04 May : El Fondo / Hondo

Dave's been back into Comanche territory in Alicante to el Fondo/Hondo. Herewith his account along with a bundle of nice photos at the end.

 A relatively early start, meeting up with Les and John at the Overa Hotel, Jct 547, at 07.00hrs for our trip to El Fondo. Kindly John agreed to drive, his car being far more comfortable than my 4x4. After an uplifting coffee at Cox we made our way to the Reserve's Information Centre​, sighting  10 commoner birds before arriving. Unfortunately Helen couldn't make as she'd been out the previous evening counting Little Bustards, so we were on our own. Yet again we were met by a cacophony of vociferous Great Reed Warblers which seemed to occupy almost every reed bed. On or next to the shallow water near the car park were Black-winged Stilts, Little Egrets and Les found some Common Pochard and Mallard down the far end. A Redshank flew over as did the first of many Glossy Ibises. I spotted a Whinchat and Les added a Stonechat. Quartering over the water were numerous Whiskered Terns. Also seen were Zitting Cisticola, Common Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover, Little Grebe and Southern Grey Shrike.
Moving to the viewing area by the Centre building, we were delighted to find Marbled Duck, Red-crested Pochard, a Red-knobbed Coot with chicks and a Purple Swamphen also with chicks. Les found a pair of Skylarks as well.
Walking around on the elevated path we added Avocet and Kentish Plover. About 6 Collared Pratincoles were seen resting and flying. About 3 Squacco Herons also were seen. Jon found the first Purple Heron which later flew off being harassed by a Grey Heron.We didn't add to the list in the next hide but as we left there Les spotted one of a pair of Stone Curlews in the scrubland opposite. He also found another Whinchat.  
As we walked to the following hide we heard Cetti's and Reed Warbler. There were numerous Avocets, Shelducks and Black-winged Stilts here as well as hundreds of Greater Flamingos. Les found a distant Curlew Sandpiper before one obligingly settled right next to the hide. 
We also had Mediterranean and Slender-billed Gulls, Great Crested Grebe and Little Tern. Les spotted a far off hovering Kestrel, but missed the Marsh Harrier John had spotted. As we headed back to the car park, avoiding the coach load of school kids, we stopped to check out the pool. And what should walk out of the reeds and walk as bold as brass along the edge, but a Water Rail
After a hearty lunch (actually not good for the heart!) we made our way to the southern hide, where we discovered to John's joy the track had dried out and his car mats were safe! On the way we saw a flock of 17 Glossy Ibises in a field. Whilst parking another four were feeding with a flock of Wood Pigeons.We found numerous Black-necked Grebes in full breeding plumage. I missed the Little Bittern as I was attempting to photograph a Great Reed Warbler! A Squacco Heron was advancing along the track before us. At the hide from which we had to expel hundreds of mozzies, we saw White-headed Duck as well as Whiskered Tern, Greater Flamingo, Little Egrets and another Little Bittern which I managed to see. John and Les saw another Marsh Harrier. Getting back to the car, we heard Goldfinch and Greenfinch. We ended our list by seeing a Roller and two Bee-eaters on power lines near the closed North Gate. 
A fantastic days birding. 64 species in total.

​Collared Pratincole

​Purple Heron

​Purple Swamphen

​Squacco Heron

​Curlew Sandpiper 

​Squacco Heron

No hay comentarios: