Saturday, November 28

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.

Saturday, November 14

Birding Update

Apologies for the slow update

 8th of November.

  John and I headed straight to San Felipe,  it was a bit on the cool side to says the least, as per other recent visits San Felipe was crap, the best bit was the 20 or so Marbled Duck. 

I Couldn't find any Red-knobbed Coot, but there was one lone Purple swamp Hen which was warming up in the sun, some Blackcaps were singing and a few popped out briefly plus the odd Bluethroat.

Purple swamp Hen

It was poor birding there and the water looks an odd coloured and well overgrown.

Santa Aguada

Now again flooded, we struggled again to get birding it was quiet, I did hear a few Penduline tit's contact calling and eventually managed to phiss out 2. Which was brief but a nice view. There was plenty of flooded field around the route we'd taken but alas very few birds almost every bird was a White Wagtail or Cattle Egret, but we did see the odd Bluethroat pop out.

 We came across 2 large groups of flying Glossy Ibis in a Murmuration.  John and I have seen this before. Ibis acting as one like the European Starling Murmuration. I've never seen this mentioned in any of the guide books, both groups moved independently of each other.

Glossy Ibis in a Murmuration

Glossy Ibis in a Murmuration

It was fascinating to watch and was the birding moment of the day.

10th November

Playa Lisa

Turn out to be not that bad a Zitting Cisticola, and Black Restart, to start and not even got out the car, a few pairs of Red-crested Pochard, Kingfisher, Audouins Gull, a very distant raptor on a pylon which took off and disappeared which we now think was an Ospery, some small wader's showed, probably Dunlin, a Cetti's Warbler put on a brief show, always a difficult bird to get good views. Penduline Tits contact called and eventually showed

Standing Stones

14 Spoonbill, 4 Great white Egret, another or the same Osprey, Marsh Harriers, a few Greenshank tooted on there bugle's in the distant,

El Pinet

Coffee and Sea Watch, coffee good, sea watch abysmal.

Little Owl

At the Salinas pools the usual Avocets and Dunlin, Black-winged Stilts, Little Owl.



The Mouth of the Rio Segura.

Lots of people, fishermen and cars.


Chiff Chaff

Great prolonged views of another Cetti's Warbler on the beach hundreds of walkers and one Sanderling trying to find some peace and quiet, few Chiffs in the trees.

Cetti's Warbler 

Not finished we headed to the Clot

Most of the Shoveler Duck have moved on but replaced with lots of Common Pochard.

Some White-headed Duck still, Kingfishers, a single Grey Wagtail,  Black-necked Grebe Marsh Harrier, Heard Little Bitten, and Water Rail.

18th November

Montnegra & Maigmo Mountain 

A cloudy start and not much visibility taking the normal route through Montnegre and the usual stopping off places,  Black Wheatears, Black Redstarts (loads of these everywhere) a spruce of Serin in some large-ish flock's and the same for Goldfinch, and the odd Robin sounding off. Not until we arrived at Montnegre did the sun come out, Blackcaps showed well, and 4 Grey Wagtails frequenting the streams.  There were a few Southern Grey Shrike perched.

Blue rock Thrush

 A  pair of Blue rock Thrush were mobile moving from house to house. Further up the track by the Loan Tree I watch another Blue rock Thrush fly and as I track it in flight, two dark blobs came in to view, now my interest was the 2 dark blobs? I focused and there they we're 2 Golden Eagle (1 Adult 1 Juv)  first views were the closest, I legged it for the camera and by the time I returned they drifted off, its amazing how fast they can move when they want to! Some minutes later we located them again in the distant, but to far away for even a record shot.

At the big Tibi Mountain no Griffin Vultures or anything else.


Very quiet, most birds heard only Crested Tit, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Crossbill,  some Chaffinch flocks under the Almond Trees.   I got excited when I thought I glimpsed a Brambling but it flew off before I could confirm the ID.  A spiral of Short-toed Tree Creepers showed well at only a few meters and Mistle Thrush perched up long enough for a photo

 Mistle Thrush

At the top of Maigmo, Crag Martin's and that was the best of it.

Have fun

Lovely weather!  get out and enjoy it

Full Moon earlier this Month