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Post Info TOPIC: Costa Blanca, Spain


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RE: Laguna de La Mata, Costa Blanca, Spain


Been down to Laguna de la Mata this morning - as quiet as I've ever seen it - Crested Lark, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Serin, Fan tailed Warbler, Kestrel, Iberian Green Woodpecker, Cormorant, Shelduck, Hoopoe, Collared Dove, Woodpigeon. Not one wader and worryingly no Black necked Grebe flock which is usually 1000+ strong in winter.

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Just come back from Christmas and New Year in the area - managed a bit of birding between the festivities - highlights

La Mata
Iberian Grey Shrike, Crested Lark, Stonechat, Sardinian Warbler, Green Woodpecker, Dartford Warbler, Stone Curlew, Marsh Harrier

El Pinet
Hoopoe, Avocet, Black Winged Stilt, Black Tailed Godwit, Slender Billed Gull

El Clot de Galvaney
Purple Swamp Hen, Iberian Yellow Wagtail

El Fondo
Hoopoe, White headed Duck, Marsh Harrier, Booted Eagle, Crag Martin

Torrevieja
Monk Parakeet

Black Redstarts, White Wagtails, Chiffchaffs and flocks of Serin on every piece of farmland.

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Not sure if I,m going to degrade this thread a wee bit,but here goes,just back from a dads and lads trip to Benidorm(4 days) and packed the bins just in case.

Fields and scrubland adjacent to high rise hotels

house sparrow,blackbird,collard dove,redstart,hoopoe(6)swallow,house martin,swift,siskin,mistle thrush(being mobbed by everything)sardinian warbler(lots)pied
and grey wagtail,kestrel,gulls over.Probable spotless starlings but dodgy id

Cliff walk east of the madness
stonechat,redstart,blue rockthrush,cormorant,terns(distant)more gulls,and just to make the trip worth it a pair of black wheatearbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif giving great views(lifer).
ashamed to say research before trip NIL,birding budjet Nil,must try harder


cheers geoff biggrin.gif

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Just back from a week out here. Warfy and Melanie joined us for a few days and so managed a fair bit of birding - really is a craking place biggrin.gif- will try do a trip report but here a few highlights: -

La Marina
Red-rumped Swallow, Alpine & Pallid Swift, Crested lark, Spotless Starling

El Honda visitor centre
Bluethroats, Moustached Warbler, Night, Squacco & Purple Heron, Little Bittern, Glossy Ibis, White-headed duck, 30 Marbled Duck, Purple Gallinue, several Booted Eagle, 100's of Bee-eaters

Also got caught in a very heavy thunderstorm which either put huge numbers of waders down or put them up from the pools but we had 150 BW Stilt, 40 Temmincks Stint (one single flock) 27 Blackwit, 100 Ringled Plover, 10 Wood Sand, Several Green Sand, 10 Curlew Sand 20 LRP and 5 Ruff fly over where we were taking cover. The walk back was fun for the those who were wearing flip flopsno.gif which wasnt mebleh.gif took over an hour to get back from a 20 minute walk due to all the mud and trying to keep the flip flops on their feet and falling on their arse! fear.gif plus we had all the mosqitos toofurious.gif

El Honda South Pools and Fields
Marsh Sand 3, Knot, Grey Plover, loads of Spot Shanks, Bar & Black wit on these pools, 2 Distant White Storks, flock of 150 very high flaying Flamingo's, 255 Bee-eater, Woodchat Shirke, Whinchat, 10 Hoopoe

Santa Pola Salt pans
Osprey, Booted Eagle, Mute Swan and an Intermediate looking Egret (think thats what you call them) either that or a grey phase Little Egret.

