Sunday, 12 November 2017

Rachels Birthday Weekend in North Norfolk.

Arrived Friday night to watch the Thursford Christmas Spectacular which was awesome.

Then Stopped in the static van on Kelling Heath to do a weekend of birding and visiting the local villages.
Saturday we started at Sherringham which held a wintering Purple Sandpiper then found a Black Redstart on the Roofs by the promenade. Moved onto the flooded fields South of Stiffkey which held 2 Cattle Egret no where to stop to get decent views so only seen from the car. At Wells large flocks of Brent Geese.
Back to Cley where i scoped the Grey Phalarope from the VC which was being harassed by Crows on Simmonds Scrape. Cley Beach held 30+ mobile Snow Buntings, lots of Golden Plover, Pintail and Ruff. Great Northern Diver on the sea.
Between Cley and Salthouse the Black Brant was still with 50 Dark Bellied Brents.
A quick check of the 1000 Pink-footed geese heralded nowt. Back for a cracking walk around Kelling heath even though we saw few birds. Days ares short so early back to the van.

Sunday started again at Cley for a brilliant sea-watch, Another Great Norther Diver, year tick Little Auk, a distant brief Petrel almost sure it was Leach's a group of 5 Bonxie. Plenty of ducks, Waders and Gannets. A Snow bunting flew past just as i was leaving. The Black Brant was still at Salthouse and another quick check of the pinks heralded again nothing new. The rain was now setting in so headed home.


Sunday, 29 October 2017

Cley and Patching

Had a nice day with friends for our regular meet up, always great as we get to cover Cley properly visiting all the hides and the cafe. Highlights on the reserve were 2 Little Stint with many many Ruff and Dunlin.

It was very windy so LBJs were short on the ground, Cettis were heard as was the ping of the Bearded Tit.
A Sandwich Tern arrived with a few Gulls on the spit from the hides.

After a good day around the hides we finished at the beach carpark watching the Gannets feeding very close, a couple more Sandwich Terns, Pintails flying OUT to sea, Red Throated Diver, a few Waders such as Dunlin and Knot and a few Guillemots also a few ducks.
Golden plover were in the fields and a great finish to the day with 4 Snow Bunitngs over our heads as we were saying goodbye.
Lastly nipped into the Iron Rd car park  where the Black Brant had been all day.

Sea Watch from Corton Bench's today was brilliant I had quality rather than up and down the coast they had Quantity.
1 Storm Petrel, Description species for Suffolk
1 Leach's Petrel
1 Eider (fem)
1 Short Eared Owl
1 Bonxie, others had 20+ From Lowestoft
35 Guillemots/Auks, Others had 1200+
6 Red Throated Diver
hundreds if not thousands of mixed Gannets and Cormorants
2 Grey Plover
40 Dunlin
5 Turnstone
1 Curlew
50 Brent Geese
30 Common Scoter
6 Teal
3 Goldeneye
2 Tufted Duck
1 Long tailed duck (juv)
1 Shoveler
1000+ Starlings
6 Shelduck
A passerine that looked like a Lapland Bunting.
2 Rock Pipit
5 Kittiwakes
40+ Med Gulls
All in all great days watching

Monday, 23 October 2017

Med Gulls

Med Gulls on the patch, plenty. Redwings moving over night.
Yellow Browed Warbler and a Ring Ouzel and a Marsh Harrier seen over the weekend all on the patch but as i had family stopping the birding was limited.
At Work in Leiston a Firecrest showed nicely for a Co-op car-park.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Weekend Patching

A weekend slogging the patch provided a few goodies. A flock of 9 Stock Doves with a few more smaller flocks of 2s were migrating. Plenty of Brambling, Redwing and 2 vocal Yellow Browed Warbler. 2 Very large flocks of Starlings came in off the sea with many more smaller flocks maybe a total of 2000. Flocks of Chaffinch too but the biggest flock was only 9. Smaller numbers of Meadow Pipits.
A few Buzzards moved along the coast, certainly not the local population as these were much darker.
Rock Pipits moving South. The Sea had plenty of Gannets, a few Red throated divers, Guillemots and a flock of 13 Med Gulls sat on the sea with a few more milling around.
Goldcrest, Coal tits and the other tit families were much more evident as were Robins and Blackbirds.
A Nice Great Spotted Woodpecker visited the garden.
That was all really, the wind has swung to the south but its only bringing in common migrants.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Majorca September 23rd to 30th 2017

Click on pics for full size images
Saturday 23rd 
Flew in via Ryan Air and luckily the flight wasn't cancelled i guess the Pilots for the East midlands planes had taken all there Holidays
Anyway arrived just after lunch and made a steady trip to the hotel via our favorite cafe Coves de Campanet 
We always like to have lunch here and sit overlooking the wonderful scenery listening to Serin, Firescrest and watching the wonderful Butterflies such as the 2 Tailed Pasher, (we saw maybe 10 individuals throughout the island) Cleopatra and the very common Hummingbird Hawkmoth.

After a couple of hours here it was onto our Hotel Lagotel which over looks the Albufera Marsh and is why we choose this hotel each time. Id asked for our usual room 630 but to my disappointment the gave us room 618. When we entered the room we were pleasantly surprised as it looked over another part of the Reserve although it did seem to lack the numbers of birds from the other room. It was still a very good view although the other side still topped it slightly and we enjoyed watching the entertainment which we didn't get from this side, that did make it very much quieter though.

We always like to chill out when we get to the hotel so i spent some time listing the birds from the balcony.
It was still surprisingly good with Osprey, Purple Heron and Great White Egrets, probably a little closer than the opposite side too. Black Winged Stilts and Audoins Gull were present in good numbers.

Sunday 24th
Onto Sunday morning it was a late start after a bit of Breakfast. I wanted to try some new sites and headed for S'Albufereta and La Gola

We found this stunning reserve and watched the pools from a couple of very well built tower platforms. A great site to behold where no less than 80 Greater Flamingos. 3 Great White Egrets and a surprise 3 Whimbrel. On another pool a few waders had gathered, 2 Wood Sandpiper, Greenshank, Kentish Plover and Green Sandpiper.

A Swallowtail showed very well.

 The afternoon was spent in Alcudia Town.

Monday 25th
Today there was no Birding, i promised the wife we would do things we hadn't done in previous visits and a walk around Palma was one of them. We took a bus tour and walking tour and was fascinated in the history of the area. Oh on the trip down Booted Eagle and Red Kite :-)


Not somewhere i could live but great for a day out.

Tuesday 26th
Back to Birding in the country. Always enjoy the drive to Cap De ses Selines no birds seen on the way until reaching the driveway down to the Cap, a couple of Booted Eagle a Red Kite and many Kestrels. The cap was unfortunately devoid of any birds but on the way back a surprise 1st winter Pallid harrier. Disappeared just as i got the camera out!!! We moved onto the Ses Salines saltpans, which was awesome as ever. Birds such as the Flamingo, Shelducks, 3 Black Necked Grebes, Curlew Sand Loads of Little Stint and Kentish Plovers. Surprise find was this Little Egret x Western Reef Heron hybrid, a striking bird and one ive seen in the east of the island in the past.


We arrived back at the hotel where i left the family so i could head to Son Bosc platform over looking the Depordeva on S' Albufera Marsh. Nightingale and Hoopoe are awesome, 3 1st winter Bluethroats around the edge mixing with the Wood and Green Sandpipers. Mass of European Starlings, about 20 Marsh Harrier to roost as did about 30 Yellow Wagtails.. Whinchat, Stonechat and Woodchat Shrike here too. Cattle egret came down to drink and bathe but the vegetation is grown up a little too much now to see them like in the past. Stone Curlew were heard.
I stayed till dark hoping for Nightjar but maybe i was too late in the year now. Its an easy place to drive to so usually i visit 3 or 4 times a trip but this time i only got in the 1 visit.

Wednesday 27th
Always enjoy the Mountain Roads up to Cubar Dam, Cubar is always a must for us as the walk is easy and the birds are good. Driving with the windows down you can hear the Firecrest and Crossbills singing all the way up to the damn, there's always a chance of Raptors and Vultures. We did see Griffon and Black Vulture on the way up. I recommend the Orange juice in the small kiosk from a couple of the photo points.

We reached the Carpark of Cubar to the sound of singing Crossbills and the walk was as nice as ever although bird numbers were down a little. We were a week later than normal not sure if that made a difference as even the spotted Flycatchers had gone.
9 Ravens circled around the hills with 5 Griffons and 3 Black Vultures, a Peregrine and a Booted Eagle put in an appearance as did an Adult Bonellis Eagle. Further towards the Dam wall 2 Cirl Buntings several Common Redstarts and a lovely Blue Rock Thrush. Firecrest everywhere more than id seen on previous visit. Lastly our first Eleonora Falcon and a couple more Peregrine sightings including one that was sat just nicely for us.  

Back down the hill to have lunch at Alcudia and then i dropped the family off at the hotel so i could have the evening on the S'Albufera Reserve.
Just love this reserve as its a good opportunity to Digiscope stuff and see some really nice birds that would be scarce in the UK. Firstly on the walk down Night Herons and 5 Audoins Gulls bathing.

Osprey was the first bird from the hide, just sat on a branch in front of the hide, a couple of Glossy Ibis and a few waders such as Curlew Sandpiper. Purple Swamphen ares awesome.

Moved onto the other hides later than id hoped and it was just starting to get dark but there wasn't a massive amount here but 3 Avocets which i did pick up from the Hotel balcony day before, Good close views of plenty of Black Winged Stilts,  2 nice Great White Egrets and another Osprey. As well as more waders such as Green Sand, Kentish Plover and Spotted Redshanks.

It was now pretty much dark so i didn't expect to see anything more although i was just about to spot my bird of the trip a Beautiful Scops Owl. If flew out from in front of me in a wooden tunnel between the bridge and Visitor Center and sat in a tree for 20 seconds or so, i went for the camera just in case it sat long enough but it didn't doh! still my best ever views of scopes Owl in the near darkness.

Thursday 28th
Another day with no birding which meant it was a trip to Inca and the Fabulous Inca Market, then back to Coves De Campanet for lunch and to chill.
Then had a bus trip to the incredible Pirates, best tourist attraction in Mallorca and our first trip to Magaluf :-) Highly recommended.

Little bit of Video above.

Friday 29th
Great day as it was pretty much a whole day birding starting out early up at Formentor lighthouse for great views of several Eleonora Falcons as well as migrants such as Wheatear, Redstarts, Pied Flycatchers and Blue Rock Thrush
Also several Dolphins.

Once the crowds started to turn up we rushed back down the hill to the Boquer Valley we could here Wryneck but got good views of lots of Pied Flys and Common Redstarts. At the head of the valley Crag Martins a few Marsh Harriers and a brief view of a Balearic Warbler. There were Redstarts all the way up the valley and id never seen so many Blue Rock Thrush, must have had a good year.

Once again Dropped the family back at the hotel and headed for S'Albufera where it was great again with the Osprey showing even better, Night herons were out and Little and Cattle Egrets, Curlew Sand and Little stints, Snipe and a Bar Tailed Godwit showed well. And Egyptian Grasshopper had a companion.



Managed to find a couple of Red Knobbled Coots, not easy this year seems they haven't fared very well this year. The other really decent bird was a female Ferruginous Duck but that was tucked into the reeds into the sun.

After a good search of the reserve again the best bird of the day showed up just before dark a nice Hobby, thats why the pics are awful ;-)

Well that's it really i think that's it for the highlights of my trip to Majorca. Bird numbers were down not sure if its the time of year or the weather or couple of days less birding than usual but it felt quieter even in the days i was birding. Still a fantastic trip with some fantastic birds and nice to do some touristy things as well.

Lastly some video spliced together from the trip.

Hope you enjoyed the report and it didn't bore you too much, i enjoyed putting it together at least and im sure ll be correcting grammar and spelling for weeks to come :-)
Lesvos booked for May next year and maybe no hopefully another trip to Majorca in September.
Till the next one....seya..