Wednesday, November 17

Common Crane, dream on?

 Today we thought we might get lucky with Common Crane, dream on?

No sign of them despite putting the miles in, a few Lapwing, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, Greenshank, 5 Golden Plover, Waterpipits, 5 Booted Eagle including one Dark phase, Marsh Harriers, quite a few Black Caps heard, Corn Bunting and plenty of Kestrel.


My moment on the day was a exultation of Skylark, (probably 40+) nothing mega I know, but these birds act like mice, hugging the contours of the land,  disappearing and  reappearing elsewhere,


They can be flighty. When flushed they keep close to the ground, unlike the similar Meadow Pipit which typically rises straight-up calling, if one Skylark gets spooked they all go.


 So it was good to get some reasonable view today.

Booted Eagle

Have fun



My cousin the Fly

I've come from a big family, sadly there are not many of us lefts there were lots of aunts and uncles, cousins, second cousin, but there one who deserves  recognition my cousin Graham Vearncombe he was Cardiff City FC and Wales first choice goal keeper during the late fifties and 60s, when Cardiff was in the first division he was also in the squad, the last time Wales went to the FiFa World Cup in Sweden 1958.

The tournament also marked the arrival of a then 17-year-old Pele on the world stage.

And so it congratulation to Wales we're on our way and to the World Cup play offs

The Fly his nick name

Graham Vearncombe: Helped Cardiff to promotion to Division One in 1958-59, made more than 200 appearances and was also a member of the 1958 Wales World Cup squad

Tuesday, November 9

Guadalentín Valley

Operator error!


  Good days birding in the end after a sluggish start, unfortunately, I cocked up! somehow I had accidentally selected a focusing point that was off-centre so when I aimed the camera using the centre focusing point it was actually using a focusing point below the centre point. Which went unnoticed foremost of the birding day, so all the photos are out of focus, bugger it?

it could of been worse though as some time ago I forgot the batteries for the camera and left them all at home. And everything that day was point-blank, you couldn't write it

Could you?

Notice how the grasses are sharp in front of the bird and below?

Black-bellied Sandgrouse

Black-bellied Sandgrouse

Black-bellied Sandgrouse

Probably the best-prolonged views of 5 Black-bellied Sandgrouse ever! and some minutes later another 4.  A Golden Eagle drifted by followed by 2 more Black-bellied Sandgrouse then a Ring-tailed Hen Harrier quarter the fields also seen Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Kestrel,  and unidentified medium-sized all Dark raptor? I'm still trying to figure out what it was? And a few other big raptors which were just too far away to be sure of an ID

Golden Eagle 

Meadow Pipit 

Plenty of small seed eaters Green, Gold Finch, Linnet, Serin, small flocks of  Meadow Pipit A single Water Pipit, Crested Lark, Flocks of Sky Lark, Tree Sparrows, Spectacled Warblers, Fan Tailed Warbler, Black Redstarts and Chough,

Crested Lark

So all in all a good day, worth the effort of getting there, we'll go back at some point soonish 

Fan Tailed Warbler

Have a great day



Friday, November 5

Big Sky lighting up over Alicante

Major night sky tonight Thunder, Lightening, Hail and heavy  Rain 

We need it 

Get the buckets out Mark

Tuesday, November 2

Tonight this Bad Boy came Black for Another Look

He's always around ? but for some reason he likes my Casa

Black Wheatear 

Long Day for little Reward

So it was always going to be a longish day for NBBC as we headed off at first light to the surrounding areas around Yecla and the A 31 Road, it was very overcast with black threatening clouds and patchy light rain, and the light was very bad so no chance for photography.

It's not what was forecast and only 13 degrees and the brisk wind which made it feel a lot colder.

On a lighter note, the biscuits we had were just a delight and the slab of chocolate and banana cake at first breakfast would have made Gareth wished he was here?

It was Quiet and not much moving, the odd Meadow Pipit flock and Crested Larks.

 We search the tracks with hardly any reward, so we cut our losses and went to  Yecla.  By the time we arrived the light had improved a little but still cloudy, the moment of the day was almost our last bird seen a Red Kite ( it seems we always leave the best for last ) it drifted in, and not a bad bird for us to find, it was distant at first and disappeared high up, in the clouds only to return a few minutes later very low down by the Lesser Kestrel Barn and then land on the ground briefly.

 Red Kite

Other birds seen Calandra Lark, Sky Lark, Thekla's Lark,  a possible Peregrine Falcon, which I was a bit slow to call it!  Black Wheatear,  Black Redstart. Mistle Thrush, Marsh Harrier, Hoopoe, crap really 

 Red Kite

I was glad the Red Kite showed again as it was just a dot when it first appeared and happy I got the ID correct.

 Red Kite

and when i got home this little beauty was sat on the wall

Black Wheatear

Lots more fun next week

But where next? Where will we go out to play?

