Thanks to our colleague at the Valencia Birding Guides Association, Pau Lucio (Birdwatching Spain) we contacted Karin and David Border  to prepare a birdwatching tour in the wetlands of southern Alicante, one of the best areas for birdwatching in Valencia Region.
After agreeing the day of the visit, we picked this enthusiastic birdwatchers up in their accommodation in Santa Pola early in the morning.
Our first stop was in Salinas de Santa Pola Natural Park where we could observe in the salt pools and from its excellent observatories a large diversity of species of waders, terns and seagulls.

Highlights were the elegant Slender-billed Gulls and some Mediterranean Gulls. Among the waders, a group of Collared Pratincoles, along with a large number of Avocets and Black-winged Stilts. Also a mixed group of Curlew Sandpipers, Sanderlings and Kentish Plovers that were resting, probably after a stage of their migratory route, called our attention.
From there a short visit to the beach, where we were able to add the Audouin’s Gull to our list, and a short look at the area of pine and eucalyptus forests next to the beach where we heard Common Sparrows and saw some Serins and Golden Finches.
And without further delay we went to the «El Hondo» Natural Park located just 30 minutes from the first one, where we firstly visited the ponds near the Visitor Center.

There a Great Reed Warbler entertained us for a long time until finally we were able to locate him among tbe canes and move on to lend to the rest of the many interesting species in that space. Marble Teals, Red-Knobbed Coot, Purple Gallinule, Glosy Ibis and many others were added to what was already a long list at that time.
After a snack and a quick coffee in the nearby town of San Felipe Neri, we set off for the observatories in the southern part of the Park.
Along the way, we continued searching for new species (Grenn Finch, Southern Grey Shrike, …) but we weren’t lucky with 2 of our day targets: Roller and Hoopoe.
The first probably had not yet returned from his wintering in the African continent. But the second is a usual bird in the area even in winter. So we would keep trying until the last moment.
Enjoying the sightings from the southern observatories, overflowing continuously by Common and Pale Swifts, Barn Swallows and House Martins feeding, and where we added some new species such as Whiskered Tern, we got to 5:00 pm. It was time to head back to our clients accommodation in Santa Pola.

But the Hoopoe was still out of our list and Karin had great interest in this spe

cie. So we decided to make one more attempt in the areas of abandoned crops in the salt flats.

And there was the cute Hoope at last to complete a 72 bird species list!!

Definetly we enjoyed an great day of birding with 2 keen «birdwatchers» which we appreciate their confidence in ACTIO Birding and we hope to see again soon this time in the steppe areas of Albacete.


Tarro blanco Tadorna tadorna
Cerceta carretona Spatula querquedula
Ánade azulón Anas platyrhynchos
Zampullín común Tachybaptus ruficollis
Somormujo lavanco Podiceps cristatus
Zampullín cuellinegro Podiceps nigricollis
Flamenco común Phoenicopterus roseus
Pardela balear Puffinus mauretanicus
Alcatraz atlántico Morus bassanus
Cormorán grande Phalacrocorax carbo
Garza real Ardea cinérea
Garceta grande Ardea alba
Garceta común Egretta garzetta
Garcilla bueyera Bubulcus ibis
Martinete común Nycticorax nycticorax
Morito común Plegadis falcinellus
Águila pescadora Pandion haliaetus
Águila calzada Hieraaetus pennatus
Aguilucho lagunero occidental Circus aeruginosus
Calamón común Porphyrio porphyrio
Gallineta común Gallinula chloropus
Focha común Fulica atra
Cigüeñuela común Himantopus himantopus
Chorlitejo patinegro Charadrius alexandrinus
Chorlitejo chico Charadrius dubius
Combatiente Calidris pugnax
Correlimos común Calidris alpina
Agachadiza común Gallinago gallinago
Andarríos chico Actitis hypoleuco
Andarríos grande Tringa ochropus
Andarríos bastardo Tringa glaréola
Archibebe común Tringa totanus
Gaviota picofina Chroicocephalus genei
Gaviota reidora Chroicocephalus ridibundus
Gaviota de Audouin Ichthyaetus audouinii
Gaviota patiamarilla Larus michahellis
Gaviota sombría Larus fuscus
Charrán patinegro Thalasseus sandvicensis
Paloma bravía (doméstica) Columba livia (Feral Pigeon)
Paloma torcaz Columba palumbus
Tórtola turca Streptopelia decaocto
Vencejo real Apus melba
Vencejo común Apus apus
Vencejo pálido Apus pallidus
Abubilla común Upupa epops
Cernícalo vulgar Falco tinnunculus
Urraca común Pica pica
Golondrina común Hirundo rustica
Avión común Delichon urbicum
Carbonero común Parus major
Mito común Aegithalos caudatus
Chochín común Troglodytes troglodytes
Reyezuelo listado Regulus ignicapilla
Mosquitero común Phylloscopus collybita
Cistícola buitrón Cisticola juncidis
Curruca cabecinegra Sylvia melanocephala
Petirrojo europeo Erithacus rubecula
Colirrojo tizón Phoenicurus ochruros
Roquero solitario Monticola solitarius
Collalba gris Oenanthe oenanthe
Mirlo común Turdus merula
Estornino negro Sturnus unicolor
Lavandera boyera Motacilla flava
Lavandera blanca Motacilla alba
Bisbita pratense Anthus pratensis
Bisbita alpino Anthus spinoletta
Pinzón vulgar Fringilla coelebs
Verderón común Chloris chloris
Jilguero europeo Carduelis carduelis
Serín verdecillo Serinus serinus
Gorrión común Passer domesticus
Gorrión molinero Passer montanus