not so bad, bird 100 was a Blue rock Trush and bird 101 was Red-legged partridge.

Robin

Have a great day
Cheers BT

Sunday, December 1

El Hondo North Gate




And so Saturday El Hondo north gate at 8.30 we were there Trevor and I.  There was a big attendance of people, maybe because of the return of Tonn.? The Spotted Eagle.
 One thing new at El Hondo is your are not allowed to drive to the hides and must now walk carrying your gear, fortunately, Trevor didn't know this and spread off in the car to the hides.

Stone Chat
  Trevor spent some time looking through the telescope and everything being a bit slow and nothing much happening, we went down to the furthest hide it was crap there as well.  Time was pressing on and and most of visitors starting to make the half hour walk back to there cars.  With only one new bird added to our list a Reed Bunting we returned to the 2nd elevated hide for one last scan and  Trevor and picked out Tonn the Great spotted Eagle.

 it was perched in a palm tree slightly obscured and miles away but nevertheless, it was Tonn 

Have fun
Cheers BT

Thursday, November 28

Birding moment of the day was a Kingfisher



 My friend Trevor is visiting Spain for a week or so, he'd heard that the Great Spotted Eagle has arrived back at the El Hondo area, so we set off in search of the Spotted Eagle.
Well we didn't connect with the Eagle but had a nice morning birding,



Yellow Wagtail

 highlights were
 
Great White Egret
Osprey
Booted Eagles
Peregrine Falcon

Kestrel
 
Lots of Marsh Harriers
80 Great-crested Grebe
10 Yellow Wagtails
Little Owl


Song Thrush
  
We came across a flooded field which had a few birds on it


Glossy Ibis
 
Green Sandpipers
Wood Sandpipers
Little Stints
6 Ruff 
little ringed Plover
Blue Throat 
Sky Lark 
Black Cap



Sky Lark
 
Lots of Meadow and Water Pipits, White Wagtails and Black Redstarts



I mentioned that there were lots of Kingfishers around and new of a place that was visited on a regular basis, and the moment of the day was the arrival of the Kingfisher, which sat less 12ft from me it was very active and returned several times




have a good day


cheers BT

Friday, November 22

The Farmers have been out Irrigating the Fields




Today with some rain forecast and with good mate Mark Etheridge we thought it is a good idea to have a quick look around just in case something good dropped in.

Meadow Pipit
Well, nothing mega popped out, but we did get to see a few birds. The farmers have been out irrigating the fields, and so there was plenty of birds to check out on our journey around.
With the fields flooded it attracted many different birds, best bird got away from us, as we were both concentrating on photographing a vey close Green Sandpiper, when Mark said what's "this" I new what it was but couldn't get my words out. It was a male Hen Harrier it drifted across the field in front of us and kept on going as I kept blabbering no sense words, in my excitement of a very good bird for our local area.

Green Sandpiper

 Here's a shortlist of some birds seen
Osprey very distant
Great White Egrets
10+ Wood Sandpiper
20+ Marsh Harriers

Marsh Harrier

A few Booted Eagles
600 + Glossy Ibis
Lots of Cattle Egret
Little Ringed Plovers
Ringed Plovers
Ruff

kestrel

Little Stint
26 Lapwing
kestrels
Kingfisher
Yellow Wagtail
Cettis Warbler
A field full of Sky Larks

Hoopoe

Plenty of common birds like Black Redstarts and Water and Meadow Pipits  and so on. 100s of White Wagtails in every flooded field and good numbers of Gold Finch and Linnet.

Wood Sandpiper

I've not listed every species seen but included the big counts and birds of interest

have fun
cheers BT



Wednesday, November 20

Everybody should watch these videos its a must-see click the links




Hi there everybody
If you visit my blog for bird sighting and information could you

Please take the time to watch these 2 videos, you won't believe it? And the scale of night poaching and slaughter. This happens every day and night through the Autumn migration

Click this link below


For the first time, our latest CABS video shows the large-scale indiscriminate night poaching of protected migratory birds occurring each autumn in northern Lebanon. During the recent CABS bird protection camp 

I just don't get it? how can this be allowed to go on? 

Click this link Below



Come on every body let's get on board and support them

See there's a link for papal donation please just a small donation can make a difference 










Comment anybody

Tuesday, November 19

Football Wales automatically through Euros





After our recent departure from the rugby world cup and only losing by 3 points in the last 4 minutes. To the eventual winner South Africa. I am very pleased to a report that Wales football are through automatically for the finals of the football European cup we may not win, but we are only a small team there's only 3 million in our team wales
Happy days








Saturday, November 16

No bins bird club reunion

Happy to say the NBBC has been reunited, John, Mark, and myself

Male Black Redstart
And so this morning we followed our normal route around our local area setting out before 8 o'clock and picking up Mark Etheridge on the way.

 Water pipit

 To cut to the quick it was a really quite a good days birding morning. some good number of birds. lots of banter and quite a few laughs about the Rugby, Brexit, Johnson calling Jeremy Corbyn a biblical onanism ( w##ker)
 And some serious chat about climate change and plastic,  its something we can't keep ignoring,  I think it means massive changes for us all.