El Pinet
2 Caspian and 6 Black Tern, loads of waders here Max 60 Curlew Sand, 25 Temmincks Stints, 20 Little Stints, all 3 shanks , 30 Blackwit, 35 Collared Pratincole, Kentish Plover

La Finca area
Red-necked nightjar, 3 Eagle Owl, Stone Curlew

Monegres
Blue Rock thrush, Black Wheatear, Short-toed Treecreeper, Crested Tit, Thekla Lark, Rock Sparrow, Serin

Alcoy
Booted Eagle, Peregrine, Golden Eagle, poss Goshawk and 70 Griffon Vulture soaring over the gorge - in the gorge itself Black Reds flitting about, Black Wheatear, Blue Rock thrush, Crossbills and Stonechats amongst others - amazing place

Gran Alicante
Wryneck and a Honey Buzzard flew over the main road on way back to arport when leaving.



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Just thought stick a quick post on - as having a break from the sun.

Santa Pola Salt pans 12/9

Spoonbill 11
G.Flamingo 700+
Slender billed Gull 10
Cattle Egret
Little Egret
GCG 5+

Waders - 2 Collard Pratincole, 20 Avocet, 15 BW Stilt, 5 Dunlin, Blackwit, 6 Turnstone, 3 Redshank, Common Sand.

Kinfisher getting chased by a YL Gull, & a Mute Swan!.

From where Im staying 13/9
Bee-eaters flying over, Red-rumped Swallows, Sardinian Warbler, Pallid Swift, Harrier sp over prob Marsh, Hoopoe, Crested lark. 7 Yellow Wag and Swallows moving over.



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I thought I would use this thread to provide a brief report on a family holiday to Costa Calida. We were staying in a villa approximately 15km inland from San Javier (not far from Laguna de la Mata). Despite it being August and temperatures reaching 39C I was still able to do some enjoyable birding by getting up before dawn and being on-site for day break.

The villa itself was set in an area of Lemon orchards and provided some nice birds. Best of all was Red-necked Nightjar but other birds included Stone-curlew, Southern Grey Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Thekla Lark, Iberian Green Woodpecker, Little Owl, Northern Wheatear , Black-eared Wheatear, Red-rumped Swallow, Bee-eater, Pallid Swift, Common Swift, Sardinian Warbler, Dartford Warbler and Gull-billed Tern.

Not far from the villa were the Sierra Escalona mountains. Birds were quite hard to find here but did included Golden Eagle (1 ad and 2 first years) as well as more nightjars, Long-tailed tit, Coal Tit.

I visited the Guadelentin Valley area on several occasions. The first two occasions were a wash out, literally. The rain was so heavy the roads were flooded and the rain was coming through the hire car door seals! When dry this is a great site though and I would like to go back in spring. Even in August highlights were Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Little Bustard, Roller, Montagues Harrier, Short-toed Eagle, Spectacled Warbler, Crested Lark, Thekla Lark and Short-toed lark. The rain meant a number of the fields were flooded and these hosted a good selection of waders including Wood Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper and Common Sandpiper as well as numerous Black-winged Stilt and 100s if not 1000s of Cattle Egret.

We went to El Hondo on our first and last day of the holiday en-route to and from Alicante airport. We tried to book a visit via the north gate but were told this gate was closed due to lack of water. The area around the visitors centre and the south hide near Dolores was still open though and a good selection of birds were seen including White-headed Duck, Marbled Teal, Purple Gallinule, Slender-billed Gull and various waders.

I visited the La Finca golf course (thanks for the directions Mark) and saw at least 3 Red-necked Nightjar well.

Other areas visited during the holiday included San Pedro Salinas, La Manga Salinas and Laguna de la Mata. These provided more wader species as well as Greater Flamingo, Audouins Gull and Black-necked Grebe

Overall definitely an area I would like to go back to

Regards

David


-- Edited by David Spencer on Sunday 5th of September 2010 12:57:14 PM

-- Edited by David Spencer on Sunday 5th of September 2010 12:58:33 PM

-- Edited by David Spencer on Sunday 5th of September 2010 10:33:26 PM

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Hi again,
Ian, I agree entirely. I think the Dutch split "pallidirostris" from "meridionalis" some time ago whereas we here don't appear to have moved on this (prob. because meridionalis (i.e. from Iberia) hasn't been recorded in Britain. Certainly these two for starters appear to be very different from each other, and the rationale for splitting them seems strong. Some of the N. African forms seem to differ again, though rather less obviously from the Spanish form.
I did photograph a form in N. India in the mid 90's when we just had "Great Grey Shrike" but I should have to wade through a zillion slides (in the loft) to find these; even so, as far as I know that could be something different again.

Mike, if you find a Great Grey Shrike in Gr. Manchester that may be a new bird for you in view of what you say, and I should be more than happy to add it to my modest G. M. list and buy you a pint!

Cheers,
Mike P.



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Mike Passant wrote:

Hi Mike,
-A nice list for your June visit.
Forgive me if your posting was just a "slip of the pen" but your Great Grey Shrike would almost certainly be L. meridionalis, split off from Great Grey Shrike as "Southern Grey Shrike" some time ago. It has a darker grey head and mantle, pink hue to the underparts and much reduced white, if any, in the supercilium.

I tend to see Southern Greys in the winter half of the year ( in Murcia province at least) in the Cartagena area; - (always a banker bird for my new year list on the rough ground and smallholding area near the football stadium), and oddly, normally replaced there in summer by Woodchats, which has always made me wonder where the Southern Greys go to breed; - perhaps you have given me part of the answer; so thanks for that!

Cheers,
Mike P.






Hi Mike,

To be honest I am a new birder and my european bird book only has great and lesser grey shrike in it, it was my first time abroad since taking to chasing sight of our feathered friends.
I had no idea about southern grey shrike, it will be interesting to read up on, thanks for the tip.

It was a lovely place but I wish I had had time to visit El Hondu and sierra de Crevillent but there's always next time.

Southern France next year so I need to start researching some places to visit there soon.

Thanks

Mike Price



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Mike (Passant), in fact the current taxonomic state of the Great Grey Shrike complex is just that...complex! The most recent studies seem to suggest meridionalis as being an entirely seperate form and labelled Iberian Grey Shrike.

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Wednesday 11th of August 2010 11:20:33 PM

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Hi Mike,
-A nice list for your June visit.
Forgive me if your posting was just a "slip of the pen" but your Great Grey Shrike would almost certainly be L. meridionalis, split off from Great Grey Shrike as "Southern Grey Shrike" some time ago. It has a darker grey head and mantle, pink hue to the underparts and much reduced white, if any, in the supercilium.

I tend to see Southern Greys in the winter half of the year ( in Murcia province at least) in the Cartagena area; - (always a banker bird for my new year list on the rough ground and smallholding area near the football stadium), and oddly, normally replaced there in summer by Woodchats, which has always made me wonder where the Southern Greys go to breed; - perhaps you have given me part of the answer; so thanks for that!

Cheers,
Mike P.

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Simon Warford wrote:

.... we are hopefully going to visit the Castilla la Mancha area aswell. Will let you know how we get onsmile.gif

-- Edited by Simon Warford on Monday 9th of August 2010 09:24:50 PM






Simon - You've probably done your research on Castilla la Mancha but Google Oliva Rama Tours. They have three trip reports on their website and there will be some good pointers as to sites for certain species. It's on my 'places to go' list. Have a good time and yes, let us know how you get on!biggrin.gif

Mark

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I visited the Costa blanca at the end of June, stayed a place called Gran Alicante which purely by accident was a 10 minute walk to Clot De Galvany

From the house roof

Black Wheatear
Nightjar
Hobby
Swift
Pallid Swift
House Sparrow
Short Toed Eagle
Herring Gull
Yellow Legged Gull
Kestrel
Hoopoe
Swallow

Clot De Galvany

Marbled Duck with young
Whiteheaded Duck
Little Owl
Great Grey Shrike
Yellow Legged Gull
Green Woodpecker
Wyrneck
Little ringed Plover
White Wagtails
Pied Wagtail
Crested Lark
Little Grebe
Coot
Moorhen
Linnets
Swift
Pallid Swift
Swallow
Goldfinch
Blue Tit

Also visited Santa Pola salinas, and added

Lesser Flamingo
Common Tern
Kentish Plover
Glossy Ibis (fly over)
Night Heron
Little Egret
Little Tern


