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Old Friday 23rd March 2012, 12:48   #26
Pedro Ramalho
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Anyone know when the White-rumped Swifts arrive, and what's the best site for them these days?
It's to early for the swifts, i don't think that they arrive before the end of April.
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Old Friday 23rd March 2012, 15:38   #27
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Hi Larry, Enjoy the festival and look forward to the rest of the report...
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Old Friday 23rd March 2012, 19:46   #28
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In theory, pallid swifts arrive in February and common swifts in April.
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Old Thursday 29th March 2012, 10:37   #29
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Your frog is Rana perezi, the Iberian Water Frog
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Old Thursday 29th March 2012, 10:53   #30
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Your frog is Rana perezi, the Iberian Water Frog
ID confirmed on the basis of being a frog, in water, in Iberia?
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Old Thursday 29th March 2012, 17:20   #31
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ID confirmed on the basis of being a frog, in water, in Iberia?
pretty much! Unless things have changed recently, the only Green frog species in Iberia is R. perezi with none of that hybrid nonsense further north
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Old Sunday 1st April 2012, 09:45   #32
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It's to early for the swifts, i don't think that they arrive before the end of April.
Historically they've not arrived back to the Monfrag until the second week in May
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Old Wednesday 4th April 2012, 14:25   #33
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of migrants and festivals

Thanks for the gen on the frog/swifts etc folks. Much appreciated.

While we've been bimbling around Portugal, more and more migrants have been arriving, which has been great. We spent a few days exploring the coast around Sesimbra and Setubal, finding some nice little parkups. We started hearing our first Iberian Chiffchaffs, which gradually built up in numbers, and heard our first Cuckoo and had Lesser Spotted, Great Spotted and Iberian Green Woodpeckers in the trees around our van at one spot. Green Hairstreaks were all over the place, and we saw some Orange-tips at what must be near the southern limit of their range.

We stayed a couple of nights by a little reservoir at Vale de Galo, where we heard a couple of Quail calling, and Nightingales singing, more Cuckoos, Hawfinches, a Night Heron, plenty of White Storks and butterflies etc. It was hot enough to drag our bed outside and sleep under the stars listening to the nocturnal bird and insect sounds.

We then ended up returning to Lisboa in order to pick up 4 of our mates from the airport, who we were to take to the festival (they're still with us now.) We couldn't make it to the festival site in one go, but stumbled upon a lovely spot to park up by the banks of the Tejo at Ameira do Tejo, just when it was getting late and dark, and when we were starting to think that finding a spot for a van and 3 tents would not be easy. In the morning we couldn't believe how peaceful and beautiful this spot was. I even got one of our mates quite into birding, and we had our first Bee-eaters and Whitethroats of the trip. A couple of our new crew were picking up on identifying Nightingale song too, which was nice. On the way to the festival we saw our first Sand Martins.

As the festival was the main focus of this trip, I'll have to give it a few lines. An event like Freequency Free Festival is (shockingly) no longer possible in the UK, or much of europe any more. Basically there were NO police, No security teams, NO people in hi-vis telling you where you could or couldn't put your truck/van/tent. No people saying you couldn't make loud live music/pump out sound systems/ have a bar going round the clock for days on end, In fact no-one telling you what you could or couldn't do unless you were obviously heading for an accident or were obviously being out of order, in which case people around you would sort it out. Just a few thousand people spanning a few generations and nationalities, in a very large field with cork-oaks, having a wild, free, creative and bloody good time. For me there was the added bonus of eg. far more Corn Buntings than at eg Stonehenge, a Black Vulture and a light phase Booted Eagle (spotted by Nicky), and Bee-eaters sailing over the van. We even ended up parking at the right distance from the nearest sound system to enable us to hear the nearby Nightingales in the hedges jamming with the music. AND it was all free, except you'd have to be pretty tight not to whack a fair few euros in the donations bucket to cover incurred costs. Paradise.

So we all ended up at a campsite in Evora yesterday to have a shower, and hit the town for pizza. There's a male Subalpine Warbler in the hedge by the van, Cattle Egrets in the field on the other side of the hedge, and Iberian (Azure-winged) Magpies popping by every now and then. Think we're going to pop over the border into Spain later, look for somewhere nice to parkup, and think about heading south. Maybe I'll get a chance to have a go for my next target bird, Western Olivaceous Warbler, soon, but it's still a bit early for them. And to be honest, I'm not that bothered right now!

180. Iberian Chiffchaff
181. Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
182. Cuckoo
183. Quail
184. Nightingale
185. Night Heron
186. Bee-eater
187. Whitethroat
188. Sand Martin
189. Subalpine Warbler

27. Common Blue
28. Orange-tip
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Old Thursday 5th April 2012, 13:43   #34
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You're sounding like a very relaxed chilled contented and happy bunny, Larry. Nice one.

Cheers
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Old Sunday 8th April 2012, 13:32   #35
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Onwards into Spain

Thanks Mike I certainly am feeling more chilled than that time in that cafe when you hit us with the news of the Philippine Duck!

I missed a few species for the trip list. Green Sandpiper was new at the lake at Vale de Gallo and there have also been a few introductions that I haven't added yet. Ring-necked Parakeet has been common in Lisbon and Seville. Crested Myna was an unexpected find on the beach west of Lisbon. There were actually flocks of (what I'm pretty sure are) Crested Mynas there. I've even decided to be extra generous and include any free flying birds we see on the trip list. So will also whack on the Muscovy Ducks in Lisbon and 2 free flying Cockatiels that we also saw in Portugal.

Still with 3 friends in tow we crossed the border into Spain and found a nice park up among stone pines in some low hills at a spot that roughly translates as 'Asparagus Camping'. The continued checking of 'Bath White type' butterflies can prove very frustrating, mostly because they rarely settle. I was especially pleased at Asparagus Camping to finally nail my first ever Green-striped White. Especially considering that I had just had great views of a settled Western Dappled White that I thought may even be the same individual butterfly! Our camping spot was surrounded by singing Thekla Larks and Woodlarks and also a Black Stork, a passing flock of Spanish Sparrows, Cuckoo, Dartford and Sardinian Warblers, Short-toed Eagles, Griffon Vultures, Corn Buntings, etc.

Next day we drove onwards towards Seville, seeing several Black-eared Wheatears and Woodchat Shrikes en route. We felt incredibly lucky to find a free place to park by the river in the centre of Seville for a couple of nights while we experienced the city's spectacular Easter festivities. A zonking Caspian Tern powering up and down the river in the middle of the city was a reminder of how wonderful Spain is for birds even when you're not birding.

We have now continued with our friends to Cadiz, picking up Glossy Ibis, and 2 delicious male Montagu's Harriers along the way. Cadiz too is alive with Easter festivities and there are Monk Parakeets here as well as Ring-necked Parakeets.

29. Green-striped White

190. Green Sandpiper
191. Ring-necked Parakeet
192. Crested Myna
193. Muscovy Duck
194. Cockatiel
195. Black-eared Wheatear
196. Woodchat Shrike
197. Caspian Tern
198. Glossy Ibis
199. Montagu's Harrier
200. Monk Parakeet

We are soon to be travelling without our mates again, and plan to head towards Tarifa, where we'll probably be birding more actively.

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Old Friday 13th April 2012, 21:19   #36
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an unexpected rarity

Some pretty strange synchronicitous things have been happening since the festival, and today something pretty jammy happened that's to do with birds. But first...

Just after I last posted, I had a nice birding experience in Cadiz. Walking through some narrow streets in the city centre with no vegetation except a few plants in pots, in a spot where I would only expect a House Sparrow at most, I glimpsed a bird pop behind a plant pot with a cocked tail. I walked up to the plant pot and out popped a Nightingale, which just sat there looking at me. Great.

We left Cadiz with only one extra passenger, and headed south, parking up on a hill north of Tarifa, overlooking Tarifa and Africa. Lots of Bee-eaters passed by in the morning. I'm in love with their wonderful call at the moment. Just down the hill were some Roman ruins where we saw Green-striped White, Crested and Thekla Larks and some green lizards which were much bigger than I thought would occur in Europe.

We then hit Tarifa where we've been for 2 nights so far. There are loads of live-in vans here all over the place, and we're in a car park by the beach. Today something totally unexpected happened. I noticed a car in our car park today that had a sticker on the back with an Andalusian Hemipode on it. If it had been parked even elsewhere in our car park, or facing the other way I wouldn't have noticed it, and as it turns out, it was lucky it was even in this car park, as it wasn't the nearest car park to, er, the bird.

I happened to be looking when the owner of the car returned to his car, and I waltzed over to see if he was a birder. He was, and he was English. He asked me if I had seen it. Uurgh? No I'm just a very hungover pillock in socks who just happens to be parked up here, who has no idea what "it" is. He then tells me that there is a Cream-coloured Courser, if I've heard of one of those, about 200 metres away that's been there a couple of days! Cool. All we had to do was leave a note on our van that we'd be back in a bit, so that our mate would see it when she came to get her phone that some locals had found and returned to us today, as she'd lost it whilst rolling about in the gutter last night before the police came along and carried her to her hostel.

The bird was a real cracker, and we had pretty close views of it from the boardwalk on the edge of town, as it slinked about in a very sandy field. There were also a few Short-toed Larks at this spot, and Balearic Shearwaters were arcing in the high winds out over the sea.

The nice now local birder also gave us a spot nearby that he reckoned might be good for our next target, Western Olly, which I'm hoping might be arriving especially to be unblocked, any time now. This guy also happened to be one of the half dozen or so people to see the Bateleur Eagle that may well be around here still somewhere. I got to see his gripping pics of this monster find near Algeciras last week. He was (as you can imagine) still on one almighty buzz from it.

201. Balearic Shearwater
202. Cream-coloured Courser
203. Short-toed Lark
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Old Friday 13th April 2012, 21:36   #37
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Great stuff, Larry! One request: where have you seen Iberian Green Woodpecker? I'll be in the Lisbon area myself in a few weeks time, and although I know that the pecker shouldn't be difficult, I'd feel a bit more relaxed if I had a few reliable spots to try...
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Old Friday 13th April 2012, 22:05   #38
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Your lizards will be Ocellated Lizards; one of, if not the biggest Lacerta lizards in Europe.

Lovely shots of the Courser!
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Old Friday 13th April 2012, 22:06   #39
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Thanks Richard. The nearest point to Lisboa that we saw the woodpecker was in the Serra d'Arrabida, not far to the south. It was at a picknick spot to the west of Setubal, nearer to Sesimbra, just south of a junction where the coast road from Setubal curves inland and hits the road to Sesimbra. Sorry, no map here, so can't do better than that. The few we've seen and heard on this trip have been in fairly broken country with rather sparse mixed trees. We had one a couple of days ago near Tarifa too. Good luck with it, I'll try and pin point the exact spot when I next post and have seen a map.

I wonder if they might even occur in the large wooded area to the west of central Lisboa (Monsanto??)

And thanks Jacana too.

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Old Friday 13th April 2012, 22:49   #40
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CCC - bah humbug, these sort of things never seem to turn up when I'm in that part of Spain, and I can't get out there any time soon either. :(

Great shots.....

We ringed several W O W's in the Guadiaro valley east of Jimena last year, and the year before.
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Old Friday 13th April 2012, 23:04   #41
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The nearest point to Lisboa that we saw the woodpecker was in the Serra d'Arrabida...
Cheers, Larry.
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Old Saturday 14th April 2012, 09:15   #42
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Eyes on the sky for that Bataleur - what a monster that would be!

Sounds like an opportunity for some supine birding: key requirements -
  • likelihood of overflight by mega bird
  • deckchair, sunbed, or grassy bank
  • shades,
  • good supply of long cool drinks,
  • patience.

N.B. Controlled substances are contra-indicated as they may result in sightings of dubious veracity and/or credibility and give rise to replies from non-believers such as "only in your dreams", which may also be the case if you succumb to the principal impediment to the effectiveness of supine birding - sleep.

Getting the courser on the basis of no effort at all has prompted me to consider adding some neologisms to the birder's lexicon. A normal (albeit slightly pompous) person might describe your seeing the courser as serendipity.

