Sunday, 17 May 2015

Tarifa Spring Migration

Tuesday 25 April to Tuesday 5th May Tarifa Spain

I can't believe we have been back in the UK over a week already.  Here is a small gallery of photos from our trip.  I am hoping to post a trip report before we go the Pyrenees on the 28th of this month. 

White Stork arriving from Africa

More Stork

Egyptian Vulture

 Short-toed Eagle

 Northern Bald Ibis

and with a chick

Northern Bald Ibis

.......... and again

.............. and just one more. 

3 Northern Bald Ibis nests on one ledge
Most of the nests we saw had chicks 

 Cattle Egret

 Cattle Egret 

 Corn Bunting

Tawny Owl Chick taken at 10 O'clock with no camera flash. 
Two chicks were being fed by the adults in the trees around our cabin every night.

 Tawny Owl 

 It wasn't all birding - we were lucky enough to see Pilot Whales in the Straits of Gibraltar. 
We enjoyed a 2hr early evening trip at sea, the highlight of which had to be a Sperm Whale sighting.  Unfortunately no photo, as along with the other 30 or so passengers on the boat, we were too busy tripping over our dropped jaws !  A fantastic sight. 

Pilot Whale 

Striped Dolphin  

We couldn't resist a visit to Gibraltar  

 Grooming time

Sleep time ......  Arrrgghh

 Griffon Vultures arriving from Africa

 Iberian Black Pig - very tasty

Nightingales were abundant at every site we visited

 Part of a committee of Griffon Vultures (approx. 170). 
As we watched them feeding on 5 dead sheep we were all agreed that the 
stench was well worth the views we had of these impressive birds.

 Fed, full up and flat out ! 

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Another Cheshire Lifer and a Dogs new adventure

Anyone who knows me, or has seen me on a twitch over the last 16 years knew if I was there, then Scruffy our Jack Russell woundn't be far behind.  Sadly, in June last year we had to let her go.  She was almost 17 and was poorly, she had almost gone of her legs and as heartbreaking as it was we knew it was time for her last twitch.  We took her out for the day, visiting all her favourite sites and fed her bacon butties and ice-cream, a fitting end to her time in our lives.  Vowing that we would not have another dog because it is just too hard when you lose them, I went out walking for the first time in years without a four legged companion - not going to happen !  Within 3 weeks Mani had joined our family along with Luna (Ashleys dog) and birding trips and walks were back to what we were used to.  

Last Wednesday afternoon (4th Feb) an opportunity came up for us to nip over to New Brighton where a 1st Winter Laughing Gull had been showing well for a couple of days.
A short 50 minute drive from home and the 4 of us , Me, Ash, Luna and Mani were watching the bird. It was happily sleeping amongst a couple of hundred Redshank and a few Turnstone.  As the Redshank left the roost the Gull did a short flight had a drink and a bath, then landed back on the Jetty.  A Cheshire lifer for us and a first for Luna and Mani !

Snow Buntings had been showing on and off since December of last year at the other end of the prom, so we decided to make the most of our visit and drive to see them whilst we were here.  This was, of course, also a perfect opportunity to introduce the dogs to the sand on the beach.   Niether had been on a beach before and they had a great time chasing each other around.  

Within a few minutes Ash had located the birds and we were able to enjoy them at very close quarters for 20 minutes or so.  Ashley managed to get some close up photos to share with you as well. 

 Laughing Gull amongst Redshank

 In Flight

and landed

 Laughing Gull

 Snow Bunting

 Snow Bunting

 Mani chasing Luna


Scruffy an me in Spain

Sunday, 8 February 2015

January Round Up

Just a quick round up for January.  In the first two weeks of the New Year we spent a week in Nerja Andalucia Spain.  The weather was warm and the birding good - full trip report to follow shortly.
On the home front we finally caught up with Brambling in our NNHS squares with 10 birds present at the side of Nantwich Football Ground and 2's and 3's showing along the River Weaver pathways, behind Shrewbridge Road.

We managed a sunny afternoon at Baddiley Mere near Nantwich.  We parked at Baddiley Church and walked the Public Footpaths to the Mere, adding Pink Feet, Pochard, Pintail and Jack Snipe to the NNHS year list, closing the month on 75 species.  

Some pictures from our day out are shared here.