61 species were seen in the Alcossebre area in February 2014.
Some of the highlights were:-
A Common Kingfisher on the 12th was the first this year.
The first spring migrant arrived on the 14th – a Great Spotted Cuckoo.
Two Common Ravens on the 22nd were the first this year.
The first House Martin of spring came through on the 24th.
A fine male Hen Harrier passed through on the 25th.
Two Penduline Tits at Capycorp lagoon were a first this year.
A single Whimbrel continues to winter along the rocky sea coast.
While resident species were displaying and starting to nest birds, many wintering birds were still in good numbers.
It is not a great coast for seabirds, so two Great Created Grebes, and two Northern Gannets were usual numbers for here.
Most days saw a passage of Great Cormorant´s with 104 through on the 7th.
No Shearwaters were seen this month, which was disappointing.
Only two Grey Herons passed through this month.
Little Egrets and Cattle Egrets were seen on a daily basis, but in low numbers.
Four birds of prey were seen this month. The Hen Harrier already mentioned, single Eurasian Sparrowhawks, one ot two Common Buzzards, and the resident Common Kestrels, with up to four birds holding winter territories.
With the sewage pond completly dried up, the only place left to see Common Moorhens is Torre de Capycorp pond with up 6 birds there.
The only species of wading bird was the wintering Whimbrel.
Black-headed Gulls were in very low numbers with a max. of six birds seen.
In contrast, 60 Mediterranan Gulls were seen regularly at the coastal gull roost, opposite the juvenile camp.
Audouin´s Gulls peaked at 94 birds at the gull roost.
61 Yellow-legged Gulls heading north west inland was the peak for them.
Again in contrast, only one Lesser-black back Gull was seen all month.
Sandwich Terns joined the gull roost most days and peaked at 120 birds.
Common Woodpigeon and Collared Dove numbers were down nearer to nesting numbers, with 43 of the former and 32 of the later seen.
Great Spotted Cuckoo´s arrived on the 14th, and thereafter one or two birds were seen daily.
Little Owl numbers are still very low, with only one or two birds heard daily.
The only Common Kingfisher seen was on the 12th.
Up to six pairs of the delightful Hoopoe were seen displaying daily, a sure sign of spring.
The 19 pairs or so of Common Magpie were being pestered by the Great Spotted Cuckoo´s. It will be interesting to see how many Cuckoo´s the Magpies rear this year?
A pair of Common Ravens were seen flying near the Alcossebre Bowls club, and although this was the first sighting this year, they have been seen in this area before.
The resident Crested Larks were displaying and singing quite regulary, with at least 10 pairs in the area.
Wintering Skylarks peaked at 54 birds on the 24th.
Wintering Crag Martins were present thoughout the month, peaking at 26 birds.
House Martins had arrived by the 24th and one or two were seen for the rest of the month. No Swallows seen yet.
The only resident Tit is the Great Tit, with up to six pairs displaying and nest building.
Two passage Penduline Tits were seen at Capycorp lagoon on the 27th, but had moved on by the next day.
Except for Sardinian Warblers with a max. of 19 birds, most of the rest are in very low numbers. One or two Cetti´s Warblers, a max. of 10 Common Chiffchaffs, single Zitting Cisticolas,
max. of six Blackcaps, and single Dartford Warblers.
Wintering Robins are still well down in numbers with a max. of 5 birds.
Black Redstarts are doing much better with a max. of 17 birds.
Likewise up to 12 Common Stonechats is good numbers.
The single male Blue Rock Thrush continues to defend it´s stone farm building from all other birds, including the resident Spotless Starlings.
strangely the Common Blackbird is anything but common here, with only four pairs holding territory, and all well apart.
Wintering Song Thrush numbers continue to be very low, max. of 13 birds.
A single Grey Wagtail continues to frequent the garden pond, usually chased by the White Wagtails. White Wagtails peaked at 38 birds on the 22nd.
Another species with low winter numbers is the Meadow Pipit with a max. of 13 birds seen.
The first male Cirl Bunting heard in song was on the 17th, and so far he is the only one.
Up to five Reed Buntings continue to winter in the rural farmlands.
Corn Bunting numbers peaked at 38 birds on the 10th.
While the resident finches are displaying and nest building, the wintering finches are still here, albeit in low numbers. Peak numbers for each species are Chaffinch 57, Greenfinch 46, Goldfinch 50, Linnets 40 and Serin 37.
In contrast the
Alcossebre Weather in February 2014.
This was the mildest and driest February for a number of years.
The only thing that spoiled the month was a number of days (8) with strong winds.
Average day temperature was 17C (72F).
Warmest days were 22C (72F) on the 7th, 13th and 14th.
Coldest day was 12C (53F) on the 11th.
Average night temperature was 8C (46F).
Warmest night was 13C (55F) on the 8th.
Coldest night was 3C (37F) on the 3rd.
The total rainfall for the month was 0.7 inches (18mm) over 8 days, with most days barely wetting the ground.