Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Gloucester Goshawk

At a secret location in Gloucestershire ...

Above: A goshawk nest near the top of the tree

Above: Jurjen climbs the tree

Above: All 3 Goshawk chicks in the nest were male. While Jurjen says that a nest full of males happens in Holland, Rob (the local ringer who found the nests) says that this is the first time he had seen this phenomenon.

Above: Females are bigger than males therefore the leg on the left is female, the one on the right, male.
Above: Those eyes are capable of seeing much more detail at distance than you or I ever could!

Other Menorcan wildlife

On my wanderings I found other wildlife.

Above: Fish congregating and jostling for position to be next up the pipe (connecting the sea the rest of the inlet - there was, I assume, an artificial barrier to regulate water levels for the salt pans that are now disused).

Above: In Britian, you usually know Water Voles are present on waterways because you hear the 'plop'. This was Menorcan version only much louder for obvious reasons! I was lucky enough to creep up on this from behind - it only became aware of me when I got too close trying to get an even better picture!

Above: The colour of this frog came out really well in the photograph - I was able to get really close to take the photo. It was 1 metre up from the ground - I doubt it hopped into that high!
Above: This pair of butterflies took my interest while trying to refind a Night Heron that had flown in this direction. A look upwards here also got me my first alpine swift.
Above: A funny looking beetle.

Menorca Birds 1

There are just some species that you feel like you MUST see to make it all worthwhile ...

Above: A Thekla Lark.

Above: A pair of black-winged stilts

Above: With winds in the right direction and rain in the air, in dropped these bee eaters!

Above: Is this a Lesser Kestrel?
Above: A Turtle Dove. A pair were usually found (purring or not) within 100 yards of our appartment.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Menorca birds 2

More birds from Menorca.

Above: Greenshank

Above: A stunning bird & unmistakable silhouette - Bee Eater.

Above & Below: My dad got really taken with these birds - he found the first two we saw. Blue Rock Thrush (male).

Below: A chaffinch.

Menorca birds 3

Some of the photographs I took of birds in Menorca.

Above: This female House Sparrow was scouring the local cafe for food, straying close enough to me for this photo.

Above: At the northern end of the Algendar Gorge 7 (including the four in the photograph) Egyptian vultures were visible.

Above: This greedy male House Sparrow is begging for food (obviously has been fed before & is used to approaching suckers like me ..... I fed it ... after I took the photo!

Above: On review of this photograph, I was surprised to learn this was of maura race (siberian) stonechat (note the deep white half collar & white upper tail coverts).

Above: This yellow legged gull came for its lunch, but went away with an empty belly (I guess it could see there was no food in the bowl ... sorry, I mean bin.

Audouin's Gull (Menorca)

Here are various photographs (in sequence) of an Audouin's Gull on the beach at Son Bou.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Menorca Landscapes Part 1

Not in any particular order:

Above: A 5 minute drive from where we stayed is Addaia - a port with stunning views as shown above. Many of my photographs don't do it justice but you would pay good money to live here! One suspects that those with real money stay here with somewhere to moor their pleasure yachts!

Above: The port in the Capital - Ciutadella. One large ferry, one small but DEEP port! This must have been the car ferry returning from Mallorca.

Above: The Salines de Montgofre. At the other end of the Addaia inlet and with more stunning views, this was a great place for birding! Several wader species collected here with great views of Black Winged Stilt (between 10 & 15 here alone). The picture actually shows the salt pans that are no longer in use.

Above: Arenal D'en Castell. The apartment we stayed in is in the middle at the top.

Above: Algendar Gorge. You can probably make out lots of small holes in the rock in the photograph above. These holes are where, what I can only assume were, HUNDREDS of House Sparrows & nests. I would bet this is one of the largest house sparrow colonies in Europe! The gorge is definately a great place for birding. It is filled with vegetion and opens up onto the south coast & is therefore perfect for funelling those migrant birds! Redstart, Blue Rock Thrush, Pied Flycatcher, Egyptian Vulture among some of the species to be seen here.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Menorca Landscapes Part 2

In no particular order:

Above: Cala Tirant - one of the best birding sites on Menorca (due a good mixture of habitat in the area). This lagoon can only be viewed from distance, but this is where I caught up with my first ever Squacco Heron and Black winged stilt! Without a scope (as I was), the ID's were quite difficult. Result was that I wanted to see them much closer (which I got later on in the day with the Black Winged Stilt only). This day (day 7) was the worst for weather, very light rain about 9.15am but the only day the winds blew from south to north & ended up being the best day for birding.

Also from this view were Hoopoe, Tawny Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Woodchat Shrike & Cornbunting.

Above: View from on top of the cliffs at Cala de Santa Galdana. Very clean water, extremely cold at this time of year!

Above: If it wasn't for my dad going for a swim here and heading for the cliffs on the right hand side, he never would have flushed a NIGHT HERON, and I would not be able to say that I had seen one! Thanks Dad! I also found my first ALPINE SWIFT here by looking upwards!

Above: More Cala Tirant - this time a slightly different location - not super brilliant for birds this spot but might be at the right time of year. I did better at this location by looking skywards & in hedges/fields around the road.

Above: A view from Cap de Cavelleria - sheer cliffs, great views. Picked up my first BLUE ROCK THRUSH here along with a few Linnets and a yellow wagtail. My first AUDOUIN'S GULL was also here.