Friday, July 27, 2007

Gloucestershire sightings 27 July 2007

Emerald Damselfy-I found at least four locally today
Common Darter
27 July 2007 No birds but 4+ plus Black-tailed Skimmer, 15 Ruddy Darter, 10 Common Darter, a hawker sp, 100 Blue-tailed Damselfly, 50 Common Blue 1 Banded Demoiselle and 4 Emerald Damslefly near to home.

Portugal, Western Algarve 18-26 July 2007

The Algarve, Portugal 18-26 July 2007 Just over a week based in the Western Algarve was a much needed relaxing family break but I did go out a few times to go birding although most of any allocated 'my time' was spent searching for dragonflies. A full report will appear on the dragonflies in due course but here are a few bird images from the area with bird list and other sightings. I did very little birding really but there is plenty to see and do here.

Bee-Eater in the Northern Part of the Alvor Estuary. Many were in the area but at least four pairs were still feeding young in holes out of flocks of 30 plus.
Occupied Bee Eater holes were in the sand quarry on the western penisula of the Alvor estuary mouth and the entrance to the northern part of the Alvor marshes. The parents were trying to coax the young out of the holes by landing with insects at the entrance and then flying to a nearby perch.

Zitting Cisticola, Alvor Estuary
Juvenile Black-winged Stilt, Armacao de Pera lagoon

Greater Flamingos, Armacao de Pera
White Storks resting in a field en-route to Silves
Glossy Ibis at Quinta de Lago

Bird list with my personal highlights in bold.
Little Grebe- seen at Armacao de Pera lagoon and Quinta de Lago Golf course lake. 20th and 26th.
G C Grebe- nesting at Quinto de Lago 26th.
Cory's Shearwater- at least 20 seen in a 20 minute seawatch from Cabo de Sao Vicente 23rd.
Mediterranean Shearwater- 2 seen from the above site 23rd.
Gannet- five off Cabo de Sao Vicente
Cormorant- one past the above site.
Little Bittern- 2 juveniles at Quinta de Lago lake seen taking Scarlet Darters from rushes.
Cattle Egret-commonly seen daily.
Little Egret-common around all wetlands.
Grey Heron- as above.
White Stork- common, gatherings of 200 on the minor road to Silves from theMonchique road and 50 at the Abicada lagoon.
Glossy Ibis- 2 at Quinta de Lago lake 26 July (Harriet spotted them first!) Not sure of the status in Portugal, I have never seen them in 4 visits.
Spoonbill- 8 at the Abicada lagoon, 24 July.
Greater Flamingo- 350 at Armacao de Pera lagoon, 2 in the Alvor saltmashes on 24th.
Gadwall- many at Quinta de Lago
Pochard- 30 at Quinta de Lago
Red-crested Pochard- 20 at Quinta de Lago.
Short-toed Eagle- a low flying individual at the Abicada lagoon on 24th July.
Black Kite- one near Faro Airport on 18th.
Black-winged Kite- a single seen on 20 and 24 July and a pair on 25th on territory at the same site. Due to the very nervous behaviour of these birds and apparent sensitivity I will withold the site.
Kestrel- seen on a few occaisions.
Lesser Kestrel- one probable at Alvor.
Red-legged Partridge-15 near Caldas de Monchique on 2 dates.
Quail-one heard calling at the Abicada lagoon on 24th from the other side of the estuary creek.
Water Rail-one in the Alvor saltmash on 22nd.
Purple Swamp-Hen- one seen very well and heard at Quinta de Lago lake 26th.
Oystercatcher- 3 Alvor estuary-22nd.
Avocet-many with young at Armacao de Pera lagoon.
Black-winged Stilt- many with young at Armacoa de Pera and Alvor.
Ringed Plover- 2 at the Abicad lagoon on 25th.
Kentish Plover- 20+ Alvor estuary and Armacao de Pera.
Dunlin-50 Alvor saltmarsh, 100 Abicada lagoon and 30 Armacao de Pera.
Green Sandpiper- one flushed from a stream near Caldas de Monchique.
Common Sandpiper- 20+ around Alvor and 15 at Armacao de Pera. Singles seen at a few other sites.
Redshank- Aramcao de Pera lagoon, Alvor and the Abicada marsh (100+ at latter site).
Greenshank- 10 at the Abicada lagoon.
Black-tailed Godwit- only 7 at Aramcao de Pera lagoon 21st and 1 at the Abicada lagoon on 25th.
Whimbrel- up to 10 in the Alvor estuary.
Arctic Skua-one off Cabo de Sao Vicente hassling Cory's Shearwater on 23rd.
Black-headed Gull-common.
Mediterranean Gull- a few seen around the Alvor estuary as well as a few other sites.
Yellow-legged Gull-common.
Audouins Gull- a third summer at the Armacoa de Pera lagoon on 21st.
Little Tern- up to 60 in the Alvor estuary and seen at Ria Formosa and Armacao de Pera.
Sandwich Tern- 2 in the Alvor estaury and one at Quinta de Lago.
Turtle Dove-seen at many locations.
Swift- common
Pallid Swift- seen very well over saltmarsh in the Alvor estaury as well as a few other places.
Kingfisher-seen in three different locations, Alvor, Silves and Quinta de Lago.
Bee Eater-common.
GS Woodpecker- heard.
Crested Lark-common.
Short-toed Lark- Armacao de Pera lagoon.
Sand Martin
Red-rumped Swallow-seen in many locations with one over the apartment swimming pool a treat.
House Martin
Spanish Wagtail-one Rio Formosa
Grey Wagtail-near Caldas de Monchique
Blue-rock Thrush-a female at Cabo de Sao Vicente
Sardinian Warbler
Cetti's Warbler
Great Tit
Crested Tit-singles near Caldas de Monchique
Woodchat Shrike- seen around Alvor
Azure-winged Magpie- common around Alvor and very common at Quinta de Lago
Common Waxbill- a flock of 20-30 at the Abicada on 20th and 4 at the Alvor salinas on 25th.
I also saw a Water Vole downstream of Caldas de Monchique, my most southerly record ever.
About 30+ dolphin sp off Cabo de Sao Vicente on 23rd.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Gloucestershire sightings 10-15 July 2007

First-summer Mediterranean Gull, WWT Slimbridge, South Lake

15 July 2007 At WWT a total of 15 species of wader were noted today with some high counts this week of note. 20 Oystercatcher, 30 Lapwing, 2 Greenshank, 1 Spotted Redshank, 130+ Redshank, 100+ Black-tailed Godwit, 130+ Dunlin (100 on Top New Piece, 2 Little-ringed Plover (adult and juvenile), 14 Green Sandpiper, 9 Common Sandpiper (7 on the river) , 1 Red Knot, 1 Turnstone, 130 Curlew 1 Whimbrel and 3 Ringed Plover (latter 5 species on the estuary). At least 4 Yellow-legged Gull, 14 GBB Gull, 112 Shelduck and a very wet Hobby were along the edge of the Dumbles. A dark-phase Arctic Skua flew over the grounds and was relocated on the estuary later (John Budd). The Top and Bottom New Piece and South Lake has all the wader action with a first summer Mediterranean Gull also at the latter site this afternoon.
10-14 July 2007 A number of new arrivals this week with significant large scale arrivals of some wader species. Weather and work have not helped in getting any birding or general wildlife watching time. We did catch and ring/re-process 127 Mallard on the Rushy on 11th.

Monday, July 09, 2007

9 July 2007 A much more interesting week so far. I noted a number of good birds today with 3 Avocet on the river off the Dumbles from 1200-1530 at least. A few Curlew and a Whimbrel were also here as well as 45 Shelduck and 9 roosting Little Egret. Further up river an adult and second and third summer Yellow-legged Gull, Common Sandpiper and 2 more Little Egrets were present. The 100 Acre had a moulting adult Whinchat, 1 Hobby, 2 Kestrel, 2 Buzzard, 6 Little Egret and amongst the hundreds of dragonflies the first Brown Hawker of the year. JSL was fortunate to add another species to the WWT scaffolding list, a Goshawk that was busy eating a Rabbit along near the Holden Tower. The committee need to decide if you have to be on the scaffolding for it to count. The South Lake and Top/Bottom New Piece shared 40 Black-tailed Godwit, 70+ Redshank, 2+ Dunlin, a couple of Green Sandpiper, 220 Lapwing, 120 Black-headed Gull, 20 Teal and Oystercatcher. A Southern Hawker was near the centre reedbed.
Grasshopper Warbler WWT Slimbridge 100 Acre image by Nick Goatman
First-summer Mediterranean Gull, WWT Slimbridge, South Lake
image by Nick Goatman

Black-tailed Godwit islandica race
Colour-ringed islandica Black-tailed Godwit

8 July 2007 On the safari's and hide rounds today in the 100 Acre a Grasshopper Warbler was reeling, 3 Hobby feeding on insects and 9 Little Egret. A Southern Hawker was in the Bull Ground. The scrapes held a new first-summer Mediterranean Gull (South Lake) 6 Dunlin, 1 Greenshank, 23 Black-tailed Godwit, 80 Redshank and 200 Lapwing. Two Lesser Whitethroats and perhaps scarcest bird of the day was the Spotted Flycatcher along the summer walkway. A Tawny Owl was a surprise along the South Finger path at 0930 in the morning.

6 and 7 July 2007 I did not get any birding done at all but DBP had 3 Yellow-legged Gull on 6th.

5 July 2007 Belated news of an eclipse drake Red-breasted Merganser off Middle Point

Monday, July 02, 2007

WWT and Gloucestershire sightings 1 to 5 July 2007

Immature Falcon sp on the Dumbles, WWT Slimbridge It appears to have a wire and ring

5 July 2007 A Greenshank, 3 Green Sandpiper, 205 Lapwing, 60+ Redshank, 9+ Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Shoveler and 13 Teal were around the scrapes. The falcon sp was on the Dumbles once again.

4 July 2007 At WWT the juvenile falcon sp still on the Dumbles, the first-summer Mediterranean Gull, 60 Black-headed Gull, 19 Black-tailed Godwit, 60+ Redshank and 9 Shoveler on South Lake. A dark phase Arctic Skua was around the estuary before and during the morning tide and showed well off Middle Point. A Hawker sp was near the Decoy this morning.

3 July 2007 A Goshawk that was discovered by Dave Paynter was present around the Tack Piece and Decoy this morning. A juvenile falcon sp was on the Dumbles.

2 July 2007 A Fulmar was present in the estuary in the evening (A Jayne). At the 100 Acre viewing platform the pair of Broad-bodied Chasers were still present along with a number of small dragonfly species. A Yellow-legged Gull was on the Dumbles along with other large gull species. A Whimbrel was among 193 Curlew and 80+ Redshank , 1 Green Sandpiper and 13 Black-tailed Godwit were on the New Piece wetlands.

1 July 2007 An adult Yellow-legged Gull was on the estuary and the first-summer Mediterranean Gull on South Lake.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

WWT Slimbridge sightings 28 and 30 June 2007

Emperor Dragonfly devouring a Black-tailed Skimmer
The killer Emperor Dragonfly
The remains of a Black-tailed Skimmer
30 June 2007 The only thing of note was a first-summer Mediterrranean Gull on South Lake, the same bird that has been present since early Spring.
28 June 2007 A good lunch hour dragonfly session recorded six species at the 100 Acre viewing platform. The most remarkable thing I have seen for a while was watching an Emperor take out two mating Black-tailed Skimmer in mid-air, drag them to the ground and eat them rapidly. A Four-spotted Chaser, 10 Ruddy Darter, 5 Common Darter, 6 Emperor and one male and two female Broad-bodied Chaser were also present.