Saturday 17 September 2022

Donington and Albrighton local nature reserve, Shropshire, Britain.

A stroll around the local reserve on my way back from the Church Yard.
Ebird List for walk.

Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) female.
I went up to the Donington Church Yard to clean and to put some flowers on Jayne's plaque and move the leaves from her parents stone but as usual this left me quite low so I went for a quiet walk around the nearby reserve.
As I walked around I saw Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta), Small White (Pieris rapae), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Common Treecreeper (Agateador Norteño / Certhia familiaris) and Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) amongst others.

Friday 16 September 2022

Albrighton, Belvide Reservoir and Doxey Marsh, Britain.

Out for a days birding with friends Sharon and John.
Sharon and John at Doxey.
I started the day by checking the garden at my Mom's where I found Dunnock (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Common Starling (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulgaris), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus).
Grey Herons (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Canada Geese (Barnacla Canadiense /Branta canadensis), Eurasian Coots (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and others at Belvide.
Sharon and John picked me up and we headed out to Belvide Reservoir, in the car park we saw Jackdaw, Woodpigeon before we walked through the woods to the Dam where we scanned the the water from the south east corner where we picked up Ruff (Combatiente / Philomachus pugnax), Black-headed and Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Tufted Duck (Porrón Monudo / Aythya fuligula), Egyptian (Ganso del Nilo / Alopochen aegyptiaca), Canada (Barnacla Canadiense /Branta canadensis) and Greylag Geese (Ansar Común / Anser anser), Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus). 
Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria).
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta).
We didn't stop at the first hide as we could see some waders off in the distance in front of the next hide round, on the way we saw Goldcrest (Reyezuelo Sencillo / Regulus regulus), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum), Comma (Polygonum c-album), Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) and Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria).
Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum).
From the next two hides along the South shore we picked up Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula), Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina), Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Black-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa), Little (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and Great Crested Grebe (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Eurasian Wigeon (Sibón Europeo / Anas penelope), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Robin, Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) and a fast flying Northern Goshawk (Azor Común / Accipitor gentillis) which chased Woodpigeons along the North Shore. 
Little (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) and Great Egret (Garceta Grande / Egretta alba) and Canada Geese (Barnacla Canadiense /Branta canadensis).
Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor).
Greylag Geese (Ansar Común / Anser anser) and Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus) and Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos).
We returned to the car, had a coffee and then headed off to Doxey Marsh and on the way we caught up with a Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus).
Little (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) x1 and Great (Garceta Grande / Egretta alba) x2 and Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) x2.
Little (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) x1 and Great (Garceta Grande / Egretta alba) x2 and Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) x2.
We parked and walked out along the side of Cresswell Flash and on the first pool and surrounding fields we found
Little (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Great (Garceta Grande / Egretta alba) and Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), a Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus) which was mixed in with a flock of Canada and Greylag Geese, Black-headed Gull, Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata) and Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti).
Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
We continued on around some more tracks on the reserve and to a hide which over looks another of the lakes, as we went we saw Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone) and several Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) butterflies and an American Mink (Neovison vison) which crossed the track.

Monday 12 September 2022

Hamad International Airport, Qatar.

On my way home, Sadly.
I had a 4.5 hour stop over in Qatar, most of the time I just walked around and stretched my legs but as I was boarding my flight to Heathrow I did see a Starling species but no idea which. The thing I will remember most about Doha was the thick acrid smog when we were walking out to the plane.

Australia, Mid June to Mid September 2022.

Well what a trip.
In my Element.
I went to Australia to visit good friends Deb and Ian who live to the South of Adelaide, I was staying with them for three months and can't believe they put up with me for so long and were still smiling at the end of it.
Deb and Ian at our accommodation in the APY Lands..
My room with a view.
In fact they were amazing, making me so welcome and putting so much hard work into showing me some incredible parts of this huge country and a great deal of the wildlife to be found there.
Deb and Renate.
A shaky Selfie.
Out in the APY Lands.
Deb and Ian were brilliant but It would not have been possible for us to have such a fantastic time without help and this came from Deb's Mom, Renate who is one of the most lovely people I have ever been lucky enough to meet and Deb's sister, Petra who took over the farm whilst we were up in Queensland and then stepped in at last minute when Ian broke his leg so that Deb, Renate and I didn't have have to cut short our trip over to Victoria, thank you both so much.
Petra and Deb.
Thanks also go to Sue and Dave Harper who organized the Pelagic and planned a couple of days birding for me over a weekend when Deb was tied up, we had a good time and saw some great species.
Deb with some Timtams, one of the best things I bought back with me but I could only fit 4 packs in sadly.
I can't thank them all enough as I had an amazing time and for the first time ever I didn't want to go home.
Sue and Dave Harper.
Do I want to go back again, YES and the plans are already in motion for a return in 2023, can't thank Deb and Ian enough for agreeing to another 3 month visit as I have missed so many things from the first trip I can't wait to get back there again but wish they could do something about the beer !!!!!!!
Very short review of the trip.
Northern Royal Albatross (Diomedea sanfordi).
Fairy Prion (Pachyptila turtur).

