My good deed was reinforced by taking the little one out in the afternoon for a ramble. She unfortunately fell asleep for 90 minutes instead so I took the opportunity to head to the outskirts of El Hondo and have a gander (the reserve proper is only open for 3 hours twice a week which is a crime). A Corn Bunting was calling from a crop near the Roller site (about a fortnight too early for these guys sadly).
I moved round to view the reserve and the sky was full of swifts and martins. Scanning through them found a Kestrel but no Alpines. Rather nicely a pair of Booted Eagles emerged, presumably migrants as few pairs breed in the province. One each of light morph and dark morph. These guys circled above for 20 minutes before heading east.
A beach day on the 7th at Los Arenales de Sol meant a family walk around El Clot de Galvany, the gem of the villa steppe. This little oasis regularly produces rare birds and usually has plenty of scarce breeders in the scrub, vegetation and on the pools. Sadly not this time although a Spanish tick in a Whitethroat was cool but the only other additions to the trip list were Sand Martin, Moorhen, Turtle Dove (the only one of the trip) & Little Egret. There were hordes of Red-rumped Swallows amongst the swifts and hirundines which was cool and plenty of vocal (if not visible) Ibe Woodies. The beach failed to produce any seabirds aside from the ever present Audouin's Gulls.
The 8th was largely a lazy day on the balcony as my wife was struck down with morning sickness but I esconced myself on the balcony watching a huge passage of Common Swifts with about 20/minute passing all day. Associated with this were a few Pallid Swifts, a Bee-eater and a single Alpine Swift mere feet from the balcony. A Purple Heron came in off and after circling landed not by the lake but in thick scrub. A largish raptor came in off as well - this made it interesting but sadly not that interesting as it was a light phase Booted Eagle which stayed well away from the flat.
|This was bobbing about in front of the balcony most of the day so I had to take a photo. Love them!|