Friday, January 29

Spot the Duck





For those who are old enough to remember the popular game Spot the Ball, normally on the sports pages in the back of the newspapers, you'd have to mark a cross on the spot where you thought the hidden football was, a bit like pin the tail on the donkey, so this what it like at the Clot De Galvany, Spot the Duck, with hundreds of wintering wildfowl there its no easy job to pick out a rarity in amongst all the other Duck

Spot the Duck

The Widgeon are still around but I could only find 3 today ( there are several other large lakes where the rest could be ) all the other Duck are still present see my previous post,

Ferruginous Duck

Today two new arrivals 2 lovely chestnut-coloured pale-eyed male Ferruginous Duck. I thought that Ferruginous Duck might turn up at the Clot. Fudge Duck always seems to be in close association with Common Pochard and their lots at the Clot. I'm also thinking that a Tufted Duck might turn up at some point. And as we are in lockdown till mid-February I'll be visiting the Clot De Galvany a few times throughout the coming weeks.


Black necked Grebe


Other birds seen today, little Bitten, Water Rail. Kingfisher. And with barmy temperature of 27 degrees today and full sun, spring feels like it's just around the corner White-headed Duck are now showing an all blue bill so they ( The W, H, Duck ) are thinking the same, springs not too far away? But I'll bet we'll get another cold spell at some point


White-headed Duck


Sardinean Warbler

Have fun and a great weekend

Wolf Moon from last night

Cheers
BT



Monday, January 25

Duck Soup


A quick visit to the El Clot today to check out the waterfowl.  I also went last Saturday but came away because I thought I was hallucinating,  there was a large Spanish bird group there, hardly any of them were wearing masks and every seat was taken and sat far too close to each other. ( I wasn't happy ) The tour leader looked like Groucho Marx with cigar, binoculars, and pacing around with his hands behind his back and there was also a lady who had an uncanny resemblance to Harpo? It was all a bit surreal and crazy?  am I going Animal Crackers,  I thought I'm out of here, maybe I had to much wine last night or not enough? Anyway, I didn't feel safe and left.

Groucho Marx 

Harpo Marx

 Back to Birding today

60 + White-headed Duck a couple of hundred Common Pochard, and Shoveler, 10+ Gadwall, and the highlight of the day 15 to 20 Widgeon, 10+ Marbled Duck, Red-crested Pochard, and Teal, Black-necked  Grebe, Great-crested Grebe,  a few Greater Flamingo, and a Marsh Harrier being a pain in the ass flushing everything.  all a long way off and on the far side.

Wigeon

I only took a short telephoto lens so only record photos today?

Have a great day

Cheers

Bryan


Tuesday, January 19

Good Bird for the House List


I  just returning to my house when on the roof was this Black Wheatear there's always a pair kicking around, so rushing in the house, cursing unlocking all the bloody doors in a rush to get the camera thinking it will never stay I hurried back out, it was still there click click click went the shutter the Black Wheatear was performing for the sound of the shutter "great I thought" maybe 50+ photos later "oops" no memory card in the camera shit!

Rushed back in the house, eventually found a card no way this bird is gonna stay, on the way back out, I slipped on the steps stumbling down, theirs no way it's gonna be there after all this time, so I glanced up and bugger me it was still percher on the rooftop




50 click later it moved off no damage to the camera after my stumble only a sore bum and my pride, I must try to not get to excited. 

And with Covid on the rise in Costa Blanca John and I have agreed its probably best for the moment not to be birding together till the end of the month and see how Covid pans out? so I'll be Birding solo my local patch El Clot for now.

 Have fun

Cheers BT




Thursday, January 14

Good Name for a Band



Tuesday 12th January

Good morning everybody 

I'm a little slow posting this blog due to other commitments.

3 degrees this morning and cold with clear sky's, that's freezing for Costa Blanca. The forecast is hopefully plenty of birds, finger's crossed?  I'm always hoping to find something rare and with storm, Filomena now blown its self out, dumped a load of heavy snow through most of Spain and a massive temperature drop, hoping It's going to have the right effect and push a few birds further south?

Snow on the Mountains

Santa Pola Salinas

So to start a few Black-tailed Godwits, Common Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ruff, Great white Egret, Audouin's Gull, lots of Slender-billed Gull, Lesser black-backed Gull. The normal canteen of Spoonbills (20+) all roosting with there head up their ass in the icy cold wind, and with a small number of  Reed Bunting's it was a promising start.

Ruff

We're still trying to catch up with Tonn the Great spotted Eagle, we heading for his favourite area. It's not such a big deal not to connecting with the big one, as we're finding other birds as we search. On route a field of Golden Plover (37) with a few Lapwing and a flyover of a Merlin, 

Golden Plover

 Santa Aqueda 

we spent some time scanning for Tonn and the usual raptors few past it was cold on the platform the highlight was a cup of tea and a thick slab of Trish's constipation busting fruit cake and the resident Iberian Southern Grey Shrike perched in his favourite tree.

Iberian Southern Grey Shrike

San Felipe

The recent heavy rain has made most of the paths and tracks impossible to walk on.

( lots of sticky mud ) So we stayed close to the car park and boardwalk, to be honest, its the best area and that's because there's some muddy margins and areas of stubble. No need to go any further for now just watch this area It will turn up something?

 A Jack Snipe bobbed up and down, it's only the 2nd time I've seen a Jack Snipe in Spain, so this is a good bird to connect with. 

