Saturday 4 July 2020

Home near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

A day working and relaxing up on the Terrace.

Up at 06.30 as awake before the alarm so I thought that I may as well start whilst it was cool so I went up on to the terrace. I got the clean underway with a male Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) singing just up the Valley and down in the barranco and amongst the Olives there was a male Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), lots of Iberian  Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur).
I finished the terrace faster than expected so I popped down to the town to collect a couple more irrigation parts and then came back quickly, on the way there and back I saw Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and a roosting Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) which was sat on a telegraph pole along the lane back to the house.
Once back I spent a couple of hours sat up on the terrace adding Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), a distant Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) over the Olives along with several Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and a couple of Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica).
I went inside and did a few more jobs before returning to the Terrace again but only new species was a group of Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) flying down towards the fields. During the afternoon I also had Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra), Small White (Pieris rapae), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Tree Grayling (Neohipparchia statilinus), Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi), Moorish Gecko (Tarentola mauritanica) and a young Rabbit (Conejo / Oryctolagus cuniculus). 

Friday 3 July 2020

Home near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

A few garden birds whilst sorting the yard.

Up at 07.00 again and out sorting the front of the house and later the roof terrace, whilst I was out I heard and saw Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and during the early evening a male Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) which was singing from the Fig tree by the back door.
As the evening went on I set up the Moth Trap and spent a while listening to a calling Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) and Red-necked Nightjar (Chotacabras Cuellirrojo / Caprimulgus ruficollis).
During the day I also had some butteflies in the yard at the front of the house whilst I was sorting all the pots including Geranium Bronze (Cacyreus marshalli), Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra) and Small White (Pieris rapae).

Home near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

Cleaning the house followed by a night time walk.

After my first night back in the house in Spain I got up at 07.00 and threw myself straight into getting things sorted inside the house which took me most of the day so I did not see anything out side. Late in the evening I went for a walk up the hill and along the lane but all I added was a calling Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) away down the hill in the dark.

Wednesday 1 July 2020

Malaga, Travelling Back Home to Spain.

A day of mixed emotions.

Today and the few days running up to it were always going to be difficult as I was going to be leaving all the people who, even though they were going throught the same thing as me and some even more kept me saine after what had been a very difficult 2 years. Can't thank Jayne's and My family enough but it was now time to head back home and start to sort out things at the Spanish end, which was going to have a whole load more emotions to cope with.
The flight was around three quarters full and went off with out event, as did the bus into Malaga station where I had a two hour wait until the next train up to Loja, during this time I saw Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia), Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus) x8, Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) x2.
Once I was back at the house I started to get sorted and heard the first European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) flying over and several Iberian  Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) as they plundered the Fig trees.
Later I went for a walk and had a later night fly over by a Red-necked Nightjar (Chotacabras Cuellirrojo / Caprimulgus ruficollis) and heard a Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) out in the Olives.

Monday 29 June 2020

Belvide Res, Staffordshire and Green Lane, Albrighton, Shropshire.

A very nice evening with very good friends and some good birding.

Blackcaps (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla).
I arrived at the car park where there were quite a few cars and birders already looking for the 2nd summer Laughing Gull (Gaviota Guanaguanare / Larus atricilla) which was found the day before by Steve Nutall @belvidebirding
Blackcaps (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla).
I arrived about 10 minutes ahead of Sharon and John so I took a slow walk out towards the Gazibo Hide, on the way I watched hundreds of Common Swifts (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Great Crested Grebe (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus), Greylag (Ansar Común / Anser anser) and Canada Geese (Barnacla Canadiense /Branta canadensis), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Common Tern (Charrán Común / Sterna hirudo).
Blackcaps (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla).
I spent some time checking the bushes aon the way as well hearing and seeing Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis)  Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Long-tailed (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Sedge Warbler (Carricerin Común / Acrocephalus schoenobaenus), Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and a family of Blackcaps (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), the 4 juv's stayed on a branch in a rose bush long enough for me to take a few photo's.
Laughing Gull (Gaviota Guanaguanare / Larus atricilla).
Just at this point Sharon and John turned up and after looking at the Blackcaps we walked down to the Gazibo hide where we had a look for the Gull but could not see it, however we did find Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Tufted Duck (Porrón Monudo / Aythya fuligula) and over on the far shore a single Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus).
Laughing Gull (Gaviota Guanaguanare / Larus atricilla).
We moved on around towards the West hide as the bird was meant to have move but just a few yards along the track we found some birders who were watching it so we had good views but the light was bad so my photographs are rubbish. 
Laughing Gull (Gaviota Guanaguanare / Larus atricilla).
After watching the bird for a good while we went back to the Hide for a coffee and a chat but also had good views of the Laughing Gull again in flight. Other species seen included Goldeneye (Porrón Osculado /Bucephala clangula), Eurasian Oystercatcher (Ostrero Euroasiatico / Haematopus ostralegus), Pheasant (Faisán Vulgar / Phaisanus colchicus), Stock Dove (Paloma Zurita / Columba oenas), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Dunnock (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis), Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) and as we walked down to the Spill Way Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major) which was heard calling in the woods.
Laughing Gull (Gaviota Guanaguanare / Larus atricilla).
We returned to John and Sharons car where John cracked open a couple of bottles of Beer, the one Shropshire Lad was nice but the second a Ruby beer was not to my taste but it was nice to just stand and chat for a while and whilst we did a Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) few into a field on the other side of the road.
Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus).
We went to a second site back in the village of Albrighton, we stopped at the end of Green Lane and walked up to the other end, on the way I pointed out the Territories of the Corn Buntings (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) I had been seeing and quite unexpectidly the pair right at the furtherst point showed very well for us. As we walked we also saw Yellowhammer (Escribano Cerillo / Emberiza citronella), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus).
Stock Dove (Paloma Zurita / Columba oenas).
We had a walk across the fields to the Irrigation lake and recorded Great Crested and Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Mallard, Eurasian Coot but nothing else so we retraced our step back to the car again seeing the Corn Buntings on the way. Once at the car John and Sharon headed back and I went back to the house after a really good evening in good company.
Stock Dove (Paloma Zurita / Columba oenas).

Sunday 28 June 2020

Rutland Water, Rutland.

A few hours with my Son, Becky and my two Grandkids.

I caught the train over to Oakham where I met Alan, Becky, Ryan and Zach at Rutland water were we had a nice Picnic and then spent the next few hours having a great time entertaining Ryan and Zach or more so Ryan, it was great.
Whilst walking round I did see a couple of Red Kites (Milano Real / Milvus milvus) and a very smart Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta).
Been a very long time since I did this.