Saturday, November 28, 2020

San Felipe Vistors Center

 It's not very often that John and I have one of those exceptional Birding Days but yesterday wasn't bad. We had an enjoyable 6 hours Birding.

26th September

A gloomy cold start to the day, the overnight rain had clear and with more forecast.  I thought I'd best put my jeans on and its the 1st time for jeans since last February.  We planned to explore some different places and routes.  But it didn't work out that way?

The 1st bird seen was a dark phase Booted Eagle just before 9 a.m. which was unusually early for a raptor to up and flying?  Maybe because of the was windy conditions?  We heading towards the North gate of El Hondo we stopped to look at the Treeline inside El Hondo there was a large board winged raptor flying being mobbed by 2 smaller raptors,

( probably Booted Eagle ) the bigger raptor I thought, could be a Great spotted Eagle, who knows? " get in the car John said " we'll get a closer view, so we head off fast,  as it happened we didn't get any better views, and ended up at San Felipe VC and first breakfast.

 From the car park a flock of about 25 Linnet, entertained us and in amongst a few smart Green Finch and Meadow Pipits,


Green Finch

Meadow Pipit

At San Felipe, workers have been cutting the reeds, not before time? But the big news is they drained the pool, so there's mud and lots of the gloopy stuff everywhere.  And on the mud hundreds of Glossy Ibis, good numbers of Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Western Purple Swamphen.

Glossy Ibis

Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, A flighty flock of Dunlin and Little Stint.  Also Snipe,  Little Ringed and Ringed Plovers,  Avocets and Black-winged Stilt, Greenshank, 23 Marbled Duck some Red-knobbed Coot.

Black-winged Stilt

Black-winged Stilt

Smaller Birds

Bluethroat's, Waterpipit's,  Chiff Chaff, lots of Stonechat's,  fewer Black Redstart, Kingfisher's, Fan Tailed Warbler, plenty of Southern Grey Shrike seen during the day. (Heard only ) Penduline Tits, Little Bittern, Water Rail, Reed Bunting, 



At least 10+ Marsh Harriers, Buzzard, 10 Kestrels, Booted Eagles,


On the outer pools 

Huge Numbers of Grag Martin feeding over the water,  Shovelers, Mallard, Shell Duck,  Teal,  small numbers of Pochard, little and Black-necked Grebes. On our way back I almost step on a small snake! 

We spent a few hours at San Felipe it was good birding and back to its best, it was full of birds and always changing.  Nothing outrageously rare seen but a nice selection of Birds.

What a Shame San Felipe is not always like this.

  Time for a Werther's Moment.

 I now wished that if stayed in shorts as it was now a balmy 26 degrees and hot and sunny, how can the forecast be so wrong?

Santa Aguada

No sigh of Great spotted Eagle, but Bluethroat, and very showy Male Black Redstart, and Waterpipit,  2nd Breakfast time and head for home before stopping off at El Pinet.  It was bit quiet there, but there was very smart Grey Plover which is a different bird from a few weeks ago.

Black Redstart

Summing up

 if you're thinking of going Birding get to San Felipe quick before the workers get in there and start cutting back the reeds and disturbing everything and also before they reflood?

Grey Plover

Have a great day

Cheers Bryan.

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