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Monday, 12 December 2011

San Felipe

  A quick look at Clot Nature Reserve this morning produced 40+Stone Curlew, single Little Owl and still around was the Song Thrush. All the other stuff, Sardinain, Dartford and Cetti's Warbler and Black Redstart were all in good numbers.

Over 40 Stone curlew flew overhead

On the coast nearby was this stunning Audouin's Gull

Many Southern Grey Shrikes in the area

  Late morning and we made our way in the sunshine towards San Felipe. One of the best reserves in the Alicante area and only half an hour down the road. Once again we stopped off at a number of places, including the dump. This paid off, because there was a White Stork, very rare this time of the year, on a wall with Grey Herons. Over 100 Cattle Egret were feeding in all the rubbish with lots of Yellow-legged and Black-headed Gull. Just arouund the corner, up to 7 Hoopoe were feeding together and using the car as a mobile hide, all of them performed at very close range.

Didn't exspect to see White Stork on this trip

Cattle Egrets getting stuck in with the gulls
  We arrived at San Felipe Reserve and there was one special bird that I was hopping to see here. It started off well and while eating are dinner, a female Little Bittern flew across the pool in front of us from where we were sitting. We started walking and immediately heard Penduline Tit and saw two birds showing very well next to the board walk. This was followed by many Fan-tailed and Cetti's Warbler. Overhead, there were many Grag Martin and the odd Marsh Harrier flew through. I kept on scanning the skies and then picked up in the ditance, what I thought, might be the bird I was after. GREATER SPOTTED EAGLE! In fact this could be Tonn, radio transmitted from Estonia and has been wintering in this area since 2007. This winter it has been joined by 2 other Greater Spoted Eagles that first arrived last year. It was too far away to see a transmitter on the back, but you could see the larger size difference when circling with a light phase Botted Eagle. The GS Eagle flew off NE, while the Booted was joined by another light phase and both showed superbly just above our heads.
  The only birds of note on the pools were 2 Black-necked Grebe and both Serin and Crested Lark were in the car park. Bryan managed to see a Bluethroat that I just missed. .

Bluethroat, Fan-tailed Warbler, Reed Bunting and Penduline Tit can be seen from the boardwalk

Penduline Tits and Fan-tailed Warbler were heard and seen all over the shop

Immature male Marsh Harrier

Light phase Booted Eagle were seen at the reserve and sourounding area.

2 Crested Lark were in the car park

  Rurturning home, we were unsuccesful in searching for the small number of Cranes wintering near the reserve. On the roadsides, there must of been well over 100 Chiffchaff feeding and when reading the book
'A Birdwatching Guide to Eastern Spain' it comments on that 'millions of Chiffchaff winter on the reserve! 8 Tree Sparrow were also seen on the roadside. A few more Botted Eagles, single Ruff and Lapwing,  and 2 more Hoopoe were also seen. We stopped off at Santa Pola Salt Pans and got an Osprey flying off to roost

A small group of Tree Sparrow were approachable using the car as was this Little Owl


The great Leonard Cohen singing 'There for You' Video not that bad too


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