Saturday 2 April 2016

Belvide and Gaily Reservoirs, Staffordshire, UK.

A mornings birding and an evening in the pub !!!!

Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea).
I was pleased to find that John and Sharon Holian were going to be free for a mornings birding around some of the old local spots. We started in the rain and decided to go to Belvide Res as there were several hides to sit in and stay dry. 
Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa).
We parked and had a quick look at the woodland hide first before going to the main hide, at the feeders we saw Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Marsh (Carbonero Palustre / Parus palustris) and Long-tailed Tits (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Dunnock (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis), Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa) and several Pheasants (Faisán Vulgar / Phaisanus colchicus).
Pheasant (Faisán Vulgar / Phaisanus colchicus).
We moved on to the Scott hide and soon had several Goldeneyes (Porrón Osculado /Bucephala clangula) in the scope amongst a blizzard of Sand Martins (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia) and Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) with the odd House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) dotted in with them. 
Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula).
In the reeds in front of us we had Great Crested Grebe (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and further out on the main water there were Tufted Duck (Porrón Monudo / Aythya fuligula), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Canada (Barnacla Canadiense /Branta canadensis) and Greylag Geese (Ansar Común / Anser anser), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo). 
Great Crested Grebes (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus).
Whist we were in the hide Geoff Russon a midlands birder who I had not seen for many years came in and we spent a bit of time catching up before we moved around to the next hide with a few feeders in front of it where we added Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus), Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Eurasian Oystercatcher (Ostrero Euroasiatico / Haematopus ostralegus), Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor) and Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca).
Goldeneyes (Porrón Osculado /Bucephala clangula).
We then got a call from the far hide from Steve Knutall another birder I knew from past trips to tell us that there was an Osprey (Águila Pescardora / Pandion haliaetus) hovering over the top end of the lake so we scanned the area and eventually picked it up as it disappeared over the woods on the North shore. 
Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus).
From the far hide we had a better look over the North Shore where we added Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and a quite smart Black Swan (Cisne negro).
Dunnock (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis).
As we walked back towards the car we picked up a nice Goldcrest (Reyezuelo Sencillo / Regulus regulus), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius) and Common Starling (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulg aris).
Tawny Owl (Cárabo Común / Strix aluco).
Once we were back near the car park Geoff Russon called us over and told us that there was a female Brambling (Pinzón Real / Fringilla montifringilla) at the feeder hide so we spent a while there and had nice views of the bird before leaving and heading to the nearby Gailey Res. 
Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor).
Here we checked out an area of Ivy covered trees where Sharon found a very smart sleepy Tawny Owl (Cárabo Común / Strix aluco). 
Canada Geese (Barnacla Canadiense /Branta canadensis).
We saw most of the wildfowl here that we saw at Belvide, new species were seen mainly out on and over the fields and included Rook (Graja /  Corvus frugilegus), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) and Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo).
Greylag Goose (Ansar Común / Anser anser).
John and Sharon then dropped me back to my Moms after a cracking mornings birding, Thanks both.
Later I went to see my brother and during the evening we all went up to a nearby pub and had a beer and a game of darts.

Friday 1 April 2016

Travelling to the UK.

From hot and dry to cold and wet.

Jayne drove me down to Malaga Airport for my flight back to the UK for a few days to see my Mom, on the way down I had my first Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) of the year, Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and at the airport several Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus).
The flight was 20 minutes or so late but uneventful as was the train journey to Albrighton. During the journey I saw Rook (Graja /  Corvus frugilegus), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor) and Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo). Mom and John were at the station to meet me and take me to the house. Later we all went to the Crown for a meal and a pint.

Wednesday 30 March 2016

Several sites around Almeria Province.

A day of downs and ups!!!