During the visit I was lucky enough to get out on a Pelagic and see my first ever Albatross as well as a few other good sea birds.
Grey Falcon (Falco hypoleucos).

Sandhill Grasswren (Amytornis striatus oweni).

This was followed by several days in the APY lands where tops species were Grey Falcon, Dusky and Sandhill Grasswren's, Spinifex Pigeon, Australian Bustard, Major Mitchell's Cockatoo and so many others.
Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster).

Southern Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius).
Next came 16 days up in Queensland, where we travelled around seeing so many brilliant species including Little Kingfisher, Brahminy Kite, Wompoo Fruit-Dove, Victoria's Riflebird, Papuan Frogmouth, Red-necked Crake, Beach Thick-knee and masses more.
White-necked Heron (Ardea pacifica).

Gang-Gang Cockatoo (Callocephalon fimbriatum).
We were back a few days and then off to Victoria with Deb's Mom Renate, again we travelled around and picked up some stunners including Gang-Gang Cockatoo, Swift Parrot, Superb Lyrebird, Australasian Bittern, Flame and Pink Robin, Bassian Thrush and Satin Bowerbird.
Thick-billed Grasswren (Amytornis modestus).
Inland Dotterel (Peltohyas australis).
Again we were back for a few day but when the next Pelagic was cancelled Deb decided that we could fit in a few days along the Birdsville Track, highlights were  Thick-billed and Eyrean Grasswren, Flock Bronzewing, Inland Dotterel, Australian Pratincole, White-browed Woodswallow and Rufous Songlark.
Australian Owlet-nightjar (Aegotheles cristatus).
Spotted Nightjar (Eurostopodus argus).
I then had a couple of days out with Sue and Dave Harper, we picked up quite a few target species that were leaving gapes in the list including Greater Bluebonnet, Black-eared Cuckoo, Striped Honeyeater, White-browed Treecreeper, Southern Scrub-Robin, Spotted Nightjar, Australian Owlet-nightjar, Black-eared Miner and Gilbert's Whistler plus others.
Spotted Scrubwren (Sericornis maculatus).
Samphire / Slender-billed Thornbill (Acanthiza iredalei).
We did a few day trips picking up a few more nice species including Spotted Scrubwren, Tawny Frogmouth, Diamond Firetail and Southern Emuwren.
Black-chinned Honeyeater (Melithreptus gularis).
Latham's Snipe (Gallinago hardwickii).
Deb was determined to get me up to 400 Lifers for the trip so we headed down to the South East for a couple of days and managed to pick up Black-chinned Honeyeater 399 and Latham's Snipe which gave me my 400th, well happy as I had hoped to get around 250 before I arrived.
Duck-billed Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus).
Bennett's Tree Kangaroo (Dendrolagus bennettianus).
It was not just the birds that were amazing but we caught-up with several really good Mammals including the most wanted Duck-billed Platypus as well as Bennett's Tree Kangaroo, Striped Possum, Southern Right Whale as well as many more.

Sunday 11 September 2022

Eagle View, Adelaide Airport, South Australia.

Last Day in Australia.
Australia, Day Eighty Seven.
Today was spent around the Farm, packing and watching a few local birds, first thing in the morning I watched some nice Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus) as they flew down the valley. 
I said goodbye to Petra who was heading home and then I did some packing and birding around the farm finding Little Wattlebird (Anthochaera chrysoptera), Galah's (Eolophus roseicapilla), Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans), Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus), Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus), New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae), White-browed Scrubwren (Sericornis frontalis), Grey Shrikethrush (Colluricincla harmonica), European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis), Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen), Grey Currawong (Strepera versicolor), House Sparrow (Passer domesticus), Willie-wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys), Little Raven (Corvus mellori), Tree Martin (Petrochelidon nigricans), Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula) and Red-browed Firetail (Neochmia temporalis).
Later in the day Deb and Ian took me to the Airport (Last bird in Australia was a Galah) and after a coffee and a cake I said goodbye to them and went through to the gate and took off for Doha pretty much on time.