Saturday, November 26, 2011

El Hondo

Not within our usual birding area, El Hondo is a wetland reserve of major international importance, not least for it´s population of White Headed Duck and Marbled Duck.  Although not a regular venue for us, El Hondo always provides something of interest.

El Hondo Nature Reserve

We were fortunate to enjoy some beautiful autumn sunshine as we set off across the reserve.  Within just five minutes we were delighted to see 3 Cranes passing overhead, shortly followed by a lone Booted Eagle.  As we made our way through the reedbeds, we watched as a Marsh Harrier hunted by the shore of the lake.  We stopped and set up the scope, to be rewarded with views of Serin, Stonechat, Moustached Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Fan Tailed Warblers and a Bluethroat.  A Great Grey Shrike provided a few minutes entertainment before we were distracted by 3 passing White Storks.
The first lake held Coot, Mallard, Pochard, Gadwall, Little Grebe and a Purple Gallinule.  The larger second lake gave views of Flamingoes in good numbers, Grey Heron, Little Egrets and a Crested Lark by the shore.
We were almost out of time so wandered back to the car park as the sun was beginning to set.  A flock of 14 Glossy Ibis flew overhead providing a great ending to a super day.
Although our plans allowed for only a few hours, we managed to see 33 species…Pied Wagtail, Crane, Magpie, Chifchaff, Marsh Harrier, Fan Tailed Warbler, Black Headed Gull, Booted Eagle, Great Grey Shrike, Little Egret, Moustached Warbler, Bluethroat, Stonechat, Mallard, Gadwall, Little Grebe, Coot, Pochard, White Stork, Purple Gallinule, Serin, Cormorant, Spotted Redshank, Grey Heron, Crested Lark, Kingfisher, Kestrel, Flamingo, Sardinian Warbler, Moorhen, Jackdaw, Glossy Ibis, Spotless Starling.

Dave Warrington birdwatching guide

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