Friday, June 28

No bins bird club

A re visit to Montnegre to relocate the very elusive Trumpeter Finch.

 Over time we've spent many hours and for quite a few years searching Montnegre, with lots of visit and re visits to this beautiful little valley, I remember CBBC member Michael Smith years ago photo scoping a very distant individual and then virtually there wasn't any new news at all, just spurious claim's with no evidence to back it up and Michaels photo then became a historical event. Until I took a group of Dutch Birders there about 4 /5 years ago where we did see only one bird. I new then that we might be on to something or maybe we just got a lucky sighting? Who knows.  And so we  ( The no Bins Bird Club ) have Slowly been building up the information of the area, with the sighing of the species that occur  / and  birds that visit the valley, on seasonal basis and also the best areas that can yield the results?

And so yesterday John Edwards Mark Etheridge an myself, finally nailed it, more or less the same area that we've been searching previously. We almost got into double figures at one time with 7 Trumpeter Finch perched up.

My gut feeling is there is credible evidence that there's a small but a very sustainable population of Trumpeter Finch in the valley of Montnegre. but they do take some time and plenty of effort to find??  The area of Montnegre is well under watched and should be Birded much more often, and being only 30 minutes from Alicante there's no good reason not too. I can only guess at what could be over the ridge in the other valleys probably more good birds? ?????  Who knows?

Its good when a plan comes together!

Get out there and make the news

And today Friday 29th I had one on one tour with Tony Bishop for a mornings  birding.  I gave Tony the option of where we could go and what we might see?  But he want to try for the Trumpeter Finches. And so true to form the Trumpeter Finch were there 7 birds on the fence or wires and today another single bird on a wire at the village on Montnegre. To be honest we had Trumpeter finches fly over and keep going to the far side of the valley so there are
definitely many more Trumpeters !! 

So you really have to ask yourself   WHY  would you travel to  3 hours 9 minutes from Alicante  to  Almeria which I've done on two occasion?  to see the Trumpeter Finch when they are only 25 minutes from Alicante  and all the included expenses???
Its really is a No no-Brainer and Bird Montnegre!!!

Not much else about except Black Wheatear, Blue rock Thrush, Rock Bunting.  Not a big bird list but its quality that matters,

 Great to see Tony Bishop again.

I would like to give credit to John Edwards Trevor Ashley and Mark Etheridge who has has made a sustained effort in time to bird Montnegre valley sometimes with little reward
Thank you

Have a great day
Cheers Bryan

I just had to copy on to my blog John Edwards comments as it sum up the effort in finding these birds


On Friday 27th June, with hot sun being forecast, the three of us.  The three Amigos.  Bryan Thomas and Mark Etheridge were searching this rocky and deeply indented landscape for this seemingly elusive Trumpeter Finch.

We knew they were up there as reports had indicated their presence.   This terrain is unrelenting, difficult and observation points are necessary. We had tried many timed before,  but only with very limited success although considerable time and effort had been made. Bryan, of all of us, has been the most persistent and, as we know, hard work can pay off.

Patiently we waited with mugs of tea in our hands well before 7.30 am. Sharp ears picked out sounds and it was not until we moved to another vantage point that we ‘hit-the-jackpot’. We saw flypasts as the birds quickly flew around. And soon we were able to identify them by their flight. They flew onto the ground, perched on fences, on electric wires and seemed unfazed by the car.

We had simply, close-up and clear views. There was great moments as the cameras clicked away.
Mark has posted on Face Book and Bryan has put a great write up on.

And to add to these sightings he returned the following morning and saw them again.

We had previously travelled to Cabo de Gata on two occasions, had only one sighting of a pair and that was it. Montnegre is only 25 minutes away from Alicante Airport and it is an interesting ride to get there and you never know what you will see. I think on another summer morning we will be working this area again. Because working at it is what we do.

Thanks to both photographers for the images.

Wednesday, June 19

No Bins Birders Club

A rather hilarious expedition along the lighthouse road yesterday evening for the founder members of the NBBC - the No Bins Birders Club (we both forgot to bring our binoculars). We missed our first Nightjar flypast due to looking at the shots on the back of our cameras of a distant Woodpecker, but as it grew darker another three flypast, given us the chance to try out some very high ISO shots with the results you see here.

Red Necked Nightjar

 Red Necked Nightjar

 Going back towards the N332 we found three Nightjars sitting in the road, unfortunately at the exact moment that another car was approaching, so we missed those, but a decision to turn round and go back was rewarded by a single bird at the side of the road. It was on Bryan's side of the car, so he took this ground shot using my camera, and we are now in legal discussions over who owns the copyright!

 Red Necked Nightjar

Funniest moment of the evening was when I asked Mark to turn the car engine off, as he was a little tremor coming from the car engine, and as I was taking the photo, he turned the key too far, and the headlights went off...... and then there was and nothing just black.....  I fell about laughing. I couldn't believe it?   where's it gone  I said....... unbelievable!....... more laughing good job we don't take it to serious?

 Red Necked Nightjar

 Turtle Dove

  we also had common Nightjars singing. and a few Turtle Dove perched up. A great evening!
Most of the words above are from Marks Etheridge Facebook page which I lifted.
As I couldn't have put it any better myself.
Thanks to Mark for letting me use his photo of the ground shot and words
 it's getting hot but plenty still to see get out there
and make the news 

No Bins Bird Club

Monday, June 17

The 3 Amigos Go to Yecla

Friday the 16th  the 3 Amigos John, Mark, and myself, set of for Yecla, arrive just after 8 o'clock, to a dark, almost black overcast sky and threatening a heavy downpour, first stop a cup of tea and a listen, I heard a Qual start singing and then nothing more, a Common Buzzard calling and circling in the distance, the first of many Wood chat Shrike.  A few Back eared wheatears along the track, with Rock Sparrows and Tree Sparrows.

Tree Sparrow

  Mark spotted a Booted Eagle  which was seen on and off for most of the day,
we did, however, have 2 other large Eagles which we fail to I'd positively but my guess one was probably a Golden Eagle.

Short-toed Lark

  Plenty of Short-toed Larks and Calandra Larks, in different locations, and only one Thekla's Lark,  also a few little Owls.  The Bee-eaters colony is very active, but not easy to get any photographs,  we had 3 Black-bellied Sandgrouse which didn't hang around,  and we heard 2/3 Golden Oriole.  A few Lesser Kestrels, hunting over the fields and that was about the best it.

little Owl
The birding was OK but not many opportunity's for photography  but we did have a good laugh and a  joke, plenty of football banter, and the totally unbelievable  Boris Johnson and the cocaine taker Michael Gove and the Brexit mess
It was almost better than birding you got to laugh, 

Have a nice day

Thursday, June 13

Today over my Casa

Nice bird to get over my the house, shame it not a house tick.
 Short toed Eagle, with luck tomorrow I'll have some thing else to report

    Short toed Eagle
Get out There
Cheer Bryan