Weather: 19 degrees, north westerlies 8mph, blue skies and sunny
Dove Step 3 bird list: 79 species
Best birds: Bluethroat, Purple Swamphen, Cranes, Booted Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Squacco Heron, masses of storks!
Cumulative Dove Step 3 distance: 47.5 miles
Another solid day’s mileage and easing into the rigours of our daily mileage target. Weather was beautiful and tested my northern complexion to the max! Lathering sun cream about my self and a cap seemed to do the trick.
Our day started with a walk through La Janda – excellent wetland habitat comprising irrigation channels and rice fields. This gave us a wealth of new water birds including a couple of hundred Cranes, Spoonbills, Green Sandpiper and Water Pipit. A Bluethroat on the track ahead of us was an early morning treat followed by a Hoopoe chaser!
We spent the whole day in the company of storks and even had lunch next to a breeding colony – complete with the bill clattering display. Our lunch companions also included Squacco Heron and a very vocal Cetti’s Warbler. I’ve had worse lunches.
Rob and myself are in good condition despite a 2km climb into our finishing location of Alcala – a particularly attractive hill top village with a very active Lesser Kestrel colony breeding on the church.
The only ailments in camp tonight are Rob’s blister collection and my barsal region which has been treated with Bepanthen. That’s right kids – Dove Step reduces you to nappy rash cream.
Completing almost 50 miles is really gratifying. Although it’s still notably shy of 700…