|Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio|
Sunday 28 August
Well on my way back home in Velez de Benaudalla so an overnight stop slightly south of Elche in Valencia province meant that I could make an early evening visit to the local reserve at El Fondo. Still very hot at 31C but at least cooler than most if the day; clear blue skies, an eventual setting sun and the (very) occasional light breeze.
|Red-knobbed Coot Fulica cristata|
No sooner had I arrived than never mind the Collared Doves on the wires but a couple of Common Swifts above me. The local House Sparrows were foraging around the closed Visitors Centre and overhead a small flock of passing Glossy Ibis. A look at the dried up pond behind the Visitors Centre produced a couple of Moorhen along with a trio of Red-knobbed Coots before taking the boardwalk across the first water.
|Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus|
A very busty little lake with a score or more Flamingos along with a quartet of Little Egret and maybe a dozen Mallard. Just the one female Shoveler but also a Marbled Duck making its way slowly across the open water. No shortage of Common plus a few more Red-knobbed Coot. Needless to say more Moorhens and even a handful of Purple Swamphen including one female with two well-grown chicks.
|Marbled Duck Marmaronetta angustirostris|
As for Glossy Ibis there was a resting flock of at least two score plus regular passing flights which probably averaged a score each. Just three Little Grebe noted but there were also a number of feeding Barn Swallows above the water.
|A few of the very many Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus|
So onto the two hides. With a couple walking ahead of me and turning the smaller hide on the left I decided to carry on to the hide overlooking the main water and then pay a visit to the former hide on my return journey. Just as well I did. Obviously there had been no visitors for some considerable time for as I approached the path up to the hide through some low heather a female Little Bittern that had been foraging in the area near a small puddle suddenly upped and away - but not before seen by me.
|Hundreds of Flamingos Phoenicopterus roseus on the lakes|
On the water itself very many Flamingos plus at least a score of Little Egrets and an hundred or more Black-winged Stilts. Just the one Redshank noted but as I was departing I noted the single departing Black-tailed Godwit overhead and came across the large flock of Black-headed Gulls. Once back at the smaller hid I noted another couple of Little Grebe plus a fishing Whiskered Tern. The return walk over the boardwalk confirmed the large number of resting Glossy Ibis and many Purple Swamphens and both Common and Red-knobbed Coots but both Shoveler and Marbled Duck seemed to have disappeared into the tall reeds. Indeed, a very enjoyable ninety minutes and well worth the visit.
|Some sort of hotel reservation for Little Egrets Egretta garzetta!|
Mallard, Shoveler, Marbled Duck, Little Grebe, Little Bittern, Glossy Ibis, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Flamingo, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Common Coot, Red-knobbed Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Black-headed Gull, Whiskered Tern, Collared Dove, Common Swift, Barn Swallow, House Sparrow.