News, Trip Reports, etc

Southern Costa Blanca, Spain, in winter - Part 2 (updated 1/2018)

Article text
Booted Eagle, Hieraaetus pennatus, El Hondo

Southern Costa Blanca, Spain, December 2011 gallery

Southern Costa Blanca, Spain, 14/12/2012 to 1/1/2013 gallery

Southern Costa Blanca, Spain, 14/12/2013 to 10/1/2014 gallery

Southern Costa Blanca, Spain, December 2014 gallery

Southern Costa Blanca, Spain, December 2017 gallery


BIRDS - 155 SPECIES

'Common', scarce', etc, refers to our observations in winter; it may or may not reflect the true status/abundance throughout the year – see reference sources.


Mute Swan Cygnus olor
1 adult in flight San Pedro salinas 27/12/12. Bizarre!

Greylag Goose Anser anser
3 El Hondo 14/12/13.

Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna
Common La Manga and San Pedro salinas, also El Hondo.

Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope
1 male 2 females San Pedro salinas 19/12/11. 10+ El Hondo 14/12/13.

Gadwall Anas strepera
Common El Hondo, etc.

Common Teal Anas crecca
Common El Hondo. 40+ Clot de Galvany 19/12/13.

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
Common throughout, including the Mar Menor.

Northern Pintail Anas acuta
4 males 4 females San Pedro salinas, 25/12/11. Occasional El Hondo; c10 there 21/12/13.

Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata
Common El Hondo, 1000+ 19/12/12. A few usually present Los Camachos res. and Pilar de Horadada EDAR.

Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina
Common El Hondo.

Common Pochard Aythya ferina
Common El Hondo. 10+ usually present Los Camachos res. and Pilar de Horadada EDAR.

Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca
1 male Los Camachos res. 20-26/12/14.

Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula
15 El Hondo 19/12/12. 6 El Hondo 29/12/14.

Common Scoter Melanitta nigra
11 fem/imms. San Pedro 16/12/12, 4 fem/imms. San Pedro 22/12/12.

Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator
1 male San Pedro 25/12/11. 1 fem/imm. Los Alcazares 22/12/13. 1 fem/imm. Los Urrutias 22/12/13.

White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala
59 El Hondo 19/12/12. Scarce El Hondo 2013/14; 3 14/12/13, 2 21/12/13, 12 26/12/13. Good numbers El Hondo 12/2014, 70+ 13/12/14, c80 24/12/14, c90 29/12/14. >6 usually present Los Camachos res. and Pilar de Horadada EDAR 12/2014. Scarce El Hondo 12/2007 (low water levels).

Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa
Fairly common on wasteland and scrub, common Guadalentin.

Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
Small numbers Guadalentin, common El Hondo, etc.

Black-necked Grebes (Podiceps nigricollis) San Pedro
Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) San Pedro
Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax) Guadalentin
Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) San Pedro







Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus
Fairly common on the Mar Menor.

Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis
Common on the Mar Menor and salinas; flock of c180 at San Pedro salinas 12/2011. 2 Cabo de Palos 24/12/11. Common El Hondo. Flock of c180 San Pedro salinas 15-28/12/14, 10+ always on Los Camachos res. 12/2014, 1+ usually Pilar de Horadada EDAR 12/2014. Huge flock of c450 La Mata 29/12/14.

Balearic Shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus
Cabo de Palos only; 3 24/12/11, 20+ 18/12/14, 10+ 19/12/17, 30+ 27/12/17.

Northern Gannet Morus bassanus
Fairly common offshore throughout, all visits.

Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
Common, often large flocks on the Mar Menor.

European Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis ssp. desmarestii
Cabo de Palos only; 1 1st-W 24/12/11, 1 adult 15/12/12, 1 1st-W 26/12/12, 2 27/12/17.

Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
3 adults La Serena golf course 22/12/13.

Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus
1 in flight El Hondo 28/12/11. 2+ heard El Hondo 19/12/12. Frequently heard El Hondo 12/2013. 2+ heard El Hondo 13/12/14.

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
Common throughout. c50 on small pond Guadalentin 27/12/11. 200+ always on rubbish tip, El Hondo. 

Little Egret Egretta garzetta
Common throughout.

Great Egret Egretta alba
1 El Hondo, 28/12/11. 1 Los Urrutias 12/2012 throughout, also winter 2013/14. 1 El Hondo 17/12/12. Fairly common and widespread 12/2014. 1 El Hondo 22/12/17.

Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Common throughout.

White Stork Ciconia ciconia
2 rubbish tip El Hondo 17/12/12. 2 rubbish tip El Hondo 19/12/14.

Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus
Common El Hondo.

Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
San Pedro salinas; 1 juvenile 19/12/11, 4 31/12/12, 11 9/1/14. 1 adult Los Nietos 16/12/14.

Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus
Common in suitable habitat, salt water and fresh.

Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) San Pedro
Slender-billed Gull (Larus genei) Los Urrutias
Little Owl (Athene noctua) Guadalentin
Eurasian Crag Martin (Ptyonoprogne rupestris) Cabo de Palos








Red Kite  Milvus milvus
1 El Hondo 14/12/13, 5 El Carmoli 20/12/13.

Western Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus
Common over all reedbeds, especially El Hondo.

Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus
1 fem. El Hondo 21/12/11, 1 fem. Guadalentin 27/12/11. 2 (1male 1female) El Hondo 17/12/12, 2 fems. Guadalentin 21/12/12. 1 female abandoned military zone Los Alcazares 13/12/13, 1 male El Hondo 14/12/13. 1 male El Hondo 13/12/17.

Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
1 fem-type Guadalentin 21/12/12. 1 female abandoned military zone Los Alcazares 13/12/13.

Common Buzzard Buteo buteo
Scarce on Murcia coast, more numerous inland. Quite numerous El Hondo 12/2014, common there 12/2017.

Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga
El Hondo only; 1 sub-adult 28/12/11 (Tonn, with the satellite antenna showing). 1 adult 14/12/13, 2 21/12/13. 1 adult 13/12/14, 19/12/14. 1 adult (Tonn) 27/12/17.

Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus
Quite frequent around the Mar Menor, common El Hondo 12/2011. Not so numerous there 12/2012. 1 Guadalentin 21/12/12. Numerous throughout 12/2013-1/2014. 7+ El Hondo 13/12/14, from then on very scarce 12/2014. Common throughout 12/2017.

Bonelli's Eagle Hieraaetus fasciatus
2 (pair) Crevillent 27/12/12. Partial display and large nest seen on cliff ledge. 1 juvenile southern fields El Hondo 13/12/14. 2 (1 adult, 1 imm) Bateria de Cenizas 17/12/14.

Osprey Pandion haliaetus 
c2 El Hondo 19/12/12. 1 El Hondo 6/1/14. 1 El Hondo 13/12/14. 1 Santa Pola salinas 24/12/14.

Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
Common throughout.

Merlin Falco columbarius
1 fem-type El Hondo 13/12/14.

Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
1 adult eating a wader, probably a Golden Plover, Vistabella Rd/CV 855, 26/12/13.

Water Rail Rallus aquaticus
Frequently heard El Hondo. 1 'airport marshes' Los Narejos 9/1/14.

Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
Very common El Hondo. Occasional sightings around the coastal salinas. 40-50 seen along canal, San Pedro 16/12/13.

Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis) El Hondo
Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica) El Hondo
Stone Curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus) Los Nietos












Purple Swamp-Hen Porphyrio porphyrio
Common El Hondo. The visitor centre area is a good place to see them.

Eurasian Coot Fulica atra
Small flocks on the Mar Menor, very common El Hondo, etc.

Red-knobbed Coot Fulica cristata
3+ with neck-collars El Hondo visitor centre every visit. 2+ (no collars) there 12/2017.

Common Crane Grus grus
El Hondo southern fields only; 12 and 9 27/12/12, 32 26/12/13, 11 6/1/14, 14 13/12/14, 16 and 21 19/12/14, 5 13/12/17.

Little Bustard Tetrax tetrax
9 Guadalentin 18/12/11, groups of 6 and 36 there on 27/12/11. 18 on cabbage fields there 21/12/12. 3 southern fields El Hondo 22/12/17.

Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus
Common San Pedro and La Manga salinas, also the Mar Menor, Guadalentin, El Hondo and La Mata.

Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta
Common San Pedro and La Manga salinas, also Salinas del Rasall. Occasional Los Urrutias. 2+ El Hondo 21/12/13. 15+ El Hondo 13/12/14. 16 La Mata 29/12/14. 6+ El Hondo 13/12/17, 2 there 22/12/17.

