These bitesize chunks keep coming...
So on the 7th I was allowed to go to El Hondo again, this time sans child and I was really excited but this was soon crushed by the pissing rain. Despite this I managed to see a few decent birds and bumped into Graham Critchell, a local guide again. 2 Hen Harriers hunted the margins of the reserve, one male and one female. A Great White Egret stalked the ditch around the pool and a group of Pochard were amongst their commoner Red-crested brethren. After a couple of hours of getting wet I retired to a hide where aside from ubiquitous Chiffchaffs a new Spanish tick did briefly grace me with its presence - a very soggy Water Rail. I tried to winkle out a Bluethroat or three but only succeeded in finding a group of Reed Buntings and a couple of vocal Kingfishers. As I left the reserve a flock of 13 Glossy Ibis sprung from the salicornia surrounded ditches. Not a bird I have seen particularly well in the area (exclusively flying birds...).
I eventually conned Izzy to go to the wader hide which held views of lots of Ringed Plover with attentdent Dunlin, Little Stint and Grey Plover. No sign of a Richard's Pipit in the 'normal' place but that is the usual story.
Our final day was supposed to be spent in the mountains at Maigmo but fog curtailed that with only a Coal Tit to show for our efforts. We then went for a walk at Clot where the above showy Purple Gallinule was hanging with the Moorhens and Mallards. And then we were done. 82 species for the trip which I thought was ok given the restrictions of a new born. I was delighted with the haul of difficult northern species. Full trip list in the next post.
PS I found a couple of Waxwings today whilst walking Isabelle to nursery. They would be proper mega in Spain