Temminck Stints (Correlimos de Temminck / Calidris temminckii) with a Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).
Jayne and I left the house early and drove the three hours along the motorways towards Vera in Almeria and out to a pool in the Almanzora River near Cuevas de Almanzora where we were looking for the long staying Solitary Sandpiper (Tringa solitaria). 
Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).
Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).
I parked on the side of the road and set up the scope and scanned through the birds looking for the Sandpiper and soon found 20+ Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), 2x Temminck Stints (Correlimos de Temminck / Calidris temminckii), 10+ Little Stints (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta), 2x Wood Sandpipers (Andarrios Bastardo / Tringa glareola), 5x Ruff (Combatiente / Philomachus pugnax), 1x Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina), 3x Green Sandpipers (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), 2x Little Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), 1x Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus) and another bird which was at the back of the pool which my first instincts told me was the target bird.
Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).
Just as I got the scope on it a Black-winged Stilt flushed it, I was fairly confident I saw the dark tail/rump centre but has it went I only got a partial view and it was just not enough for a tick and the bird did not turn up again whist I was there, bummmmmer.
Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).
During the five hours we were there I also saw lots of Water Pipits (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta), Spanish (Yellow) Wagtails (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), calling Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina). 
Water Pipit (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta).
In the same are I recorded Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator) x2 males, Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi), Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea) and lots Painted Ladys (Vanessa cardui).
Blue-headed (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava flava).
After 5 hours we decided to cut our losses and headed for the coastal town of San Jose nearer to Cabo de Gata where we had a nice but stupidly expence lunch in a bar there before going up to a nearby spot where Juan Pérez Contreras and his wife Beatriz had seen a Baillon's Crake (Polluela Chica / Porzana pusilla). 
Ruff (Combatiente / Philomachus pugnax).
I dipped on the Crake but did manage to pick up a few migrants including a fine male Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca), Willow (Mosquitero Musical / Phylloscopus trochillus) and Bonelli's Warblers (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli) as well as Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and more Black-winged Stilts, Green Sandpipers and Little-ringed Plovers
Garganey (Cerceta Carretona / Anas querquedula).
In the same area there were two male Blue / Common Emperors and a male Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii).
Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus).
Our next stop was the hide over looking the saltpans at Cabo de Gata where I set up the scope and scanned the water and rocky ridges in the pans. In amongst the groups of Gulls and Terns on the rocks I found Yellow-legged, Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii) and Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Sandwich (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), Caspian (Pagaza Piquiroja / Sterna caspia) x2 and Common Tern (Charrán Común / Sterna hirudo) x3. Out on the water there were good numbers of other species and these included Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Slender-billed Gull (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei), Bar-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colipinta / Limosa lapponica), Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) and several Shelducks (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna).
Cynomorium (Cynomorium coccineum).
We moved a short way down the coast to the superb Rambler Morales where we found 11 Garganey (Cerceta Carretona / Anas querquedula) 7 males and 4 females, White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus) and lots more Greater Flamingo's. In the area we also had several wildflowers including Yellow Sea Aster (Asteriscus maritimus) and Cynomorium (Cynomorium coccineum) and a couple of unidentified Beetle species.
Unidentified Beetle.
From here we headed back towards home but called in at a spot on the way where I checked a small cage out in the wilds where they feed the local Gamebirds and soon found that at least 5 Trumpeter Finch (Camachuelo Trompetero / Bucanetes githagineus) and a nice Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura).
Unidentified Beetle.
Again we continued on towards home but before we arrived we picked up Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax) and a surprise Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus).

Tuesday 29 March 2016

Near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

Moth Trapping.
Temperature down to +2.5

I ran the 18 watt actinic on the terrace and the numbers were up slightly with another couple of species found for the first time this year. The insects included 6583 Achyra nudalis x1, 10029 Mythimna (Sablia) sicula ssp. scirpi x2, 10343 (2092) Agrotis puta puta (Shuttle Shaped Dart) x7, 10351 (2087) Agrotis segetum (Turnip Moth) x2 and 8256 (1728) Xanthorhoe fluctuata (Garden Carpet) x1.
Achyra nudalis.
Mythimna (Sablia) sicula ssp. scirpi.
Agrotis puta puta (Shuttle Shaped Dart).
Agrotis puta puta (Shuttle Shaped Dart).
Agrotis puta puta (Shuttle Shaped Dart).
Agrotis puta puta (Shuttle Shaped Dart).
Agrotis segetum (Turnip Moth)??????.
Agrotis segetum (Turnip Moth)??????.

Monday 28 March 2016

Presa de Embalse de Iznajar, Malaga Provnce.

Orchid devastation.

Bumblebee Orchid (Ophrys bombyliflora).
Jayne and I had a tour of the garden centres around Cabra and came back via Embalse de Iznajar where in past years I have found hundreds of Orchids of many different species but when I we arrived today I was very disappointed that the area was being ripped to bits by several logging vehicles and most of the trees had been felled. 
Bumblebee Orchid (Ophrys bombyliflora).
None of this years Dark Spider (Ophrys incubacea), Woodcock (Ophrys scolopax), Small Woodcock (Ophrys picta), Giant (Himantoglossum robertiana), Mirror (Ophrys speculum) and Sawfly Orchids (Ophrys tenthredinifera) survived and I only found 1x Yellow Bee (Ophrys lutea), 9x Naked / Italian Man (Orchis italica) and 6 of the hundred or so Bumblebee Orchids (Ophrys bombyliflora) as the rest were crushed under the trees.
Naked / Italian Man (Orchis italica).