Tuesday, 27 February 2018

A family holiday to Fuerteventura

A family holiday to Fuerteventura and what do you know the Dwarf Bittern hadn't returned to Africa. Here looking quite small and a bit out of habitat on rocks in the gorge.

Scroll down for less 'dwarf' like photograph.

Dwarf Bittern (Ixobrychus sturmii)

Spectacled Warbler (Sylvia conspicillata orbitalis)

Houbara Bustard (Chlamydotis undulata fuertaventurae)

Dwarf Bittern (Ixobrychus sturmii)


A lucky break on our walk from Thornham to Holme, when this Waxwing landed right next to us on a bramble. Such a pleasure to see this species away from the urban setting.

Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) Norfolk January 2018


Lucky timing to get this Otter porpoiseing out of the water

Common Otter (Lutra lutra) Norfolk January 2018

Visits to relatives

Always handy to stop off at some good birding spots en route.

American Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris) Surrey January 2018

Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes) plucking Hornbeam seeds Cambridgeshire UK GB February 2018

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Sri Lanka November 2017

Sri Lanka November 2017

Brown-breasted Flycatcher (Muscicapa muttui)

Indian Monitor (Varanus bengalensis)

Malayan Night Heron (Gorsachius melanolophus)

Indian Star Tortoise (Geochelone elegans)

Pied Thrush (Geokichla wardii)

Indian Pitta (Pitta brachyura)

Sri Lanka Spurfowl (Galloperdix bicalcarata)

Green-billed Coucal (Centropus chlororhynchos)

 Kashmir Flycatcher (Ficedula subrubra)

 Oriental Rat Snake (Ptyas mucosa)

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

The Algarve, Portugal October 2017

Photographs from Algarve Portugal October 2017

Western Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio)

Great Shearwater (Puffinus gravis)

Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)

 Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

Stonechat (Saxicola torquata)

Lanner Falcon (Falco biarmicus)

Lanner Falcon (Falco biarmicus) 
Cape St Vincent, Sagres 7th October 2017

Having seen very little at Cape St Vincent, we headed towards the raptor watchpoint known at Monte da Cabranosa taking the track from the N268 at . As I drove towards the north end of the track at 37°02'10.3"N 8°57'43.2"W a large pale brown Falcon flew in low from the west and continued to the east and passed rapidly out of view, obscured by pine trees. The time was about 11.30am. 

The bird was only on view for about ten seconds. In that time through binoculars I saw some finer plumage details, including the brown, heavily streaked pale breast, the dark brown greater underwing coverts and slightly less dark brown greater primary underwing coverts. These feathers contrasted with the paler primaries, secondaries and to a lesser extent the paler brown lesser and median underwing coverts. The head appeared pale with a slight darker brown moustache stripe. The falcon had to be either a Lanner or Saker Falcon. But which one? And it was gone. I had had no time to photograph the bird. 

I felt somewhat reassured, as I thought the observers at the watchpoint would also have seen the bird and identified it. We drove directly to the watchpoint and arrived about 11.40. I saw Rob Mills, who I had met the previous evening, and walked over to him to ask if anyone had just seen a large brown Falcon. I was a bit surprised, and a little deflated, to learn that no one had spotted the bird.

We stayed to enjoy watching the raptors go overhead. In the back of my mind I always hoping the bird may reappear, and very happily it did. It arrived from the north-east and flew quite close to the watchpoint in a south-westerly direction, at 12.50pm. It then turned and headed back towards the north-east, but this time a little closer. I took a sequence of photographs (as did others). Photographs confirmed the bird to be a Lanner Falcon and others assigned it, to the most likely to occur, North African ‘erlangerirace. What a relief.  

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Iceland June 2017

Some photographs from a tour to Iceland.

Glaucous Gull (Larus hyperboreus)

Black Guillemot (Cepphus grylle)

BrĂ¼nnich´s Guillemot (Uria lomvia)

Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus)

 Slavonian Grebe (Podiceps auritus)

Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa islandica)

Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus)

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Romania May 2017

Just back from tour leading in Romania. Wildcats can swim!

Wild Cat (Felix sylvestris)
Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida)

Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus)

Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus)

Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides)
White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla)
Corncrake (Crex crex)
Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) Now rare in Romania!

Friday, 5 May 2017

Sicily April 2017

Some photographs from a recent tour to Sicily.

Collared Flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis)

Mirror Ophrys (Ophrys speculum)
Forestier’s Ophrys (Ophrys forestieri)
Bertoloni's Ophrys (Ophrys bertolonii)
Bianca’s Ophrys (Ophrys biancae)
Beautiful Ophrys (Ophrys calliantha)
Black Spider Ophrys (Ophrys incubacea)
Crescent Ophrys (Ophrys lunulata)

 Wood Warbler (Phylloscopus sibilatrix)