Language Translator

Sunday 24 March 2019


I arrive back home three days ago, 21st, and two days later I connected with the overwintering juvenile ROUGH-LEGGED BUZZARD over Telegraph thanks to Ren

  While observing 1000s of raptors in Spain last week, news from Scilly was that the overwintering Rough-legged Buzzard was still present on St Martins after first being seen on the 20th November last year by Viv Jackson. I was just hoping that it would stick for just that little longer and it did. I was cleaning me wagon at work when shortly after 11.00, Ren called to say that he had the buzzard over Peninnis heading towards Old Town. For the next ten minutes I was driving all over the shop following instructions on where the bird was from other observers on the Scilly Bird News WhatsApp group. I eventually caught up with the raptor circling over Telegraph/golf course for over a minute before flying north towards Tresco when I lost it behind trees. A few minutes later a Hoopoe was found on St Agnes.
  Before all this happened, there had been a small arrival of migrants and I had 3 Black Redstart at Porthloo with a cracking male at Little Porth. Also a male White Wagtail dropped into the grounds of Star Castle.

I did see the last Rough-legged Buzzard to hit Scilly in October 2001 and as it arrived at the same time as a few yanks, it was thought to probably be a Rough-legged Hawk. Record shots of the Rough-legged Buzzard while circling over Telegraph

 This morning I joined Sgt Paul Freestone who was here for the weekend covering one of the police officers. At Porth Hellick there was an obvious arrival of Chiffchaff but otherwise 7 Sand Martin over the pool were my first of the year. Ren had 7 Wheatear on the airfield. So we went to the golf course and got an equal number with a single Black Redstart. Another 4 of the latter species was at Porthloo and later in the afternoon we returned to Porth Hellick to try and see Rens 3 Willow Warbler he had singing shortly after we left earlier on. No luck and we called it a day. On Tresco the Rough-legged Buzzard and 2 Cattle Egret were still present.

It was good to see the first Wheatear of the year with 7 birds near Carn Gwarvel. At least 30 turned up on St Mary's with 15 Black Redstart

Over 100 Chiffchaff were on St Mary's today including the 40+ that Paul and I had. 

There was also an arrival of Linnet today

Male Stonechat

Jeff" Klein is an American singer/songwriter of the band My Jerusalem from Newburgh, New York, who plays keyboards and guitar. He has released three solo albums and another three albums with My Jerusalem. Jeff Klein has risen to acclaim after the release of his album 'Gone for good' which gave him the necessary boost in the beginning and 'Preachers' which has provided him with an international reach towards some few parts of every continent

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  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!!