About an hour North of Alicante I went up into the mountains close to Alcoy

Short Toed Treecreeper
Redstart
Black Redstart
Griffon Vulture
Crag Martin
House Martin
Short Toed Eagle
Black Eared Wheateater

Of course there was probably loads I missed but I enjoyed every minute of it, I did manage to take some Photos here Here



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Ray, Mark thanks for the replies. Ray, I had actually found that website but must admit I hadnt read the field trip reports which are useful, we are hopefully going to visit the Castilla la Mancha area aswell. Will let you know how we get onsmile.gif

-- Edited by Simon Warford on Monday 9th of August 2010 09:24:50 PM

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Hi Simon

I think it is open again but you need to make a booking in advance. Visited the visitors centre shortly before coming home, so didn't have a chance to make a booking but all the literature in the centre indicates it is open. Certainly the local ex-pat bird club "The Costa Blanca Bird Club" visited last December and are planning to visit again this December.
Please find link to their Web page - gives some information on the different sites in the area - hopefully will prove useful to yourself
http://www.costablancabirdclub.com/
Site Guide on Web page includes a telephone number to make bookings

regards
Ray

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Simon Warford wrote:

Hi Raymond,
... I read there is no access on to EL Fondo because of disputes in 2009, is this still the case do you know?


-- Edited by Simon Warford on Wednesday 4th of August 2010 09:49:16 PM






Hi Simon - I can never get a definitive answer re access. There has been no access whatsoever at times but more recently you have had to telephone in advance and make an appointment for (I think) a Wednesday morning or something similar.

There is a reserve centre but this is on the smaller part of the reserve which is open most days but still on restricted hours. They should be able to advise you. This area is ok but a fair way from the pools and obviously not as good as the main part of the reserve. The surrounding roads and farmland can be rewarding and I've had Roller just outside the reserve boundary.



PM me, or post again here, if you need to know 'owt else.

Cheers

Mark

PS - We've been visiting the area for 4 years and I've still not been on the main part of the reserve!

-- Edited by Mark Jarrett on Thursday 5th of August 2010 01:52:33 PM

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Hi Raymond,
A few of us are going in September I read there is no access on to EL Fondo because of disputes in 2009, is this still the case do you know?


-- Edited by Simon Warford on Wednesday 4th of August 2010 09:49:16 PM

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Just come back from two weeks in the area and managed to get a little birding in - not a lot as area experiencing hottish July for several years - highlights

La Mata - Kentish Plover, Montegu Harrier, Curlew Sandpiper

El Fondo Visitor Centre - Collared Pratincole, Squacco Heron, Whiskered Tern

El Pinet (near to Beach of same name in La Marina - Avocets, Black Winged Stilts, Slender Billed Gulls, Yellow Legged Gulls, Greater Flamigos, Little Terns and again Collared Pratincoles.

Unfortunately didn't get chance to visit le Clot or down to the Salt Pans at Lo Pagan (Mar Menor) but hopefully be back when a little cooler



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Mark

I have sent you a PM regarding the nightjars.

regards

David

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Over for a week but am stranded at the mo because of those nice French air traffic controllers.

Too hot to drink beer (not really) let alone birding. Didnīt go to the reserve but did make a brief trip to the hillside above La Finca golf club to check on any Red Necked Nightjar.

As we pulled up bang on 10pm one flew right in front of the car. Got four separate flight views of probably the same bird with another calling further up the hillside. One calling - distinctive double clicking sound - on a lamp post before flying off. Even Mrs J got goodish views without any bins. Like last year, probably four or five birds. Great to see and noticably larger than our Nightjar.

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Visited over the Easter weekend. One and a half hours each at Laguna de la Mata and Clot de Galvany and a few minutes up by the golf course at La Finca. Amongst other stuff :-

Little Grebe
Little Egret
Little Bittern
Pochard
White Headed Duck
Booted Eagle
Red Legged Partridge
Purple Gallinule
Avocet
Stone Curlew
Ringed Plover
Kentish Plover
Grey Plover
Sanderling
Little Stint
Black Winged Stilt
Yellow legged Gull
Slender Billed Gull
Common Tern
Turtle Dove
Iberian Green Woodpecker
Hoopoe
Short Toed Lark
Crested Lark
Red Rumped Swallow
Great Reed Warbler
Sardinian Warbler
Southern Grey Shrike
Serin
Spotless Starling
Corn Bunting




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Spent the bank holiday in Spain Highlights included:

Alpine Swift, Pallid Swift, 20 Red-Rumped Swallows and a flock of 18 Bee-eaters over the house.

