CYCLING & BIRDING

PILOT EXPERIENCE IN THE REGIONAL PARK OF “Salina de San Pedro”

Guides: Jose M. Escarabajal (Birding Murcia) & Juan F º Garcia (Rental Bikes)
Participants: P.S., M.L., M.M.., V.H.

Checklist:
Slender-billed gull, Black-necked grebe, Yellow-legged Gull, Flamingo, Common Sandpiper, Sanderling, Grey Heron, Mallard, Little Egret, Spoonbill, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Black-winged Stilt, Greenshank, Godwit, Curlew, Little Stint, Kingfisher, Great Egret, Turnstone, Great Cormorant, Laughing Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Kestrel, Shelduck, Great Crested Grebe, Avocet, Common Redshank, Common Redshank and Sandwich Tern.

We met at the entrance to the Regional Park of San Pedro Salinas for an experience that starts our new Cycling & Birding trips. The goal was to enjoy a nice bike ride and walk in comfort to see all of the  natural area while we identified its avifauna. We wanted to join two healthy activities such as cycling and bird watching.
We started our tour at the old salt mill, San Quentin after a brief introduction on the itinerary from our guide José Manuel and a technical explanation of the bikes from Juan Francisco (Rental Bikes) after which we began pedaling toward the area of “Weirs “. We past along the  promenade for pedestrians and cyclist between the salt ponds and across the calm waters of the Mar Menor.
We looked at the  traditional salt mills along the way and past over wooden walkways to the mud baths, as we observed the landscape and the first groups of flamingos (emblematic bird park), some tridactyle Sandpiper and a large group of Black-necked grebes often hibernate in these lakes every year.

Passing another salt mill to the area most habitated by birds in the park: the area called “weirs” (so named because an ancient art of fishing is still practiced in this area of Murcia). We have before us a beautiful landscape of marshes where lie many birds. We look through our telescopes at the many Grey Herons and Little Egrets on show. The most interesting observation of the day not long in coming: a group of Common Spoonbills are flying over the marsh. Curlews, Mallards, stilts, plovers, Godwhits, Redshank and a fast cruising Kingfisher before our binoculars pleasing to participants.
We continue on our path as a Great Egret passes overhead offering good views of its plumage. Now, the route runs between dunes and white sand beaches where Turnstone and cormorants are the new stars. It’s time to stop for a quick picnic in front of the sunny Mediterranean waters.

We start off again  pedaling towrds the factory which makes the salt  and with it a change in the landscape, with  mountains of salt ready to be taken away. It is now the turn of the Gulls (reidoras, yellow-legged, Gulls)  here they are owners of ponds. The twisted pines, permanently exposed to the wind to hold the dune encroachment adorn the path before reaching the last stretch of the route. We are now at another of the hot spots of the Regional Park, again we view with the telescopes the salty lagoons where there are grouped several Common Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, black-tailed godwit, black-necked grebe, Shelduck and Great Crested Grebe, and as usual, a large flock of flamingos that provoke astonishment from the  observers when flying cross showing their  spectacular plumage. They are an excellent finish that leaves the group wanting to repeat the experience soon.

Birding Murcia (Southeast Live) & Rental Bikes

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