Jack Snipe

Thanks to Darren Wilson CBBC

 Read my first Spanish encounter with Jack Snipe 2017 review  below

Suddenly my attention was grabbed by a small white-sided wader drilling in the mud I knew before my binoculars got to my eyes what it was, I shouted to Trev, "Jack Snipe" we quickly put the scope on it to confirm the ID, and off like a rocket! like Usain Bolt back to the ******* car for my camera, cursing all the ****** way there and back my stupid decision making, leaving the camera behind, I arrived back, I shouted is it still THERE! "No" Trev replied but you should have been here 30 seconds ago it was right in the open, it's gone now!! he said!  ( I think Usain Bolt would have been proud of me as I set a new World Record for the car and back )  more bad language followed, followed by more, now they're a bit of history about this bird "Jack Snipe." Trev and I have been searching for many winters with no success and just bad luck not connecting with it, although not a mega ( although it feels like ) it's a Spanish tick for both of us. The Jack Snipe did re-emerge and I got a record photograph but it was more than three times the distance away.

Jack Snipe from Isles of Scilly 2004 A regular winter visitor

Back to today's Birding

  Also, their Little Stint, Water Pipit, several Purple swamp Hens, showing off and posed for a few headshots and photos. Can you just imagine one turning up in the UK and what havoc it would cause, underrated and beautiful? 

Purple swamp Hen

 Squadrons of Glossy Ibis flew past in a V formation. Impressive, how'd they know to keep the distance and drag to a minimum? Not one Kingfisher today and only a few Crag Martin I've read on the internet that Crag Martin have been dying in there thousands due to lack of food and cold.

I have to mention Hoopoe, these flying pinky zebras, are fearless and so tame at least 6 today, and 3 of them refused to move an inch, and almost got run over, and one thought about getting in the car

Unbelievable.

 John and I had a Werther's sweet caramel moment to celebrate the solo performance.


Tree Sparrow


                                                                                      
Tree Sparrow

 The mega Serin flock is still in the same field but also there Tree Sparrow at least (15+) the same route home we passed by the field of the Golden Plover and they'd magically turned into Lapwing with a few Golden Plover could it possibly be a magic field? who knows but if it is magic could I be granted one wish,  I'd wish, for American wader, please.

For a different take on today's birding see John Edwards blog link below

John Edwards


Sardinian Warbler

Have a great day

Cheers

BT



Friday, January 8

Review of the Year 2020

 


What the year 2020 been? In more ways that one

After a slow start to birding in January, February things started to lookup? Musically I was kept busy performing, but due to Covid, that's now ended.  I was keeping an eye on what was happening in China and Wuhan, little did I realise what was to come?  most of what I wrote then had now come True. 

White-headed Duck

 See my blogs in March link below

March blogs

Great spotted Eagle

In March my Birding buddy Trevor came out for his Spring Birding fix at the time I didn't realize it would be his last visit of the year. And then Covid 19 hit the fan! And after 50 days of isolation, I went birding Saturday 2nd May first morning birding since the beginning of March nice to see a Purple Heron drift by.

May Blogs

And here are some of my favourite birding moments and photos of 2020

Roller

El Clot de Galvany which was amazing thought the summer, I renamed it Heron City you could see all the Herons within an hour, it also turned up a Western Reef Heron, and also some new breeding birds,

Little Bitten


Western reef Heron


Black-necked Grebe

It was also amazing for a feeding frenzy which happened every single day in the summer till late autumn.


Trumpeter Finch

Montnegre is high on my list of favourite place to go and find an almost guaranteed site for Trumpeter  Finch which only makes it better, I only wish we could have got to Montnegra earlier in the year, but Covid 19 stopped that?  it's also a great place for Nightjar and Night Sky Photography,

Nightjar


Collared Pratincole

San Felipe was great in the autumn as they drain all the water out and the waders moved in it was only good for a few weeks till the maintenance was completed, but never the less it was good while it lasted. I've also got to mention the flooded fields it a great magnet for birds and easy birding.

Black Redstart


Bee-eater

All of this year's birding wouldn't have been possible without my birding mate John Edwards and Michelle, so major thanks to them.

Starling Murmuration 


have a great 2021
Cheers Bryan



Thursday, January 7

The platform

 

Tuesday 5th January 

Good morning a happy new year and Kings Day, to everybody 

John and I spent around about 3 hours on The Platform, it sounds like a Netflix, sci-fi film.

Hoopoe

We watch and waited and continued our search for Tonn, the Great spotted Eagle.  It made for an interesting few hours birding.  The 3.5-meter square viewing platform can yield loads of birds because of the huge 180 degrees vista, slowly but surely the banter came out, Football, The Royals, Covid 19, Trump, who we both agreed should be locked up. 

Booted Eagle

With several cups of tea and slabs of chocolate cake to break the coldness we had a good laugh and a joke and put the world right as we carried on birding.

 Marsh Harrier

Birds were plentiful and as expected Booted Eagle, Marsh Harrier's flew close by, there were a few oddities like Whiskered Terns which John found, which can sometime over winter and my bird of the day was a Merlin.  Also Reed Buntings showed on and off. 

Reed Bunting

 We did see a large raptor which flew towards Catral but we just couldn't get enough on it to be sure?  It was pretty distant.  On the Vistabella Road at the lapwing roost, I heard a Sandgrouse call, I was pretty sure of what I heard. A very noisy lorry went past making loads of bangs and clatter's which flushed all the lapwing (100+) and also 2 Pin-tailed Sandgrouse hopefully someone else will pick them up? Quite a good find for this area.

Chiff Chaff

I've not mentioned every bird seen as i will only be repeating my previous blogs.

Another Hoopoe which refused to move so only head shots 

For a different view of today, birding see John Edwards excellent blog click the link below 

Notes from a Birder and Writer

With rain forecast over the next few days and tighter Covid rule's, it will give me time to do my review of the year.

Cheers

BT