Bird Watching

The Local mountains and coast provide great opportunities for birding, recently we sat down for a picnic on Sierra Serrella and watched a pair of golden eagles for several minutes on a rocky spur no more than 100 metres away! Also within a couple hours drive are all the following locations. You will also see many swallows, and house martins and other birds such as the rufus bush robin within the village - in spring the dawn chorus is a joy to behold. We've seen hoopoe, golden eagles, swifts, bee eaters, rollers and many more.  Bonelli's Eagle is making a return to the area and Alcoy has a large vulture colony!

Among the most interesting species that you can find the wetlands along the coast are the Marbled Teal, White-headed Duck, Greater Flamingo, Red-crested Pochard, Purple Swamp-Hen, Moustached Warbler, Bearded Tit, Little Bittern, Squacco Heron, ... the last two are spring / summer visitors. The teal and the duck are the most representative species.

Albufera`s Natural Park on the central coast of Valencia (to the south of the city). Internationally important wetland is good for herons, ducks, waders and gulls. Thousands of ducks over-winter at the Albufera , feeding by night in the rice-fields and resting in the daylight hours in the La Mata del Fang protected area. During migration thousands of shorebirds can be seen stopping over in the neatly arranged rice-fields.

The Racó de l`Olla is another reserve, important for breeding terns (Common Tern, Sandwich Tern, Little Tern and Gull-billed Tern ) and some waders (such as Avocet). The heronries with Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax , Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides , Cattle Egret, Little Egret Egretta garzetta , Grey Heron Ardea cinerea and Purple Heron Ardea purpurea. Also the Bearded Tit Panurus biarmicus .

A little to the North, the coast of Cullera is an interesting Mediterranean site for seabirds. The winter and migration periods are the best times to see some pelagic and rare birds. From here, in winter, it is possible to see Balearic and Mediterranean Shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus & Puffinus yelkouan and some sea ducks (Common Eider and Common and Surf Scoter). In spring Cory`s Shearwater Caleonectris diomedea fly past and, throughout the year, the omnipresent Yellow-legged Gull Larus cachinnans rests on the beach or loafs on the sea.

Adjacent to the northwest of the Alicante`s province at the Carrascal de la Font Rotja we can to see a variety of evergreen and deciduous forest species; the area is interesting for woodland birds. This Natural Park is a relatively well protected site for conserved mountain forest with typical Mediterranean plants. Warblers (specially of the genus Sylvia ); Tits and Treecreepers share the habitat with some diurnal and nocturnal raptors (Golden, Short-toed, Booted and Bonelli`s Eagles and Scops, Eagle, Little, Tawny and Long-eared Owls). The area also is recommended for European Roller, Golden Oriole, Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica and the secretive Rufous-tailed Scrub-robin Cercotrichas galactotes .

Driving to Villena you can see Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni , where a project to reintroduce this falcon has already started in the village. On the seacliffs of the Penyal d`Ifac and in the Montgó Natural Parks in Calpe breed Pallid Swifts Apus pallidus and some pelagic seabird species (European Storm-petrels and Shag). On the South coast of Alicante one can find the El Hondo de Elche and the Salinas de Santa Pola Natural Parks.

El Hondo reservoir is the best place for two globally threatened ducks, the Marbled Duck (with 90% of the European population) and the White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala with recent peak counts of 4.000 birds during the breeding season. This wetland is also important for wintering ducks and other waterbirds and for breeding herons, waders and terns. Here is another place to see that elusive Passerine the Bearded Tit. The neighbouring Salinas de Santa Pola (salt extraction) is best for migrating and breeding shorebirds, terns and gulls (Slender-billed Gull); with permanently high numbers of Flamingos Phoenicopterus rubber , which nest in some years.

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://www.abdet.com/wildlife/bird-watching#sigProIda4750ea60b

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