I am not sure I tackled Pego marshes correctly but the results weren't that good. Perhaps I was in the wrong part. Hopefully I have years in the future to discover a better way.
Even the way I tackled it, I couldn't miss the fact the place is home to numerous chiffchaff in winter.
European collared dove
reed bunting perched
Sometimes they were in the reeds and occasionally in bushes or on near-by ground. A bearded tit was probably the best bird seen in the reeds and perhaps during the session.
reed bunting on the ground
My first Spanish chaffinch was observed next to two grounded reed bunting.
robin from the rear
Indeed I glimpsed a bluethroat there too. Pego is at the extreme north of their wintering range.
A meadow pipit was another single bird seen.
Of the larger water birds a grey heron and three great cormorant indicated the potential of the site yet overall I was a little disappointed.
While the marshes may have been a disappointment, two walks on other days within the town towards the beach were better than I had expected. I was joined on one of these walks my local expat Viv Carlson and I am grateful for her directional guidance and company.
Goldfinch and greenfinch are readily picked up. Kestrel can be observed on the wires.
booted eagle 1
A pair of adult pale morph booted eagle were not expected though. I hadn't realised this was a winter possibility in Oliva at all. I wonder if this is global warming playing a part. The vast majority of booted eagle winter south of the Sahara.
booted eagle 2
Mallard was common and most birds were paired off. I assume the breeding season is not long away for them.
Black redstart is clearly a common winterer and was seen in a variety of habitats on these walks even including gardens.
black redstart taking off
Another bird which is resident in both northern and southern Europe is great tit. Seeing one on my walk madeit species number 72 on my slowly growing Spanish list which so far has all come from the Oliva area.
Sardinian warbler is an old friend from Oliva last summer, Libya's Mediterranean coast all year round and in far north west Saudi Arabia in winter.
The last addition to my Spanish list was European stonechat with both a male and a female flitting around bushes next to the dunes on the coast.
European serin 1
On the way back from that sighting, I finally came up close to a few European serin which had been dodging me throughout.
European serin 2
The last new bird for the walk however was a cattle egret perched in a stream in exactly the same place as a little egret had been earlier.
I am back in Oman now and hope to resume birding here very soon after my interlude in Spain.