If it was easy it wouldn't be fun

Cheers Bryan

Saturday, October 30

Coca-Cola’s 100 Billion Bottle Problem

The main facts summarised:
470 billion single-use plastic bottles are sold worldwide per year
25% of which are Coca Cola owned brands
50% of the 470bn are burned, dumped or littered each year.
Last year, Coca Cola produced a $20bn profit.

Pepsi and Danone and many other manufacturers DO NOT publish their annual results of collection and recycling of their used bottles. Coca Cola, however, do.
2020, Coca Cola sold 112 billion single-use bottles worldwide. That's 14 per person currently living on our planet!
Of this 112 bn, 56% made it back to recycling.
Meaning 49 bn were unaccounted for and that's just Coca Cola

Coca Cola problematic past with plastic
Coca-Cola has repeatedly come under fire for its dizzying plastic use. 

Last year, the company revealed that more than 1.9 billion servings of its drinks are consumed in more than 200 countries every day.

And this link to


Very import link above please click

Break Free From Plastic – an anti-plastic movement with more than 11,000 organizations and individual supporters – recently released a report tracking corporate plastic pollution.

It included 440 brand audits across six continents, and involved the collection of more than 330,000 pieces of plastic pollution.

The report named Coca-Cola as the world’s top corporate polluter for the fourth consecutive year. This is despite the company’s 2018 pledge to collect one bottle for every one sold.

Imagine that you are constantly eating, but slowly starving to death. Hundreds of species of marine mammals, fish, birds, and sea turtles face this risk every day when they mistake plastic debris for food. 

Plastic debris can be found in oceans around the world. Scientists have estimated that there are over five trillion pieces of plastic weighing more than a quarter of a million tons floating at sea globally. 

Most of this plastic debris comes from sources on land and ends up in oceans and bays due largely to poor waste management.
Plastic does not biodegrade, but at sea large pieces of plastic break down into increasingly smaller fragments that are easy for birds to consume. 

A nose for sulfur
in the early 1970s showed that tube-nosed seabirds use their powerful sense of smell, or olfaction, seabirds are attracted to dimethyl sulfide (DMS), a natural scented sulfur compound. DMS comes from marine algae.

However, in a study just published propose a new explanation: For many imperilled species, marine plastic debris also produces an odour that the birds associate with food and is very similar DMS

So much plastic trash is flowing into the oceans than 90 per cent of seabirds eat it now and virtually everyone will be consuming it by 2050 In a new study published this week, tracks for the first time how widespread plastics have become inside seabirds around the world.

Scientists have been tracking plastic ingestion by seabirds for decades. In 1960, plastic was found in the stomachs of fewer than five per cent, but by 1980, it had jumped to 80 per cent. 

The most disturbing finding is. 

“Global plastic production doubles every 11 years “So in the next 11 years, we’ll make as much plastic as we’ve made since plastic was invented. 

The world's first fully synthetic plastic was Bakelite invented in New York in 1907, by Leo Baekeland who coined the term "plastics" Dozens of different types of plastics are produced today, such as polyethene which is widely used in product packaging,
and polyvinyl chloride (PVC), used in construction and pipes because of its strength and durability. Many chemists have contributed to the materials science of plastics, including Nobel laureate Hermann Staudinger, 
who has been called "the father of polymer chemistry.

So it's his fault?

You can help: pay attention to how much plastic you throw away grocery bags, Styrofoam cups, water bottles, packaging and try to use less and recycle and dispose of plastic correctly

sometimes I get a feeling that it is all's a bit too late

Tuesday, October 26

The search for the Snakebird.

Today at the Clot De Galvany

The 4 Amigos searched for the Snakebird with at least 3 Snakebirds present in the last week, to be honest, it only took a few minutes for one to popped out, a tick in the book of life for Michelle, and a year tick for John. It was flushed by a Blackbird and flew a long way out of sight.

Wryneck Bird 1
Notice how lightly barred the breast pattern is compared with bird 3

Only moments later another bird perched in a dead tree, close by and easy to pick out. 
(Michelle found this one and as a lifer for Michelle it's now her turn to buy the beer?) and not a Werther's moment in sight we got to get organised?

Wryneck Bird 2

En route to the big hide, yet another Wryneck perched up for us.

Bird 3
Notice the feather pattern above the eye is different from Bird 2 and Bird 1 and the spots in the wing is different to Bird 2

At the big hide, Malcolm Palmer (CBBC) sneaked in, arriving in incognito and so we didn't recognise him until he spoke, good job we weren't talking about him, it could have been very embarrassing moment, he mention that he'd seen a late Common Redstart, at the dry hide so, later on, we went to check it out, on the way a flyover of yet another Wryneck.
I was the only one, to see this bird?

