Thursday, 13 December 2012

10th December 2012 - San Pedro del Pinatar salinas

It seems like (and has been) an age since I last made an entry, but the past few weeks have been pretty quiet and my outings limited, with just the same old same old being seen.  I was interested to see that towards the end of last week a small group of Common Scoter had been located in the Mediterranean Sea just to the north of the San Pedro harbour, and that they were actually staying, sitting on the water and not just flybys as they normally tend to be.  In fact there have been a few seen around the south eastern coastal area of Spain over the last few weeks.

I was unable to go over the weekend, as I was in Extremadura to see the spectacle of the Cranes there (I WILL write a trip report later), and so my first opportunity was Monday afternoon.  Arriving there around 3 p.m., I met up with Isidro Bartolome and I wondered if we'd have enough time to locate them before it started to get dark.  I needn't have worried - parking the car in the bottom carpark just before the harbour, and walking along the wooden boardwalk to the beach, there they were - pretty spread out along the shoreline and under constant attack from the Yellow-legged Gulls that were accompanying them, every time a gull approached them they'd dive under, and so it wasn't easy to make an accurate count.  We watched them for more than an hour, being joined by Javier Palacios, and my final count was of 14 birds, all females and juveniles.  It was nice to be able to see them relatively close in and on the water, some of them showing yellow patches on the bills.  Also on the beach were a group of about 10 Turnstones and 8 Sanderlings, and in the water with the scoter and gulls, a single Great Crested Grebe.

A selection of photographs taken during the hour of viewing

As the light started to go, I thought I'd have a rapid look in the salinas on the way back, but they were very quiet.  Numbers of Greater Flamingos down to around 100, and there were a few Redshanks, a single Spotted Redshank, a couple of Greenshanks, a group of around 25 Shelduck and a single Kingfisher.  Passerines were represented by around 20 Crag Martins, 8 Jackdaws heading into their roost, and a single Grey Wagtail.

  At the last light of  day, a Kingfisher looking for its supper

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