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Wednesday, 21 December 2011

'Who's coats that Jacket?'

Steve Olney, Freddie Starr and 'Who's coats that jacket?' Do you know?
          This is from The Freddie Starr Show, 1983 and Movietone were one of the performers

  At 08.15, Bryan and I were at the North Gate at El Hondo. The gates are only open twice week and you have to be out by 11.15. So we didn't have much time and this reserve is the size of St Mary's back home. All we saw was 1% of the reserve as we spent all our time in the elevated hide looking over Levante Lagoon. On here there were large numbers of wildfowl including 20+White-headed Duck, 10+Black-necked Grebe, 40+Red-crested Pochard, 150+Pochard, 200+Shoveler and Teal and 40+Pintail. In all the time we were there, an Osprey was on a post in the center of the lake. Up 5-6  Marsh Harrier, a female Hen Harrier and 3-4 Booted Eagle were also present. However there was no sign of any of the 3 Greater Spotted Eagle. We also just missed a Black-shoulded Kite that Graham Critchell got before we arrived. Graham stuck around with us for nearly 3 hours and we all had exchanged views. A brief look at the Poniente Lagoon, but this proved difficult with the sun low in the sky making identification almost impossible. What we did manage to ID were 120+Black-winged Stilt, 7 Avocet, 350+Greater Flaningo, Little Stints, Dulin, Little-ringed and Kentish Plover and on the post that are scattered around the lake were 10 Booted Eagle. Returning to the elevated hide, Penduline Tits, Citti's Warbler and Reed Bunting were calling and Graham heard a Moustached Warbler, which showed very well. There were also lots of Chiffchaf in the area

Looking SE over Levante Lagoon

Booted Eagle, Moustached Warbler and Penduline Tit were all in good numbers around El Fondo

  Our next stop was for Bonelli's Eagle in the cannons of Monnegre. We got there 12.30 and there was no sign of the eagles until they came in at bloody 17.00! While waiting with Eddie Walker in the hottest day of me trip so far, mid 70's, we were entertained by 4 Black Wheatear, 2 Blue Rock Thrush, 5 Thekla Lark, Chough (heard only) and 10 Grag Martin. We had almost given up when a Bonelli's eagle came straight into roost in the cliff face to join another Bonell's that we did not no was there. Later on they came out for a brief display before disappearing over the cliffs. So we left 'Finca Bonell's' Collen and Jane,  who live below the cliffs where the eagles breed. Highly recommended and a warm welcome awaits.

The cliff face where the Bonelli's Eagle roost and breed. Also favoured by Black Wheatear and Blue Rock Thrush.

The water that you can see in the distance is El Hondo

Male Blue Rock Thrush

'Who's coats this jacket?' This was taken at Santa Barbara Castle, Alicante.
Looking SW over Alicante from the castle

Yellow-legged Gull breed on the cliffs just below the castle

Here vintage Movietone, Steve Onley and Bryan Thomas, from 1983 performing 'Next Time Along' on the Freddie Starr Show

Here's Bryan Thomas now in his home in Spain singing 'Next Time Along'

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