The encañizadas is the area of water between the end of La Manga strip and the Salinas of San Pedro del Pinatar.
I decided to go here reasonably early so as to beat the heat haze. I was in particular looking to see if the pale-bellied Brent Goose was still around. When I arrived, I noticed that the water level was very low as it has been recently (I've had explained that the reason for this, is that the Mar Menor, having such a large surface area, is unable to make up for the water lost due to evaporation fast enough from the Mediterranean, so slowly empties out).
The pale-bellied Brent Goose photographed the 6th January 2012._ A Spanish rarity, it has spent the winter here
The majority of the waterbirds were in the Mar Menor but off the San Pedro end, many hidden by land, so although I didn’t see the Brent, this may have been because it was out of view.
The day started well as on leaving my house, I saw my first local House Martin of the year flying around, singing.
I spent 45 minutes in all at the 'encañizadas'.
The most notable birds were 5 Spoonbills, 104 Grey Herons (a very high number), 3 Great White Egrets, 2 Pintail (male & female) and a single male Wigeon. I did see waders, but the majority was too far away to identify. I also heard a single Dartford Warbler.
Species seenGrey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola)
Curlew (Numenius arquata)
Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)
Dunlin (Calidris alpina)
Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
Slender-billed Gull (Larus genei)
Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia)
Crested Lark (Galerida cristata)
Stonechat (Saxicola torquata)
Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros)
Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
White Wagtail (Motacilla alba alba)
Dartford Warbler (Sylvia undata) - heard
Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus rubber)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Pintail (Anas acuta)
Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Great White Egret (Egretta alba)