The salt pans had lots of waders, Temincks Stint, 2 Turnstone, Stone Curlew Collared Prat, Kentish Plovers, Dunlin, Black-winged Stilt, 100's of Avocet etc. Also had Osprey Glossy Ibis and a few other bits.

Had some friends staying there too and their villa looked out over fields at the bottom of La Marina one evening 170 Cattle Egret, 4 Purple Heron, Squacco Heron, 30 Little Egret flew over to roost and there was also Green Sand, Bee-eater, Little Owl, Woodchat Shrike and 2 night Heron aswell - cracking place


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Simon Johnson wrote:

Is a vast area and not many places to watch but discovered the musem there which has its own lagoon and watch tower.






Hi Simon

Some good stuff there!

Where is the museum/lagoon/watch tower at Santa Pola? Never noticed before.

Red necked Nighjar breed on the hillside above the La Finca golf course which should be around 20-25 mins from La Marina. Just pm me if you want more specific directions.

Cheers

Mark



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Simon the 200 Club officially recognize your Mum as a member, and would like to have the next meeting at her placebiggrin.gif

mouthwatering birds.

Keep birding,

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Spent a week over at my mum's in La Marina

Had daily flocks of Spotless Starlings, Cattle Egrets, Red-rumpred swallows, Pallid Swifts etc flying over whilst sitting out on the roof terrace with the odd other goodie turning up inc Crested Lark, Hoope, Bee-Eaters, Sardinian Warbler, Collared Pratincole, Stone Curlew and Squacco Heron. Think heard a Red-necked Nightjar one evening as well.

Visited Santa Pola Salt pans to see the hundreds of flamingo's had Glossy Ibis, Night Heron, Slender-billed Gull, Little Tern, Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, GCG, Redshank and a summering Wigeon there. Is a vast area and not many places to watch but discovered the musem there which has its own lagoon and watch tower.

Also visited El Honda and was lucky enough to see White-headed duck near the visitor centre along with a Marbled Duck amongst the hunderds of Pochard and Red-crested Pochard, loads of breeding Avocets and Black-winged stilts, Little Bittern, Purple Heron. Whiskered Tern, Great Reed Warbler, Roller, Zitting Cisticola etc etc fantastic reserve!

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Spent the last week over in Spain. Weather varied between warm, very warm and hot with three days cloudy and some rain. Laguna de La Mata seemed a little quiet but still some interesting stuff about :-

Montagu's Harrier (3)
Avocet
Stone Curlew (1)
Kentish Plover
Curlew Sandpiper (4)
Black winged Stilt
Slender billed Gull
Common Tern (20+)
Little Tern (50+)
Stock Dove
Turtle Dove
Bee-eater (c.6)
Red rumped Swallow (1)
Crested Lark
Dartford Warbler (1)
Spotless Starling

Clot De Galvany reserve 25 minutes north, amongst other stuff :-

Little Grebe
Shoveler
Pochard
White Headed Duck (3)
Marbled Duck (2)
Wood Sandpiper (1)
Purple Gallinule (2)
Common Sandpiper (1)
Cuckoo
Little Owl (2)

La Finca Golf Course area, amongst other stuff :-

Little Bittern (2)
Squacco Heron (1)
Cattle Egret
Montagu's Harrier (1)
Red legged Partridge
Little Tern
Cuckoo
Red necked Nightjar (Blue Ribband Birding Moment!) (1 seen, 3-4 others heard)
Bee-eater
Sand Martin
Red rumped Swallow
Great Reed Warbler
Southern Grey Shrike (1)

El Hondo - brief visit to part of reserve and northern boundary areas, amongst other stuff :-

Squacco Heron (1)
Red crested Pochard
Cattle Egret
White headed Duck (1)
Montagu's Harrier (1)
Whiskered Tern
Collared Pratincole (c.12)
Roller (1)





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Easter Weekend - sunny & warm - 3 hour visit - had intended to do about 5 hours plus, but it was crawling with noisy, non birding Spaniards so I gave up.

