16 March: El Hondo/El Fondo (Elche)

Dave has escaped to foreign parts (Alicante in the Valencian Community) and here is his report of his day at El Hondo. I am envious of his duck sightings, Garganey being my favourite duck whilst Marbled Duck (which used to be called Marbled Teal when Dave and I were both a lot younger!) are always a jolly good bird to see. Nicve to see the Med. Gulls in breeding plumage too, a very smart gull on a par with Audouin's for noisy elegance. 
Can the English cricket tream get any better? Not that I really care as I prefer rugby and this Saturday, can England beat France in the final the Six Nations game for this season?

About a week or so ago Brian and Mary popped into the El Fondo Bird Reserve after dropping some friends off at Alicante airport. They reported major works round the Information Centre. Today I dropped Gilly off at that airport for a week's holiday in the UK so I was keen to see what's been going on at the reserve. Firstly, there had been a shower by the looks of the roads. The approach driveway by the canal was in places muddy with lots of potholes. I parked up in the car park for a snap (as they say up north) to eat. 
The view in front of me was new. I think there used to be reeds, but now there was a scrape, with shallow water with low islands therein. It looked virgin territory so I wasn't surprised to see no birdlife. My refreshment complete, I walked towards the Information Centre. As I did so a flight of 5 Glossy Ibis flew over. An auspicious start! Apart from the entrance side, the Information Centre was now surrounded by this expanse of shallow water. The enclosed pool adjacent to the building was still there and the raised wooden walkway with the viewing platform on the far side was cutting across the water. Don't think the birds will appreciate humans walking over there! I carried on to the first hide, my shoes getting more and more raised with claggy mud! En route I added Corn Bunting and Sardinian Warbler. The hide looked over a large pool surrounded by reeds. 
At first I only saw Mallard, Common Pochard and White-headed Duck. When I got my eye in I spotted a pair of Garganey, Little Grebe and a Red-knobbed Coot wearing its identity collar. A female Marsh Harrier glided majestically over the reeds opposite. Shortly afterwards a pair of Teal flew in and a Shelduck flew past. I scanned the reed line and was amazed to see a line of 16 Marbled Duck. They were so well camouflaged. I also spotted a Purple Swamphen
Marbled Ducks
Suitably impressed I carried on the the next hide. As I approached I could hear a cacophony of sound. Again the hide overlooked a large pool with surrounding reedbeds, but it also had islands that were full of pre-nesting gulls. They were mostly Black-headeds but I did managed to filter out a few Mediterranean Gulls as well.  There were large numbers of Avocets, a pair of Redshanks and a few Black-winged Stilts and Black-tailed Godwits. I counted 68 Greater Flamingos. I heard a Cetti's Warbler. Also seen was a Yellow-legged Gulls and a small flock of White Wagtails.
Mediterranean Gulls
 I then made my way back towards the Information Centre, this time via the now walkway bridge. There was only one bird on the water. This Red-knobbed Coot was not all fazed by my appearance! Through the viewing slits at the picnic area I checked out the enclosed pool. Here the only bird of note was a preening Purple Swamphen.
Purple Boghen
I ended up with 27, mostly quality bird species. Yes, I was impressed by the work done.....it reminded me of the English Cricket Team.....it can only get better!

No hay comentarios: