Saturday, June 16

Its getting hot but plenty to see !

Lucky for me my friend Trevor turn up, so I've had a few days Bonus Birding,
Day 1 Bonete.

Essential early start leaving Gran Alacant at 6.15  arriving  Bonete 8.15  chilly at only 12 degrees, with clear sky's,  first stop and a quick scan/stretch of the legs and a cup of tea while scanning a Great Bustard flew over, so pressures off, having missed them last time.  Also, some Gull-billed Tern.  Rock Sparrows at Chinchilla a  guaranteed place to see them.  On  one of the pools on route to Coral Rubio, had Gadwall,  Shovelers,  Red-crested Pochard.

                                     Rock Sparrow                       

                                                     At Coral Rubio                                                        Black-necked Grebe  Little-ringed Plover,  A male Marsh Harriers,  Lapwings, good number of  Great Bustard around the lakes, but only at first light. We heard a Quail there.  We decided to detour to  Montealegre del Castillo as there are a few nice lakes to check out.  Along with this roadside a fantastic carpets of wildflowers along the roadside.

 At the lakes lots of White-headed Duck,  Great Reed Warbler,  Pochard,  Little Grebe,  Black-necked Grebe,  Greater Flamingos,  Buzzard over. And across the plains  Corn Bunting,  Calandra Lark,  Bee-eaters,  Great Bustards,  Hoopoe's,  Thekla's Lark, Yellow Wagtails,  lots of Gull-billed Terns  and Stone Curlew,

Yellow Wagtail

Arriving at Petrola
Tree Sparrow,  Yellow Wagtails,  Redshank,  Kentish Plover,  Little Ringed Plover, Black-winged Stilt,  Avocet,  Black-headed Gull,  a few Male Marsh Harriers.

Tree Sparrow


Little Ringed  Plover

Heading off to Higueruela across the Plains,  all very quiet and was to be expected as the heat was starting rise.  The plan was to have lunch in the shade and look for Golden Oriole.  They didn't disappoint another good show of the bright yellow and black passerine songbird.

 Bonnell's Warbler

 Mistle Thrush,  Bonnell's Warbler,   Chaffinch also there, Time to head for home but not before a  4  Ibex ran through the Cornfields / Wheatfield's and onto the main road I have no idea what these mammals are doing here. I've been in this area hundred's of times and never seen these before and never heard any reports of them. Could be an interesting find for this his area?

  A Golden Eagle drifted across.  Crazy end to the day.
Species total for the day 60

Day 2
Only extended morning birding today so an early start at 6.30 and look for the Rufous Bush Robin at The Carabassi site.  This historical site has been the best place to see the Robin, but not today, only a few pairs of  Spotted Flycatcher there.

 On to the
 Santa Pola Salinas,

  Little Tern

  Little Tern,  Slender-billed Gull,  Little Bitten,  Red-rumped Swallow, Lots of Pallid Swift,  House Martins,  Fan-tailed Warbler,  good numbers of Great-crested Grebe, Yellow Wagtails,  lots of  Collared Pratincole. 

 At El Pinet 
Surprise bird of the day a Turtle Dove, which was perched in the pine tree next to the car park.  The Common Tern colony is thriving with many chicks already fledged, Sandwich Tern and Little Tern in good numbers. The tracks at the back of La Marine only produced Bee-eaters and a few little Owls.  No sign of the Rollers there. As the birding was flat to cut our  losses and head off to Yecla.

  On route a flooded field with lots of Mediterranean Gulls,  Glossy Ibis, and Cattle Egrets, and  Squacco Heron.  A Roller flew and landed in a palm tree in front of us.

 Mediterranean Gulls

 Cattle Egrets

 Squacco Heron

Arriving at the Claudette end. The Rock Sparrow colony is doing well with plenty of burrows occupied,

  Rock Sparrow

 Woodchat Shrike on the irrigation sprinklers.  Further down the track, Black-eared Wheatear,  Lesser Kestrel hunting over the fields. Without a doubt, we made the right decision more birds at Yecla and cooler,  Stone Curlews and lots of Calandra Larks and Greater Short-toed Lark.

Greater Short-toed Lark

 more surprises in store a Spectacled Warbler showed well in some scrubland.

 Spectacled Warbler

 Trevor picks out a Golden Eagle. We went to the  Pin-tailed Grouse fields and sure enough, they were there, 6 bird in total.

  Pin-tailed Grouse

 A few Chough flying around, and  Golden Orioles calling.  We end our day with a Black Wheatear.
All in All a packed birding morning.
Species total 92
 it's getting hot but still, plenty to see!
Big thanks to Trevor.

Wednesday, June 6


You may have been enjoying the sunshine on the coast of Costa Blanca, but here at Yecla less than an hour from the coast was a very cool 9 degrees with light rain on and off during the day with almost 70 percent cloud cover, with a few brighter moments, lots of puddles and some much bigger,  I've never seen so much water at Yecla, which just goes to prove how much rain there's been this Spring. 
 We had already decided to have changed from the usual route and start from the Yecla end, hoping that the early start might produce a few Sandgrouse.
On route a some Rock Sparrow, Corn Buntings.  Linnets and Goldfinch in good numbers,  the odd Greenfinch, and Iberian Woodpecker also seen.  I thought I spotted a Harrier but lost it before I got out the car, but a few seconds later a Booted  Eagle drifted past.
We went to look for the bee-eater colonial which has been fantastic in previous years but its non-existent and abandoned this year.
 We entered the best area for Larks and Sandgrouse, Greater Short-toed Lark, Calandra Lark, Lesser Short-toed Lark, Crested and Thekla's Lark were all there.

Short-toed Lark
 Well camouflaged and flighty it was difficult to get a good photo.

Calandra Lark

 We heard Sandgrouse, a few times, but in the end, we got treated to a very close flypast of Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, these birds seem to be very faithful to a few fields which they do return to, it's worth double checking the field as not all the bird will take flight.  A little further on we came across a pale morph  Short-toed Eagle perched in an almond tree, which had me scratching my head for a few moments. Lesser Kestrel in the fields and hunting overhead. A  bit further on little owls, Hoopoes, 2 or 3. Black-eared Wheatears, Chough, and a pair of Woodchat Shrike.

Black-eared Wheatear

Woodchat Shrike

 A nice morning out but a little disappointing there wasn't few more birds.  Spain is such s beautiful place and there's much to be enjoyed, 
it's a great time to be out.
Enjoy the photos
Cheers Bryan