Stone Curlew Burhinus oedicnemus
Small groups around the Mar Menor, La Manga and San Pedro salinas, a group of c120 Guadalentin 18/12/11 and 27/12/11, 6 El Hondo 28/12/11. 26 west of Los Urrutias 20/12/13, 10+ El Mojon (San Pedro) 20/12/13, c20 military zone Los Alcazares 22/12/13. 1 El Hondo 13/12/14. Not recorded 12/2017. Not recorded 12/2007.

Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
5 El Algar EDAR 18/12/14, 2 Guadalentin 23/12/14, 2 on flooded fields El Hondo 29/12/14. 3 El Hondo 22/12/17.

Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
Common on the salinas and around the Mar Menor.  2 on flooded fields El Hondo 21/12/13. 70+ La Mata 29/12/14.

Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus
Fairly common La Manga salinas each winter; c50 there 4/1/14. 10+ San Pedro 25/12/11; c10 Salinas del Rasall 15/12/12. 1 El Hondo 14/12/13. 4+ Santa Pola salinas 24/12/14. 100+ La Mata 29/12/14.

European Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria
A flock of c140 over Los Narejos > west 29/12/11. c40 southern fields El Hondo 17/12/12 and c30 there 19/12/12. c10 Guadalentin 30/12/12, c70 over Los Narejos 1/1/2013. c180 Vistabella Road (El Hondo) 21/12/13, 74 La Manga salinas 4/1/14. c20 La Manga salinas 18-26/12/14, c160 Vistabella Road (El Hondo) 19/12/14. c50 on flooded fields El Hondo 29/12/14. c40 La Mata 29/12/14. c15 El Hondo 13/12/17, c10 there 22/12/17.

Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola
Fairly common, especially around the Mar Menor.

Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
El Hondo; flocks 20-60 every visit. c250 Vistabella Road 21/12/13. 5 El Algar EDAR 18/12/14. c120 on flooded fields El Hondo 29/12/14.

Southern Grey Shrike (Lanius meridionalis) El Hondo
European Serin (Serinus serinus) Los Narejos
White-headed Ducks (Oxyura leucocephala) El Hondo
Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala) La Manga












Sanderling Calidris alba
Very common San Pedro salinas and all beaches.

Little Stint Calidris minuta
Very common San Pedro, La Manga salinas and around the Mar Menor. c150 San Pedro 19/12/11. 2 El Hondo 14/12/13. 150+ La Mata 29/12/14.

Temminck's Stint Calidris temminckii
1 ad-W El Hondo visitor centre 22/12/17.

Dunlin Calidris alpina
Common San Pedro and La Manga salinas, max. c300 San Pedro saltings 19/12/11. Small groups El Hondo, c10 17/12/12. 50+ La Mata 29/12/14.

Ruff Philomachus pugnax
1 m. San Pedro salinas 15/12/11, 19/12/11. El Mojon (San Pedro); 3 16/12/13, 4 17/12/13, 2+ 20/12/13, 3 8/1/14. 4 on flooded field El Hondo 21/12/13. 4 San Pedro salinas 22/12/14. c25 on flooded fields El Hondo 29/12/14.

Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus
1 Albujon (Los Alcazares) 7/1/14. 1 El Hondo 13/12/17, 1 Horadada EDAR 12/12/17, 26/12/17. 4 El Hondo 22/12/17.

Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago
Common El Hondo. 2 Los Camachos res. 21/12/14. 4+ San Pedro salinas 22/12/14. 3 Guadalentin 23/12/14.

Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa
San Pedro salinas; 18 15/12/11, 1 19/12/11, 18 25/12/11; 14 16/12/12, 20 31/12/12, 10+ 12/2014. 4+ Santa Pola salinas 24/12/14.

Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica
c15 San Pedro saltings 25/12/11, 3+ there 25/12/12.

Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
1 San Pedro 25/12/11.

Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata
San Pedro saltings; c30 25/12/11; Small groups sometimes around the Mar Menor.

Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus
Salinas del Rasall; 10 17/12/11, 5 20/12/11. Fairly common San Pedro salinas all winters. Small numbers El hondo.

Common Redshank Tringa totanus
Small groups of on all three salinas, also around the Mar Menor. Occasional El Hondo. 10+ San Pedro canal 16/12/13.

Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia
Common throughout, all visits.

Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
Always seen on canals around the southern fields, El Hondo. Around the Mar Menor occasional; always seen on the canal, San Pedro. 1-3 El Algar EDAR and Los Camachos res. 12/2014. 2 Guadalentin 23/12/14.

Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
4 on flooded fields El Hondo, 22/12/13. 1 Los Camachos res. 18-21/12/14. 4 El Hondo 29/12/14. 1 El Hondo 13/12/17, 6+ there 22/12/17.

Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
1 Los Urrutias 22/12/11. 2-3 frequently seen San Pedro canal. 1 La Serena golf course, Los Alcazares 22/12/13. 2 Guadalentin 23/12/13. 2+ usually on Los Camachos res. 12/2014. 3 Guadalentin 23/12/14.

Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus) El Hondo
Southern Grey Shrike (Lanius meridionalis) El Hondo
Thekla Lark (Galerida theklae) Los Nietos










Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
Very common on salinas and beaches.

Great Skua Stercorarius skua
Cabo de Palos only; 1 24/12/11 on strong north-easterlies, 1 27/12/17.

Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus
Quite scarce; Occasional Los Urrutias, more frequent San Pedro salinas; 4 16/12/12, 2 El Mojon 20/12/13. Not seen at all 12/2014.

Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus
Very common throughout. The rubbish tip at El Hondo attracts large numbers. c100 Segura river mouth 28/12/12.

Slender-billed Gull Larus genei
Common on salinas and the Mar Menor, sometimes more frequent than L. ridibundus, although no large gatherings seen. Slightly less numerous 12/2012, but very common again 12/2013-1/2014. 2 Vistabella Road El Hondo 26/12/13. Fairly common throughout, 12/2014.

Audouin's Gull Larus audouinii
Small numbers on all three salinas. Salinas del Rasall 36 17/12/11, 40+ 20/12/11, c35 15/12/12; La Manga salinas c30 15/12/12. Frequent individuals seen around the Mar Menor. The vast majority adults. Scarce 12/2014.

Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus
Fairly scarce throughout, but a roost of 30+ San Pedro saltings 25/12/11. 10+ Santa Pola salinas 24/12/14.

Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis
Very common throughout, some large evening gatherings on the Mar Menor 12/2011. Always 300+ El Hondo rubbish tip. 

Black-legged Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla
5+ Cabo de Palos 24/12/11 on strong north-easterlies.

Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis
Common offshore and on the Mar Menor. 30+ Cabo de Palos 26/12/12 on light south-westerlies. 30+ Los Narejos 25/12/14.

Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus
4 La Raja (El Hondo) 26/12/13, probably adults.

Razorbill Alca torda
7+ Cabo de Palos 16/12/11, c20 there 24/12/11 on the north-easterly blow.

Black-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles orientalis
c40 Guadalentin 21/12/12, 5 there 30/12/12. Always on newly-sown fields.

Feral Pigeon Columba livia domestica
Common throughout. Occasional flock of (domestic) 'painted pigeons' - apparently a Murcia speciality. 

Common Woodpigeon Columba palumbus
Fairly common throughout.

Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) Los Narejos
European (Iberian) Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis sharpei) San Pedro
Ruff (Philomachus pugnax) San Pedro












Eurasian Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto
Very Common throughout.

Monk Parakeet Myiopsitta monachus (Introduced)
Frequently seen in small numbers anywhere with (or near) date palms; La Manga salinas 10+ 23/12/11; 12 Los Nietos 30/12/12. Always seen La Manga salinas.

Little Owl Athene noctua
Scarce (at least in winter); Guadalentin; 2 27/12/11; 1 21/12/12; 3 23/12/13. 1 Escalona 17/12/13. 2 (possible pair) Los Urrutias 7/1/14. 2 (possible pair) Los Urrutias 12/2014.

Tawny Owl Strix aluco
1 heard early morning, entrance to Red trail, El Hondo 28/12/11.

Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
Common. Usually seen on all visits to the salinas. Common El Hondo.

Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops
Fairly common all visits.

European (Iberian) Green Woodpecker Picus viridis sharpei
Sometimes seen in all suitable habitat, including wasteland and abandoned/unbuilt urbanizations. Often seen in places with no or few trees. Subspecies sharpei. Very scarce 12/2014 due to wet ground.

