Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Back garden.....and Spain

I was hanging out the washing this morning....I lead a very exciting life....and I could hear a high pitched screeching, definitely a raptor.....despite searching the skies I couldn't find anything...

...this afternoon I was getting the recycling together in the back garden....I told you I lead an exciting life....and heard the same screeching....this time I located two birds of prey...one large, Buzzard like...the other smaller...and obviously harrying the bigger one...inside for the bins...

...the Buzzard like one turned out to be....a Buzzard....inside for the scope as the smaller one had meandered off....yes, definitely a Buzzard and the smaller bird....a Peregrine....so I watched for a minute...and the Peregrine turned in to 2 Peregrines....nice...!

Meanwhile back in Spain....I thought I would stick a list up of the birds seen....lifers I have highlighted in blue...but they are in order of seeing them day by day....its not an extensive list...it was a family holiday so birding was limited....however...I did manage to get one of my target Wheatears...

Bee-eater....these would fly over every morning and evening....I saw about 100 one evening when I went to stay with my brother at his villa...
Blackbird
Orphean Warbler....outside the house regularly
Sardinian Warbler...loads and loads everywhere outside the house...
Golden Oriole...a family were present locally, the male singing by the house now and then...
Red-rump Swallow...another morning event...100-200 would come up the valley and pass by..
House Martin
Spotless Starling...a small flock would go over most mornings....
Whitethroat
Stonechat
Goldfinch
Feral Pigeon
Collared Dove
Turtle Dove...the only one I have seen this year anywhere....
House Sparrow
Griffon Vulture
Black Redstart
Blue Rock Thrush
Egyptian Vulture
Grey Wagtail
Short-toed Eagle
Crag Martin
Barn Swallow
Swift
Wren
Great Tit
Rose-ringed Parakeet
Yellow-legged Gull
Black Wheatear
Kestrel
Little Owl
Chaffinch
Coal Tit
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Nuthatch
Long Tail Tit
Bonellis Eagle
Spotted Flycatcher
Chough
Red-legged Partridge
Coot
Grey Heron
Black-winged Stilt
Cettis Warbler
Crested Tit
Greater Black-backed Gull
Common Redstart
Bonellis Warbler

Best book I found was Garcia and Patersons Birds of Southern and Western Spain....

Most disappointing bit about the trip...I had read in a different book, an orange covered 25 pages of a thing, about how great Ronda was for Lesser Kestrel, hundreds of Swifts (several species), Peregrine activity and more....lets just say...Ronda has a nice bridge, a flock of 50 Chough and I counted at least 300 Feral Pigeon....nothing else in sight....very....very disappointing....and obviously old information...

Monday, 29 August 2016

Autumn is upon us....

1100 - 1230 sunny, some cloud, breezy SW f2-3

....and you cant get much more Autumnal than a Blackberry...

A quick visit...the first for a few weeks now....a middle of the day session, so not much moving around...Chiffchaffs calling and a few warblers moving around....Blackcap, Whitethroat, Reed Warbler.....

I came across this little emerald jewel dancing and glinting in the sunshine.....lovely...

I'm pretty sure this is a Beautiful Demoiselle, female

But todays highlight was probably the two Clouded Yellow butterflies along the track....fabulous...but couldn't get a photo as they wouldn't sit still for longer than a second....will have to try again earlier in the day....

Now the tide has gone out....thanks to the sun finally getting on with evaporation, there was a Common Sandpiper on the shore.  50+ Tufted Duck, 35+ Canada Geese.

3 Swallow were over the field near the access road, as were the 2 Buzzards, one being an immature bird....15+ House Martin were over the pits.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Blue Rock Thrush

No...not at Whetsted...how disappointing....sorry....I've been to Spain for a couple of weeks....we had a place north of Malaga....away from the Brits on the beaches!!  Anyway, outside the door of the rustic house we stayed at was a big hill....small mountain.....and there, every morning....




Friday, 5 August 2016

Looks like....

Hooray.....hopefully, now I have re-computered I can get on with this blog....

1030 - 1200 Sunny, 10% cloud cover, WSW f2-4, slightly chilly Autumn is well on the way, having had Sand Martins over the its two weeks ago, Cuckoos having, mostly, left...and Swifts seemingly disappeared too....the first migrating Sedge Warblers have been ringed over at Cuckmere valley....lots of birds though still have young in the nest as well as recently fledged....

Today I saw a recently fledged brood of Wrens....all gingery and bright yellow gapes with the adults click a clicking in the scrub near by. Not a huge amount to report really. 130+ Greylag and 60+ Canada Geese were noisy on one of the pits. 40 or so Black-headed Gulls were near by. The immature Buzzard was still calling with an adult calling back from some trees. The other raptor was Kestrel.

On the way in to the pits I pass this field....a few short weeks ago it was full of what some people would call 'weeds'...I would refer to them as seed bearing plants.....various thistles and other plants....all of them having just but grown to fruition...


....then along comes the farmer....the last I saw, about two weeks back I suppose, mid insect breeding time, he was out there spraying everything....killing the plants and the insects, affecting two groups of birds in one....now...he has removed everything.... ...as well as the above destruction of various flora and fauna...


...this is what is left of one of the Great Lettuce plants....he obviously decided to take a trip along the lane side of the hedge of the field above and chop down anything and everything...luckily he didn't do a great job and some of the plants have survived, still being attached and flowering... On the more positive side....I found these, possibly, Ruddy Darters, attached and laying eggs in this ever decreasing puddle...


Sometimes its about being in the right place....as I stood watching over one of the fields along came this Painted Lady and settled at my feet....

Sunday, 24 July 2016

The crankies...cont

Hmm...im having to run in html...and its only allowing me to post two pictures at a time...maybe it knows something...anyway....another moth, it would be two...but now its crankiness is only allowing me one...good grief...!!!... Its a Waved Black....

Crank of crankiness

No...not me....computers...mine has died a slow agonising death....im now using an old as the ark crapper....goodness knows what this will end up looking like...anyway.... WeBS today.... 0900 - 1030 3 Mallard, 2 Moorhen, 3 Grey Heron, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 4 Mute Swan, 2 Mandarin Duck, 21 Tufted Duck, 19 Canada Geese, 53 Greylag, 5 Black-headed Gull. Other than that its as dead as a dead dingos donger...a few Blackcap were singing....a Reed Bunting and a couple of Yellowhammers. The Linnets were flying all over the place and a couple of Bullfinch showed. A few Stock Dove were in the long grass waiting for me to wander by so they could frighten the bejeezus out of me...nice... Other than that it was....dead July....the Geese are back from wherever they have been...so I guess its a sign of the times...nearly Xmas and all that.... Ive been running the moth trap a bit this month (you will no doubt recall last month, June, was nothing like Flaming...more...drowning June....heres two Orange Moths....the first is a bright orange male....the female usually being duller orange...however...there is a varient female called corylaria...which is the second picture...