An early start by 8 o'clock overcast and windy conditions, making it feel much colder, it should make for an interesting day's birding?
Almost a repeat of last weeks birding route and there's a reason we stick to this route and its because we keep the early morning light coming from behind us.
Today had one exception Urbanova Salt Pans which still holds water, but not a single bird in sight, but the area around had a wonderful treat in store for us? A huge European Starling Murmuration which blackened the early morning grey sky.
| European Starling|
Back on route, across Santa Pola Salinas, and at Standing Stones a Canteen of Spoonbills, (15) 4 Great white Egret, Sandwhich Terns, A raft of 100s of Great-crested Grebe, and there seemed more than usual numbers of Greater Flamingo, not a bad start for a very blustery day.
The cold brisk wind was making it difficult just holding your bins still. It was almost time for first breakfast, so we both thought El Pinet for a tea stop and given El Pinet performance from last week, "that was all it was good for" a tea stop?
The first scan of the salt pans didn't reveal anything of note the usual Avocets and Black-winged Stilt, Slender-billed Gull, and the same two Shell Duck.
John was making a brew when I was just about to get my tea when I glimpse an incoming wader.
I knew what it was and followed it to where it landed to the smallest bit of mud you could find on the Salt Pans, I called John over to come and look and there in this corner of the mud was our bird a stunning winter plumage Grey Plover nothing mega "I know" but we don't get to see them close up often? As there usually a quite a flighty bird.
Also on this 2-meter patch of mud, Little Stint, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Redshank, Greenshank.
Tea was lukewarm by the time we returned, a doorstop of cake and we were off again and heading inland.
The first part of palm farm road held an exaltation of Sky Larks which took to the air frequently calling, also in the mix Crested Lark and Kestrel, the odd Marsh Harrier sneaking about and making a nuisance of his self. It was too busy at palm farm road, workers picking the Pomegranate harvest so we turned back.
| Sky Lark |
In the grassy fields, we're good numbers of Meadow Pipits, White wagtails and some smaller numbers of Green Finch, no sign of any Yellow Wagtails.
Overhead a nice Booted Eagle showed well battling against the strong northerly wind.
Lots of Grag Martin.
A western whip Snake crossed the road and disappeared
At last a Waterpipit, also there Wood Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Snipe,
A nice flock of Serin 30+ coming to drink at the pond, showed well, no sign of any Bluethroat there? The pool had lost most of the water from last weeks flooding?
Time for Second breakfast, and then time to head back.
I've not mentioned every single bird seen just the new arrivals or good number of birds
Winter has arrived and today 29th just had my first Black Redstart and what a stunner
Have a great day