Monday, 23 April 2012

Sunday 22nd April 2012

San Pedro del Pinatar salinas
Weather: Sky 3/8 cloud, no wind, temp.15ºC.  09:15 – 10:45.

I decided today to try the Salinas at San Pedro del Pinatar as I haven’t been there for a couple of weeks now.  I was hoping to see waders and terns, and if there’d been a fall, passerines in the garden of the information centre.  There obviously hadn’t been a fall though, as the garden area was very sparse for small birds.
In the Salinas themselves I had a bit more luck – the Little Terns were back on their breeding bank, and I had a distant couple of Whiskered Terns.  There were also a lot of Gull-billed Terns calling, but I could only see them when they were in flight, as they appear to have chosen a non-viewable lagoon to breed this year.  There was very little in the way of waders, just a dozen Curlew Sandpipers, 8 Little Stints and a group of 3 Ruff of note.
Even the Greater Flamingos seemed low in numbers, even though I had a flock of about 80 fly in giving a total of about 180.  I also saw a flock of 25 Cattle Egrets flying south over some rooftops.

 Part of the flock of Greater Flamingos that dropped in

 My first Little Terns of the year

Together with a couple of Avocets

Species seen/heard
Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)
Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus)
Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Black Winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)
Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea)
Little Stint (Calidris minuta)
Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)
Redshank (Tringa totanus)
Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
Yellow Legged Gull (Larus michahellis)
Gull-billed Tern (Sterna nilotica)
Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)
Little Tern (Sterna albifrons)
Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida)
Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)
Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)
Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus)
Swift/Pallid Swift (Apus apus/pallidus)
Pallid Swift (Apus pallidus)
Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
House Martin (Delichon urbicum)
Blackbird (Turdus merula)
Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala)
Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)

La Tercia (Sucina)
Weather: Sky 3/8 cloud,  no wind, temp. 22ºC.  11:45 – 12:45.

I decided to take the long way back from San Pedro, going inland to the town of Sucina and from there to La Tercia, Torre Pacheco, El Algar and home.  I was hoping that by driving around I might possibly come across a Montagu’s Harrier, but had no luck.  Still, it was a very pleasant drive, as the air around there is scented with Orange blossom (unlike later in the year when the scent is anything but pleasant when the fields are being covered in manure).
I made a stop just outside ‘La Tercia’ close to a new golf complex.  Here there is a sewage outfall which always has water and hence birds.  I didn’t actually se a lot of birds, although I did see my first ‘dragons’ and ‘damsels’ (flies, that is) of the year.  Also, my camera decided to pack up, so I couldn’t take any number of photos (I hope it’s still under guarantee).  And as always happens, on the way back driving through fields of fenced in orange groves, various Turtle Doves sitting on the fences just waiting to have their photos taken!

Species seen/heard
Black Winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)
Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)
Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur)
Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
Red-rumped Swallow (Hirundo daurica)
Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe hispanica)
Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala)
Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator)
Southern Grey Shrike (Lanius meridionalis)

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