Saturday, January 08, 2022

First Bud's of Spring

An Interesting morning,  you just never know how it's going to turn out do you?

So earlier this week John and I went to Montnegra more or less to confirm what we already knew? It was so quiet we hardly saw anything, a couple of Bluerock Thrush,  and a few Griffon Vultures, we cut our losses and headed back to the Clot de Galvany not much better there either, to many people and the hides full. But the Shoveler's and the Marble Duck are displaying.

Bluerock Thrush

And so today we went back to our normal route across the Santa Pola Salinas, quite a few Great white Egrets, Spotted Redshank, Redshank.  The Large flock of Widgeon are still present, distant Canteen of Spoonbill, Dunlin, Marsh Harriers, 

Flowing Almond Trees

El Pinet

Plenty of Mud

Looking good but today only 30+ Dunlin.

We ventured inland

A few Serin were flying around and displaying, the buds of spring are beginning to show,  even some early flowing Almond Trees.  We started seeing a few Booted Eagle's, and more Marsh Harriers, eventually ending up at Santa Agueda.  The Green Sandpiper was still there, it's been around about a month now. A confiding Bluethroat performed in front of us for 10 minutes which was good and 50+ Skylark in one of the fields close by.

I can see you Mr Eagle
Green Sandpiper

Green Sandpiper


San Felipe

We didn't stop long to much disturbance and headed off to the Spotted Eagle Tree and a cup of tea and buttery shortbread biscuits.  I didn't see this raptor coming, it was close before I picked it out,  only 150 meters high and I lost it in the sun, I call John what do you think this is?  It was right into the Sun, It didn't fit anything, might be pale phase Booted?  Marsh Harrier? No, it's an Eagle, it came out of the sun and took a few record shots, before it drifted away.

Juvenile Bonelli's Eagle

Juvenile Bonelli's Eagle

 looking on the LCD screen on the camera back and the Collin's Bird Guide it was easy, we've just seen a Juvenile Bonelli',s Eagle, thank God I got some photos or we may have never confirmed the ID and another good bird would have been lost.  I've not seen Bonelli's Eagle in that plumage before, only Adult Bonelli's

Juvenile Bonelli's Eagle

Of Interest

The common name of the bird commemorates the Italian ornithologist and collector  Franco Andrea Bonelli

Franco Andrea Bonelli

Some antiquated texts also refer to this species as the crestless hawk-eagle.
Its feathered legs marked it as a member of the Aquilinae or Booted Eagle subfamily.

Bonelli's Eagle can be considered partially opportunistic, is something of a special predator of certain birds and mammals especially rabbits, galliforms 
( Red-legged Partridge etc ) and Pigeons.

Back to Birding

A few moments later Michelle called Bry what's this.  It was only the Spotted Eagle coming in.  ( well done Michelle ) I quickly grabbed the camera, the bird was losing height fast, I didn't get a photo as I'd knocked a switch into manual focus, ( Oops) and we watched the Eagle swoop into a Palm Tree.

We could partially see the Eagle in the palm through the scope, a double dose of Werther's to celebrate, and we headed home.

We seem to be on a bit of a roll at the moment 

I've now put gaffer tape over the switch so that won't happen again.

Have fun



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