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Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Spain Enebro de Punta Day 8

A great trip out from Tarifa into the Straits to observe cetaceans including this Bottle-nosed Dolphin

  Early this morning I went to have a look at what the main man, Dave Grundy, had trapped overnight in his five moth traps! He stays during the winter months at the observatory until May and then later in October, makes he regular visit to St Angus for a few weeks also trapping moths. It was good to see him but unfortunly the moths were low in numbers. There were also a few birders at the obs and they told me, as it was a easterly breeze, that it was probably best to observe the raptors coming in at the the far north end of Tarifa Beach at Enebro de Punta near to the dunes. Driving along the main road, I noticed a buzzard on wires close to the road and pulled over. I thought that I had got a possible Long-legged Buzzard but later on speaking to others in the area and abroad, it was thought to be a Buzzard with Long-legged Buzzard influence in it and was maybe to be the Gibraltar Buzzard?

 Some species of moth that Dave trapped. I can't remember what Dave identified them as but I had a lot of new species.

Waved Umber


Cream-spot Tiger



Ochropleura leucogaster

Phyllodesma kernesifolia

Spider sp?

Long-horned Beetle sp?




This Buzzard with Long-legged Buzzard showed pretty well at close range

  At 11.30, I reached an opening half way up Paloma Hill and raptors were pouring in. It was some three hours later that I called it a day and still they were arriving in off the sea but in smaller numbers. Serin and Sardinian Warbler were all over the shop and I also had a Tree Pipit come in and Swallows.

Totals included from 11.30-14.30

100+Short-toed Eagle
1500+Black Kite
18 Booted Eagle
19 Sparrowhawk
2 Osprey
2 Egyptian Vulture
3 male Marsh Harrier
2 Buzzard
1 Tree Pipit
7 Swallow


Egyptian Vulture

2 Osprey arrived with Black Kite


There were 3 male Marsh Harrier


I must of seen some 40 Sparrowhawk in the last week including 19 today


Up to 18 Booted Eagle 



Over 1500 Black Kite





But only 100+Short-toed Eagle

  I would of liked to have stuck around longer but at 17.00 I was on a boat trip into the Straits towards Morocco to hopefully see some cetaceans. It didn't take long until we came across over 30 Bottle-nosed Dolphin. This was quickly followed by an equal number pod of Long-finned Pilot Whale and feeding with the whales were 2 superb Sperm Whale! A new species for me and they showed on and off at close range in the twenty minutes that they performed. Returning back to Tarifa in the last hour of light, 40+Scopoli's and 4 Balearic Shearwater passed close by east. If you visit Tarifa I highly recommend a trip out into the Straits.





The Bottle-nosed Dolphin were in a mood for showing off with The Rock in the distance


Long-finned Pilot Whale




The highlight of the trip was stolen by the 2 Sperm Whale Anyone like to guess how many plastic bags are in these two whales??

Over 40 Scopoli's and 4 Balearic Shearwater, including the two above of the latter species, finished off a great day!



Gibraltar Rock

Joan As Police Woman has just brought out a new single and she's still got class!

Monday, 18 March 2019

Spain La Janda Day 7

We saw many Spanish Wagtail on one of the tracks at La Janda

  Mostly Short-toed Eagle were moving in from Africa this morning and while in the car park, two wagons pulled up from the birding tour group   https://ingloriousbustards.com/  I didn't pay any attention until I heard a familiar voice and found my good friend Bev and his wife, who have visited Scilly for over 20 years, using one the wagons to shelter from the easterly wind. He introduced me to almost everyone in the group including one of the tour leaders, Martin Tonkin. Martin gave me some advice on seeing Spanish Empereal and Lesser Spotted Eagle at La Janda. So at 11.00, after seeing 105 STE, 1 Booted Eagle and a single Grag Martin move through, Bryan and I headed north towards the latter site. We spent the rest of the day in the area and came away of note, Bonelli's Eagle, Calandra Lark, Spanish Wagtail, Hoopoe and a female Hen Harrier.


Female Hen Harrier

Corn Bunting in full song 

Female Spanish Wagtail


Painted Lady

Short-toed Eagle


I've lost count of how Sharon Van Etten songs I've put on my blog but I had to put her song 'Tarifa' on as that is where I am right now!!

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Spain Punta del Carnero Day 5-6

Over 250 Short-toed Eagle were observed arriving from Morocco today 

  As the wind had changed coming from the west and as expected, nothin was moving after having a quick look from the obs car park. Twenty minutes later east of Tarifa, I arrived at Punta del Camaro and recognised some birders at the side of the road and joined them. Scanning from the cliff, in the four hours we were there, we got cracking views of Short-toed Eagle as they came in. However, we were disappointed when one of the birders on the Whatsapp group in the area got news of a Lesser Spotted Eagle had flown past some birders who were next to the lighthouse just around the corner!!


And we could see the lighthouse from where we were as a Short-toed Eagle glides through!

Totals included

250+Short-toed Eagle
16 Booted Eagle
2 Egyptian Vulture
1 male Marsh Harrier
1 Osprey (resident)
6 Sparrowhawk
100+Black Kite
4 Black Stork
37 White Stork
1 House Martin

16 Booted Eagle was a high number for this time of year 

4 Black Stork flew into the bay

White Stork with the north end of The Rock







Short-toed Eagles

  The following morning I woke to low cloud and very strong easterlies. I made the short drive to the obs car park and just outside Tarifa there were 52 Griffon Vulture hanging low battling with the gust, although they seemed to have it in total control. After spending some time with them I was at the car park and you couldn't see Morocco from the clouds. I met Bryan Leecy from west Yorkshire sheltering behind a small building. In an hour he had seen nothing but told me of a male Pied Wheatear that he had down road! I was hoping he would say that he had it yesterday when I asked him when did you see it? 'Four days ago!' He didn't realise that it was a mega for Spain! We made our ways to where he had seen it but nothing! We returned to the car park and the clouds had cleared and as expected the raptors with arriving in force. In one scan, there were over 50 Short-toed Eagle coming across with lesser numbers of Black Kite! 
  Later on I had a walk down the coastal road and there were a single Red-rumped Swallow, pairs of Cirl Bunting and Thekla's Larks in good numbers.
  
From 11.45-14.10 these were the totals

600+Short-toed Eagle
3 Booted Eagle
6 Egyptian Vulture
200+ Black Kite
4 Sparrowhawk
4 Swallow 
1 Tree Pipit






52 Griffon Vulture in the dull weather

Up to 6 Egyptian Vulture passed through

Black Kite

Over 600 Short-toed Eagle moved through


Male Sardinian Warbler

Male Cirl Bunting


Thekla's Lark


Julia Jacklin (born 30 August 1990) is an Australian singer/songwriter based in Sydney, Australia Her debut studio album, Don't Let the Kids Win, was released in October 2016 on Transgressive Records.[2] The Guardian described it as "one of those albums that will slowly creep into the affections of a large number of people" while Rolling Stone Australia found her songs "simple and unadorned".[14] The album was recorded and produced by Bed Edwards over a three-week period.[3] It features Eddie Boyd (guitar), Tom Stephens (drums, bass), Mitchell Lloyd (bass), Joe McCallum (drums).