The more interesting sightings included :-

Kestrel
Avocet
Stone Curlew (1)
Kentish Plover
Grey Plover
Little Stint
Turnstone
Yellow legged Gull
Slender billed Gull
Common Tern
Little Tern
Hoopoe
Iberian Green Woodpecker
Crested Lark
Swallow
Red Rumped Swallow (1)
House Martin
Crag Martin
Blackcap
Sardinian Warbler
Southern Grey Shrike
Woodchat Shrike
Spotless Starling
Serin
Cirl Bunting

Two quick 5 minute stops at nearby Santa Pola Saltpans, amongst other stuff :-

Great crested Grebe
Black winged Stilt
Flamingo

Two and a half hours at nearby El Hondo Reserve, because of landowner dispute this is 'poorer' section of reserve and a fraction of main area :-

Grey Heron
Purple Heron
White Stork (13)
Squacco Heron (1)
Glossy Ibis (5)
Red crested Pochard
Marsh Harrier
Montagu's Harrier (1)
Buzzard
Green Sandpiper
Whiskered Tern
Cuckoo
Sand Martin
Pallid Swift
Nightingale
Reed Warbler
Great Reed Warbler
Fan tailed Warbler
Corn Bunting
Collared Pratincole (1)
Purple Gallinule (2)

Seen whilst driving here & there :-

Little Egret
Short toed Eagle (1)
Turtle Dove
Blue rock Thrush
Raven

Not too bad for basically two mornings birding




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Following on from this my Parents are looking to rent out their house this year if any birders are interested. Its in La Marina and very central to all the birding spots below... theres also a trip report from myself in the birders abroad section.

Anyone interested send me a PM.

Si

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Laguna de la Mata - "What a wonderful phrase!" - with apologies to Walt Disney.....

Seriously, sounds a good spot.

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Costa Blanca, Spain


This is a very nice reserve just north of Torrevieja on the Costa Blanca about 40 mins south of Alicante Airport and 30 mins north of the airport at Murcia. A very large lagoon (too big to see stuff at the other side), surrounded by reedbeds, farmland, scrub and some woodland. Was over in Spain last week and the following were main sightings from 2 x 2 hour visits. Dartford Warbler Sardinian Warbler Chiffchaff Iberian Green Woodpecker Southern Grey Shrike Slender billed Gull Kentish Plover Ringed Plover Dunlin Little Stint Sanderling Grey Plover Serin Spotless Starling Crested Lark Lesser Short toed Lark Things were a little bit quiet and I'm doing this from memory. There is a winter Black necked Grebe flock which I have seen at around 1000 birds but they now appear to have dispersed. Water levels were lower than normal which had an effect on wader numbers. At times it has been absolutely teeming. I have seen up to 27 Stone Curlew and last winter had a Red necked Phalarope which was a very rare sighting for the reserve. Osprey usually linger in winter, Montague's Harrier breed along with Red rumped Swallow and Short toed Lark amongst others. Nearby there are several excellent reserves - Santa Pola Saltpans, El Pinet, The Clot and one of the best reserves around, El Hondo - Marbled Duck, White headed Duck, Collared Pratincole, Moutached Warbler, Penduline Tit, Marsh Harrier, Roller, Bee eater and so on. There is a Bonelli's Eagle nesting site in the mountains behind Crevillente which is just over half an hour away where Chough, Crested Tit, Blue Rock Thrush and Eagle Owl occur. There is also a decent Red necked Nightjar spot within 20 minutes. A bit further afield up towards Albacete, a couple of hours away, there are two good areas for Bustards and Sandgrouse and other Steppe/Plains birds. A belting area with almost limitless birding.



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Sunday 10th of March 2024 12:04:15 PM

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