Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Moore nr 10th Feb 15

    A bittern in flight over the eastern reedbed and  kingfishers darting about there also.
 Lots of gulls to look at including a colour ring herring gull.According to webring it has been rung in the Isle of Man. A nice 1st winter yellow legged gull also.
 A Harris hawk was flying around the car park as I was leaving.

Shining Tor Peak district 7th feb 15

A 12 mile trek in the snow today. So beautiful in this winter wonderland and a nice pint in the Cat and Fiddle to finish.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Laughing Gull New Brighton 5 Feb 2015

1st winter laughing gull and a couple of snow buntings today

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Monday, July 04, 2011

The ghost of Arnfeild reservoir,
I was suprised how pale and grey the western bonellis warbler looked as it perched atop a birch tree  for 20 seconds or so. It was very white below and pale grey on the mantle in the midday sun. It was heard to sing several times but proved very elusive this morning after our initial sighting. A nice tick for me after dipping on the W T robin.
A family party of siskins were bathing in the stream including this juv

Friday, May 20, 2011

Spain, Donana
Day7 20th May 2011
 My last day in Spain and today I was doing the big trip to the Jose Antonio Valverde centre. A 60 km distance from El Rocio that would take me about 2.5 hours on very bumpy, rough tracks. This journey would take me to the best area for bird watching in the whole of the Donana. Its birding all the way really but the centre with its massive flock of thousands of breeding glossy ibis,hundreds of flamingos,cattle egrets, little egrets, squacco herons, purple herons, night herons, spoonbills is a very impressive sight. Also the rare marbled duck was seen here,red knobbed coot, purple swamphen,gull billed tern, and whiskered tern.
  The birds of prey included black and red kite, booted eagle, short toed eagle,osprey, griffon vulture, marsh and montagu's harrier and kestrel. A truly wonderful place.
     A drive back to Portugal late afternoon and an overnight stay in Faro ready for my Saturday morning 8.45 flight back to Liverpool after an excellent birding adventure!
As the plane was ready for take off at the end of the runway I noticed several nesting little terns in the gravel beside the runway. Amazing!
                                                                   Marbled duck
                                                                  Short toed eagle
                                                     red knobbed coot
                                                                  red kite
                                                       purple heron
                                                     griffon vulture
                                                             little egret
                                                        cattle egret
                                                          spanish wagtail

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day 6 19th May 2011
Today I visited an area called El Corredor Verde del guadiamar (the green corridor) that was created after a pollution diaster in 1998. Here I had Montagu's harrier booted eagle, osprey, kestrel, quail, turtle dove,Spanish wagtail, great crested grebe and nightingale.
 A strange mammal about 18 inches long with a long thin tail with a bushy black end to it, and short legs, scurried across the road on the way home near Villamanrique. I did a quick sketch of it and later identified it with the help of the warden at the SEO hide in El Rocio as an egyptian mongoose.  
Pale phase booted eagle
                                                         A remote-control black kite!

                                                  A black Kite picking food from the lake
                                                        night heron
                                                           Moorish gecko

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 5 18th May 2011

El Rocio is a strange place with no tarmac roads, just sand. Most buildings have a rail for tieing your horse to.The main street is dominated by a large white church dedicated to the virgin mary which overlooks a big lagoon. My first views of the lagoon produced 20 whiskered terns,3 flamingos, 10 black kites, singing great reed warblers everywhere and many spoonbills feeding in the shallow waters.
  I then visited the nearby El arroya de la Rocina reserve which is one of only 2 permanent sources of fresh water in the nattional park.Some of the birds seen here were Marsh harrier,booted eagle, black shoulder kite, black kite, griffon vulture, common buzzard, tree sparrow, cuckoo, green woodpecker, nightingale, wren, blackcap,long tailed tit and spotted flycatcher. Night heron ,little egret grey heron and glossy ibis, red crested pochard.

                                                             griffon vultures
                                                                    Booted eagle
                                                                   Bath White
                                                          Large Psammodromus
                                   Lots of nightingales but almost impossible to see never mind photograph.
                                                            A very big cricket/ grasshopper
                                                     spotless starling

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Day4 17th May 2011

Our last day in Portugal bird watching today. We left Tavira and headed towards Faro airport and then on to Quinto do Lago for some golf course birding. A hide that looks over a big reed fringed lake on the edge of an exculsive '150 euro a round' golf course gave good views of purple swamphen, little bittern, red crested pochard, pochard, gadwall and black headed weavers. The surrounding area had crested tit, nightingale, turtle dove, cettis warbler, hoopoe, marsh harrier and many azure winged magpie. A good variety of waders on the pools and salt pans also. A spectacled warbler in the scrub and an Iberian chiffchaff heard here but not seen .
 We then headed into Faro for some lunch and a Macdonalds was my sons choice. We had a nice pair of melodious warblers in a flowering tree close to the harbour before I dropped my son off at the airport for his flight home and I then travelled on into Spain. I arrived at El Rocio in the Donana about 9pm after a 2.5 hour journey. During the journey I had 2 montagu's harriers beside the very quiet motorway, one of them flying down the hard shoulder towards me.This motorway must be the most 'beautiful' road in Spain as the central reservation is just mile after mile of pink flowering shrubs.

A real tangle of legs and toes as a couple of purple swamphens sort out a dispute

The introduced black headed weaver? was nesting in the reed beds.
A pair of Melodious warblers in Faro city centre
Spectacled warbler