Birding in Benidorm? Many tourists doubt about the possibility of birding in Benidorm. For many tourists, Benidorm seems to be a place to lay down on the beach or to party. However, I will explain you in this post the fantastic birding reserves that you can find just one-hour drive from Benidorm.
That is the surprise reaction when someone tells a friend that he/she has been birding in Benidorm. In the surroundings of this popular holiday destination can be found a wide variety of habitats and reserves teeming with some of the ‘most wanted’ Iberian birds.
This part of East Spain is becoming more and more popular for birders, particularly families, thanks to the promotion done by the administration and birding companies. The coast of Valencia and Alicante offers the possibility to combine beach holidays for, let’s say your partner and children, and birding for you. Following you can read my last trip report about birding in Benidorm.
Last Friday, I picked Vernon up from Benidorm and we went South of Alicante province to watch as much species as possible. Our first stop was at the Salinas de Santa Pola where we watched an immature Slender-billed Gull (the first lifer for Vernon), a Great White Heron and hundreds of Greater Flamingos. In addition, we added waders such as Knot (a local rarity which has been in the area for few weeks), Black-tailed Godwits, Avocets, Redshanks, Black-winged Stilts and Little Stints.
On the top of a scrub we got an Iberian Grey Shrikes.
Our second stop was on the beach near the Salinas. There we enjoyed a close-up group of 10 Sanderlings. With the telescope we watched Gannets diving and Audouin’s Gulls. Later, we drove to a nearby bar to have a coffee before continuing the birding tour.
Our next stop was at El Hondo reservoir. Here the star was a group of 70 White-headed Ducks mixed with Black-necked Grebes, Tufted Ducks and Common Pochards. We also found an injured male Red-Crested Pochard (probably shoot by hunters the days before), so I phoned straightaway the wildlife recovery center. Marsh Harriers, Stonechat, a Yellow Wagtail and gorgeous male Darford Warbler were also seen in the surroundings.
To finish the tour, we moved to our last stop in the hills which surround El Hondo. There, we got superb views of the resident pair of Bonelli’s Eagles patrolling their territory. We could see through the telescope these fantastic raptors looking at us from their usual perch. Later, on the top of a huge rock I spotted a Black wheatear and shared it quickly with Vernon. Crested Larks, Hoopoe and Sardinian Warblers were calling. On the way back to the main road, Vernon did very well spotting a Little Owl on a stone wall. With no more time, we drove back to Benidorm after this wonderful birding tour in a sunny and warm day.
As I am writing this, I get news of a Lesser Yellowlegs located in the farmland fields South of “El Hondo”. It shows what a fantastic area for birding the Alicante province is! If you would like more about birding in Valencia Region, we recommed you to read our 5-day itinerary. Should you have anu questions, please do not doubt to contact us.
Have a nice day!