Little owl
Nothing mega to report bird-wise. Mostly what you would expect to see now the winter birds have arrived.

Kingfisher
 we've been trying hard to find a rarity for our area, nothing as yet, but we're going to keep on trying, see the link below of species seen and review of yesterday's birding.
On JE great blog and good source of info

Booted Eagle

Female Black Redstart

Have a good day
cheers BT


Thursday, October 17

Trevor's birding Week

Trevor Birding Visit
Day 1
A quick run around the Santa Pola Salinas and the surrounding area provided a good mornings birding, highlights of the day we're


   Spotted Redshank
Mediterranean Gulls
35 Spoonbill
Great White Egret
Several Marsh Harriers
Booted Eagles
Black Stork
2 Kingfishers
And the first returning Black Redstarts
I've not listed all the birds seen but all the usual suspects were around





Yellow Wagtails


Day 2

An early start and on the road to Bonete before dawn, and full of expectations, it was quickly dashed as we were challenged by a farmer who wanted to know what the hell we were doing?
  He blocked our way ahead in his substantial truck..  After an explanation, we were allowed to go on! He looked a bit puzzled, and must have thought we were crazy, "bird watching"   Not to be deterred,  we headed for the little Bustard area, only for yet another farmer who follow us down the long track in his large tractor to tell us that its private property,  and despite us using the same track many times over the last 10 years?  We were asked to leave?  Maybe he was having a bad day?  So we left, but not before we ID a Merlin sat on a stone. Then thing went from bad to worse  it was cold, grey, and very breezy and not
much activity
So our list for today was, poor compared to recent visits
today's highlight is miles below what should have been

 Great Bustard 25 + more
Lots of Marsh Harrier
Thekla's Lark
Willow Warbler
Jay
800+ Calandra lark
Black Redstart
Corn Bunting
All the Common Ducks
Yellow Wagtail
Northern Wheatears
Raven
Lapwings

and that was the best of it despite 8 hours of birding + the travel time.  I did not press the shutter button on anything.

Not expecting much for tomorrow

Day 3

Montnegre and Maigmo Mountain

The main reason for going to Montnegre was to see if we could relocate any of the Trumpeter finches that were in the area during this spring and summer,
Unfortunately, we didn't see any which makes me think that they are now a summer visitor to Montnegre.  It was not all dome and gloom as we found a new species for this Valley in the village of Montnegre, we came across 20 + waxbills these cute tiny finches show well for a few moments and then quickly relocated to another reed bed.



This photo from the internet with permission to use

 Other birds were seen
Blue Rock Thrush
Griffon Vulture
Rock Sparrow
 Chough
Sardinian Warbler
Dartford Warbler
Large groups of House Martin
A possible Golden Eagle but just too far away to be 100 per cent sure


And at
 Maigmo
It was disappointing and very quiet bird-wise, but not for cars and people and at the top,  Balcony of Alicante  26 cars one wedding ceremony with music we only stayed a moment before heading back, we did manage to get a few species of interest
Short-toed Treecreeper
Crested Tit
Long-tailed Tit
 Coal Tit
Jay
Buzzard
Heard only Firecrest
Robin
Crossbills

Tomorrow Rugby
Come on wales
Looking forward to our next battle

Our last day's Birding


This morning we thought that we would give it another go and try to relocate the Black Storks.
With heavy sky and threatening rain, it was almost black.
We set off across the Salinas.  It was more or less the same birds as the other day
Spotted Redshank
Spoonbill
Osprey
Slender bill Gulls
Audouin's Gull

Wood Sandpiper

We took a detour to the Segura river mouth but it was a waste of time and then head inland to Palm farm Road and then on to San Felipe, on the route we came across one field that still held water from the floods a few weeks ago.  We passed this field a few days ago and it only had Greater Flamingo and Glossy Ibis,  but today it was buzzing.

Highlights
 Over 100+ Snipe
Good numbers of Ruff
 Wood Sandpipers
Great White Egrets
Dublin
Little Stint
Booted Eagle
several Blue Throat
Ringed Plover
Wood Sandpipers

Little-ringed Plover

Green Sandpiper
Glossy Ibis
Several Kingfishers
Reed warblers
Cetti's Warbler
Fan-tailed Warbler


With heavy rain forecast tomorrow and Trevor needing to get the things done before his return to the UK
We call it a day.




It not been at its best for birding and we've had to work hard with many hours in the field, but we did get some rewards for our efforts and Trevor's seen bird list ended in a healthy 103 Species, I included heads as well so mine was 115


Thank for taking the time to visit my blog

Have fun


Update


Well, the Rugby World Cup has finished and Wales got knocked out by the eventual winners which I thought would happen.  I did feel a bit sad that the England players, wouldn't wear their silver medals, having put on a good performance and played great, but its a bitter pill to swallow losing.  I managed to upset a few of my English Rugby palls by posting this video which I receive with slightly different subtitles when they poked fun at Wales when we lost to SA by only 3 points in the last 4 minutes.  And so I did update to the video with some different subs titles. which managed to upset them.  There not happy. But I thought it was very funny sorry about that

Cheers BT