I caught up with one of the wardens of the Clot De Galvany and reported our sighting and my thoughts on why Wryneck have returned. 
And so after reviewing my images I'm sure that I've  photography at least 4 Different Wrynecks, seen my earlier post from 22nd the Wryneck photo and feather detail doesn't match any of the October 26th images?

 For year's the big pool has been dry and only the smallest amount of water there, till the Gota Fria September 2019 click link below to see the blog and images and we all know what happens in 2020--- Covid19

But could I remind everybody the reality of  Global Warming its here,
 Thing have changed and all the sign are there for all to see.

 So I think it's all to do with the water that's accumulated in the big seasonal lakes, Almost every Wryneck I've ever seen has occurred close to water for instance seen at San Felipe or other places or in a sandy path or close to a dry stone walls licking up Ants

The usual suspects were there but no sign of the Ferruginous Duck?

 see my earlier blog post 
For species list

Wrynecks are in the woodpecker family, but I don't think they exactly fit in, at least at first glance in the family of Woodpeckers
For one, they don't peck wood. Instead, they nest in holes that other species have laboriously excavated for themselves. And unlike their tree-drilling brethren, Wrynecks forage on the ground, using there exceedingly  long tongues to slurp the fat-rich Ants

Nice birding morning 

With Mark, John, Michelle, also good to catch up with Malcolm Palmer
Where to next week?
Have a great day
Cheers Bryan 

Friday, October 22

A late local update

News from last week

I mentioned in my previous post my birding friend Trevor returned to Spain for the first time since March 2020, when the Covid Pandemic and lockdown for the UK and Spain came into force. Last week unfortunately it also coincided with the busiest time of the year for me. With the welcomed return of family not seen for almost 2 years, (where the time gone?)  and with singing and with different events going on I'm burning the candle on both ends.

So It's late news from last week, apologies for this and just a summary, and  I've not mentioned ever bird seen.

Santa Pola Salinas and including El Pinet 

45 + Great white Egret, lots of Spoonbill 100s +++  Marsh Harriers, Waders seen Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sands, Little Stint, Dunlin, Sanderling,  Avocet  Black-tailed Godwits,  both Shanks,  LRP and Ringed Plover, Yellow Wagtails, Collared Pratincoles,  Terns, Whiskered and Sandwich, and a very late Common, lesser Black-backed Gull, Mediterranean Gull.

Mediterranean Gull

On the mountain of  Maigmo and Montnegre mostly all the tits and lesser Short-toed Tree Creeper,  stand out moment was, 3 woodlarks, a beautiful bird.



No sigh of any Trumpeter Finch, or any Raptors at Montnegra but Blue Rock Thrush, Black Wheatear Rock Sparrow, lots of Griffon Vultures,

The Colt De Galvany 

White-headed Duck

Friendly  Disagreement 

The usual quacker we're there, amazing numbers of Marbled Duck 38+ the reintroduction has worked well and next year brood will be tickable and free-flying.  1 Ferruginous Duck? Gadwall,  Kingfishers, Little Bittern, Squacco Heron, Night Herons, also the least 3 Wryneck calling they've been there a week so?

record image Ferruginous Duck?

To be honest, the Clots may be better than San Felipe VC for sighting and more importantly the water quality, it is good and clear, I've mentioned this several times before about San Felipe and the toxic blueish colours in the water? 


If the Clot was watched more it would surely have a better list of birds and after saying that there is a big increase in birders, photographers, camera clubs, Spanish, Europeans, and UK birders, visiting the Clot, it's good to see.

San Felipe 

Little Egret

Not much bird news to report, the water levels have been lowered for reed cutting so there is plenty of mud but few birds, because I guess of the disturbance  3 obliging Spoonbill which has been there almost a week,


  a very confiding  Bluethroat, several seen during the morning.  Spotted Redshank, Green Sandpiper, Dark phase Booted Eagle, Tree Sparrows, lots of Little Egrets and Glossy Ibis, a few of groups of Penduline Tits but nothing mega?



Glad to see that the extensive liar liar graffiti and has been painted over in the hides at San Felipe I've no idea who it's meant for?

Booted Eagle

Dark Phase Booted Eagle

On a lighter note, on returning to the car at San Felipe,  Mark opened the car doors with the remote,  letting the hot air out, no problem we thought, till he wanted to put the keys in the ignition, no sign of the keys, Mark scratching his head? I said it's got to be in your pocket somewhere, but no?  Several body searches of pocket and still no sign of the bloody keys,  It's got to be in your man bag we turned out the man bag, no sign of the bloody keys, we even search under and around the car in case he'd drop them, but no!  We pulled at the back seat and looked under the front seat, on the floor, had it slipped down under the seat but no


After a tense few minutes, of scratching our heads we found them on the roof of the car in the little channel which guides the water away from the roof.

Senior moment sorted

Hunter Moon

Have fun

Make some news

Cheers Bryan