Quite the Adventure
I decided to take the summer of 2023 off from birding as it was much too hot, and my birding buddy escaped to Cornwall. I've been kept busy singing in the local bars and private parties, etc.
I've had the odd birding tour leading around locally recently which didn't produce anything out of the ordinary, to be honest it was disappointing.
And this week I've had a small group of birder's from Essex to take out.
Our first morning out was to show them the local area around Santa Pola Salina's
A good start, the biggest canteen of Spoonbills ever seen, over 150+ lots of Great White Egrets, Marsh Harries, lesser Black backed Gulls, Sandwich Tern, Kingfishers, LRPS, Common Sandpiper, double figures of Booted Eagle, and Common Kestrels. Tree Sparrow, Bluethroat's seen.
The plan was to get to San Felipe and check out what was on the ponds. On arrival, our birding world came crashing down.
Those in power of San Felipe and their wisdom decided to completely drain all the water out of San Felipe and burn the island reeds down to the ground. The smell from the burn wasn't good, ( acrid ) a few birds still hung around Dunlin, Sanderling Flock, Snipe, Red-knobbed Coot, Green Sandpiper, Marble Duck, and Water Pipit. There was a lot of disturbance, cutting and burning still going on.
And that was the best of it. We headed off to the Clot De Galvany it was much better there.
The next day was RR's day off, we planned to visit Yecla the following day
Sunday the 3rd
And early start we made good time and were birding by 9.45 it was a lovely sunny day expectations were high. We had only got a few hundred meters down the Yecla track.
Something's not right the driver said, he got out and checked the car.
Bad news it's flat as a pancake the front offside tyre was flat! No problem, I said we'll put the spare on it'll takes 10 minutes.
You couldn't write this, No spare tyre, in the boot, just a pump that you plug into the cigarette lighter plug, which took 10 minutes to inflate the tire and 5 minutes to be flat again.
Don't know why the Gold Car Rentals doesn't provide a spare tyre.
So it took a while to get to Cuadete the closest little Town, unfortunately, it was Sunday and everything was closed,
We arrived at a gas station, at Cuadete, The guy at the gas station was very helpful, He said Dijo que necessitates una grua ( you'll be needing a crane, ) I had no idea what he meant in Spanish but said Yes. The breakdown lorry arrived after an hour, and the Driver said you're f***ed and with his very generous recommendation to tow us back to Gran Alacant for €400.00 upfront his other options were to leave the car, get a taxi, or get the bus next week.
So we all cramped in the breakdown cab and set off to GA
The following day Monday at the garage where the car was parked in Gran Alacant, the garage didn't do a wheel change or repair tyres, so another breakdown recovery vehicle was ordered
To complete the nightmare, the car was now back at Gold Car Rentals,
They charged for a new wheel and tyre and for the car for being out of action while it was being repaired and for the other breakdown vehicle attending
Can it get any worse?
Sierra Espuña Tuesday 5th
Well after the last few days, we must be due for some good birding and so it was, not a big list but some great views of the wintering Thrushes a lovely temperature of 12 degrees clear blue sunny skies like a summers day and we were all completely overdressed expecting it to be freezing cold at 1,583 meters which higher than mount Snowdon at 1085 meters.
Lots of Ring Ouzel, Mistle Thrush, Cirl Bunting, Jay, Crossbill, Siskin, Serin, lots and lots of Chaff Finch, Crested. Coal, long Tailed, Great, and nice surprise Blue Tit. Chough, Golden Eagle, Raven,
I've not mention every bird seen.
So the lads set off with mixed feeling's enjoyed the birding, dislike Gold Car Rentals and the lack of a spare tyre.And dispite our troubles we had quite the adventure, which we won't forget. From the disappointment at San Felipe to the unexpected flat tire in Yecla, our birding journey had its ups and downs. Sierra Espuña seems to have redeemed the experience with some fantastic bird sightings. Here's hoping the next birding excursion is smoother, and don't encounter any more flat tires or rental car surprises. Cheers to better days of birding ahead!
Have a great Day
Photos to follow