Calandra Lark Melanocorypha calandra
50+ Guadalentin 21/12/12, with Lesser Short-toed Larks. Much singing and calling. 2-3 there 23/12/13.

Lesser Short-toed Lark Calandrella rufescens
200+ Guadalentin 21/12/12, with above species. Mainly found on the newly sown fields. c10 southern fields (El Hondo) 27/12/12. >10 Guadalentin 23/12/13.

Crested Lark Galerida cristata
Common throughout, mostly in built-up zones but also rural (cultivated) areas.

Thekla Lark Galerida theklae
50+ Guadalentin 21/12/12 maximum count. Also seen on rocky coasts and coastal dunes, where fairly common.

Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis
Scarce. 2+ southern fields (El Hondo) 21/12/13. 1 'palm farm road' El Hondo 13/12/14. 3 El Hondo 22/12/17.

Eurasian Crag Martin Ptyonoprogne rupestris
Common over all reedbeds, salinas and rocky coastlines.

Richard's Pipit Anthus richardi
2 Los Nietos 7/1/14. 2 Los Nietos 27/12/14. Rare winter visitor.

Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis
Common in suitable habitat. Max. count 100+ abandoned military zone, Los Alcazares 14/12/11.

Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta
Fairly common every winter on the salinas, also El Hondo, including flooded fields. Sometimes on rivers and canals in Murcia.

Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava
1 m. El Hondo 14/12/13. 1 1W La Serena golf course, Los Alcazares 22/12/13. 2+ southern fields El Hondo 6/1/14, 1 1W flooded fields El Hondo 21/12/13. 2 southern fields El Hondo 13/12/14, 1 there 19/12/14.

Eurasian Crag Martin (Ptyonoprogne rupestris) El Hondo
Richard's Pipit (Anthus richardi) Los Nietos
Ruff (Philomachus pugnax) El Hondo












Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
Generally scarce. 1 Espuna 26/12/11, 2 El Hondo 28/12/11. More common in suitable habitat 2013/14. Scarce again 12/2014.

White Wagtail Motacilla alba
Very common throughout.

Dunnock Prunella modularis
2 El Mojon (San Pedro) 18/12/13. Uncommon wintering species.

European Robin Erithacus rubecula
Small numbers throughout, all visits. 8+ on fruiting tree, Cartagena cemetery 23/12/11.

Bluethroat Luscinia svecica
Fairly common El Hondo all visits.

Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros
Common throughout.

Common Stonechat Saxicola torquatus
Common throughout.

Black Wheatear Oenanthe leucura
2 (pair) Calblanque 17/12/11, 20/12/11; 2 (pair) Cartagena cemetery 23/12/11; 3 there 23/12/12. A pair Escalona 17/12/13. 2 (pair) Calblanque 15/12/17, 4 Sierra Gorda (Cartagena) 23/12/17.

Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius
2 (pair) Cartagena cemetery 23/12/11; 1 male Crevillent 27/12/12, 1 male Segura river mouth 28/12/12. 1 female Escalona 17/12/13. 3 Sierra Gorda (Cartagena) 23/12/17.

Common Blackbird Turdus merula
Fairly common throughout.

Song Thrush Turdus philomelos
Scarce; 1 Escalona 16/12/12, 10+ Guadalentin 21/12/12. 1 Escalona 17/12/13, 1 El Carmoli 27/12/13. 2 'palm farm road' El Hondo 19/12/14.

Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus
3 Espuna summit 27/12/11. 

Cetti's Warbler Cettia cetti
Fairly common in suitable habitat. Common El Hondo.

Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis
Common around salinas, the Mar Menor and El Hondo.

Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus) El Hondo
Penduline Tit (Remiz pendulinus) El Hondo
Audouin's Gull (Larus audouinii) San Pedro
Black Wheatear (Oenanthe leucura) Cartagena









Dartford Warbler Sylvia undata
Fairly common around the salinas, Guadalentin and Calblanque, common El Hondo.

Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicillata
1 male Guadalentin 21/12/12. A rare wintering species. 

Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala
Very common throughout.

Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla
4+ on fruiting tree, Cartagena cemetery 23/12/11, 1 f. El Hondo 28/12/11; 4+ El Hondo 19/12/12, 4+ Guadalentin 21/12/12. None at all seen 12/2013-1/2014. 2 Bateria de Cenizas 17/12/14. Occasional around El Hondo 12/2014.

Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
Large wintering population throughout the area. 

Firecrest Regulus ignicapilla
1 Espuna 18/12/11. 3+ Bateria de Cenizas 17/12/14.

Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus
4 Espuna 27/12/11. 10+ Bateria de Cenizas 17/12/14. 8+ Pilar de Horadada EDAR 21/12/14.

Crested Tit Parus cristatus
1 Espuna 18/12/11.

Coal Tit Parus ater
1 Espuna 18/12/11, 2+ there 27/12/11. 2+ Escalona 17/12/13.

Great Tit Parus major
1 Espuna 18/12/11. 3+ Bateria de Cenizas 17/12/14.

Short-toed Treecreeper Certhia brachydactyla
2 Espuna 18/12/11.

Penduline Tit Remiz pendulinus
Fairly common El Hondo and most reedbeds, all visits.

Southern Grey Shrike Lanius meridionalis
Fairly common throughout, including wasteland in urban areas. c6 Guadalentin 18/12/11, c6 El Hondo 21/12/11.

Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius
Low density, Espuna only 12/2011. 

Common Magpie Pica pica
Common throughout.

Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax
2 Espuna summit 26/12/11; 4 (2 pairs) Escalona 16/12/12.

Jackdaw Corvus monedula
Common, large numbers at rubbish tip, El Hondo.

Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius) Cartagena
Common Redshank (Tringa totanus) San Pedro
Black-winged Stilts (Himantopus himantopus) San Pedro
Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus) El Hondo









Spotless Starling Sturnus unicolor
Very common throughout.

Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris
Small flocks seen around the Mar Menor. Large flocks of roosting birds El Hondo every visit.

House Sparrow Passer domesticus
Very common throughout.

Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis
1 male Santa Pola 22/12/17.

Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus
Scarce; c20 southern fields El Hondo 21/12/13. 2 near El Hondo visitor centre 13/12/14.

Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
Fairly common, low density, seen throughout. 100+ southern fields El Hondo 17/12/12, 80+ there 27/12/12.

European Serin Serinus serinus
Very common throughout, with large numbers feeding/roosting in all reedbeds.

European Greenfinch Carduelis chloris
Common throughout, often feeding/roosting with Serins.

European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
Common throughout.

Common Linnet Carduelis cannabina
Common throughout.

Common Crossbill Loxia curvirostra
1 male Espuna 18/12/11.

Common Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus
Common throughout.

Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra
Guadalentin only; 10+ 18/12/11; 10+ 21/12/12.

Other observations

Red-veined Darter Sympetrum fonscolombii
1 female La Serena golf course 22/12/13. 1 male Vistabella Rd El Hondo 19/12/14.

Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum
Several seen around reedbeds and salinas 12/2011. 5-6 La Serena golf course 22/12/13.

Vagrant Emperor Anax ephippiger
Sometimes seen along Vistabella Rd (El Hondo) in the reedbeds. Rarely seen at rest in the winter.

Clouded Yellow Colias crocea
Quite common throughout - most visits.

Small White Pieris rapae
20+ southern fields El Hondo 22/12/17.

Green-striped White Euchloe belemia
Common on flowery meadows 12/2014.

Plain Tiger(African Monarch) Danaus chrysippus
6+ El Hondo 12/2012. 8+ southern fields El Hondo 22/12/17.

Painted Lady Vanessa cardui
2-3 seen 12/2012. Several seen 12/13, 1/14.

Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta
Quite common throughout - most visits.

Hummingbird Hawk-moth Macroglossum stellatarum
Several seen 12/13, 1/14.

Western Honey Bee Apis mellifera

Four-spot Orb-weaver (spider sp.) Araneus quadratus
1 San Pedro 8/1/14.


Weasel Mustela nivalis
1 El Hondo 21/12/11; 1 El Hondo 19/12/12.

Mouflon Ovis orientalis musimon
c30 Espuna 27/12/11.

Red Squirrel Sciurus vulgaris
1 Los Alcazares 5/1/14.

Southern Water Vole Arvicola sapidus
1 Vistabella Rd (El Hondo) 19/12/14.

Brown Hare Lepus europaeus

Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus


In December 2012 there were also a surprising number of flowering plants, including;

Yellow Chamomile Anthemis tinctoria, Branched St Bernard's Lily Anthericum ramosum, Saw-wort Serratula tinctoria.