Monday, 3 December 2012

Counting the Costa (Part 3)

Apologies for the gap in my trip reports. I misplaced my notebook whilst I was away working in Cumbria and couldn't find it until now.

My birding compadre
Anyway - where were we? Ah, yes. It was the 3rd November and I had permission to go to El Hondo (but only if I took Isabelle with me). I knew and my wife knew that this was a HUGE drawback and so it proved as a 3 year old would she quickly got bored of a Spanish version of Minsmere and rebelled loudly and often during the 3 hours we were granted access for. Despite this I saw some cracking birds. Black-necked Grebes were in evidence upon the lagoons and a solo female Little Bittern sallying between stands of juncus. Ducks were also present in numbers including a few Pintail, not a bird I expected to see and a Spanish tick. A Merlin shooting over the reeds at head height was a super little thing and another 'northern' species new to my spanish list.

A rubbish photo of a Booted Eagle. Limited selection for today to choose from.
 
Noises emanated from the reeds and took the form of Cetti's & Moustached Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Penduline Tits and Reed Buntings. Swarms of Crag Martins filled the sky which was interspersed with Marsh Harriers and Booted Eagles by the dozen. Two larger raptors circled to the south, Spotted Eagles! These are a very rare wintering bird in Spain but Hondo is the prime location so it was no surprise to see these giant denizens of the marshlands albeit at some distance. Other large birds crossed the sky in a line, too distant to hear but super none the less, 14 Cranes. In front of the hide a Kingfisher performed admirably.

Sadly my daughters attention seeking cut the trip short and made for less than ideal viewing but still a privilege to visit such a wonderful place.   

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How brains and birds become mutually exclusive