But on reflection, there are those three dreaded letters d - i - p in the middle of the word which strike dread into the heart of all birders.

Since serendipity is clearly a word no true birder can use in this context, we need a new meaning. Does it make more sense to describe the happy confluence of factors leading to you connecting with the courser as seren-tick-ity?

Hence:

"I was in the right carpark, in the right space, at the the right time, to meet the guy who showed me the cream-coloured courser - pure serentickity!"

We therefore need a meaning for serendipity that is more appropriate for birders:

Two suggestions:

1. Jamming into an even better bird when dipping on a good one
2. The zen-like state of a birder who remains unruffled despite dipping.

Hence:

Meaning 1:
"there was serendipity in missing the Wryneck because unless I'd gone for it I would never have found the Veery in the same spot"

Meaning 2:
"Bob went all serendipity after missing the Spoon-billed Sandpiper on his own patch"

there can be various explanations for meaning 2.

a) a zen-like calm based on the realisation that it really doesn't matter if you don't see a mega bird (generally refers to those for whom this particular dip is the last straw and causes them to forsake birding for good)
b)a state of numbness verging on catatonia that blots out all sense of disappointment and frustration on dipping spectacularly - birders in this condition should on no account be allowed to drive.
c) pretending not to be gutted when everyone else in a group has seen the bird (most often experienced on bird tours and by crews on big twitches)

I digress. Looking forward to hearing what Tarifa delivers Larry.

Cheers
Mike
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Old Sunday 15th April 2012, 00:44   #43
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Originally Posted by MKinHK View Post
Eyes on the sky for that Bataleur - what a monster that would be!

Sounds like an opportunity for some supine birding: key requirements -
  • likelihood of overflight by mega bird
  • deckchair, sunbed, or grassy bank
  • shades,
  • good supply of long cool drinks,
  • patience.

N.B. Controlled substances are contra-indicated as they may result in sightings of dubious veracity and/or credibility and give rise to replies from non-believers such as "only in your dreams", which may also be the case if you succumb to the principal impediment to the effectiveness of supine birding - sleep.

Getting the courser on the basis of no effort at all has prompted me to consider adding some neologisms to the birder's lexicon. A normal (albeit slightly pompous) person might describe your seeing the courser as serendipity.

But on reflection, there are those three dreaded letters d - i - p in the middle of the word which strike dread into the heart of all birders.

Since serendipity is clearly a word no true birder can use in this context, we need a new meaning. Does it make more sense to describe the happy confluence of factors leading to you connecting with the courser as seren-tick-ity?

Hence:

"I was in the right carpark, in the right space, at the the right time, to meet the guy who showed me the cream-coloured courser - pure serentickity!"

We therefore need a meaning for serendipity that is more appropriate for birders:

Two suggestions:

1. Jamming into an even better bird when dipping on a good one
2. The zen-like state of a birder who remains unruffled despite dipping.

Hence:

Meaning 1:
"there was serendipity in missing the Wryneck because unless I'd gone for it I would never have found the Veery in the same spot"

Meaning 2:
"Bob went all serendipity after missing the Spoon-billed Sandpiper on his own patch"

there can be various explanations for meaning 2.

a) a zen-like calm based on the realisation that it really doesn't matter if you don't see a mega bird (generally refers to those for whom this particular dip is the last straw and causes them to forsake birding for good)
b)a state of numbness verging on catatonia that blots out all sense of disappointment and frustration on dipping spectacularly - birders in this condition should on no account be allowed to drive.
c) pretending not to be gutted when everyone else in a group has seen the bird (most often experienced on bird tours and by crews on big twitches)

I digress. Looking forward to hearing what Tarifa delivers Larry.

Cheers
Mike

You really must stop this.
It is altogether too close to reality.

How about a speculation instead on superserenity or the equivalent, the state when you pick up an unexpected rarity and some super mega then crosses your path, fully documented of course.
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Old Sunday 15th April 2012, 02:55   #44
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Larry

Jamming into a CCC....

...For those, like me, who have never seen one is a clear case of serengripity.

What next, an Andalusian Hemipode from the front porch of a bar in Tarifa?


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Old Sunday 15th April 2012, 12:17   #45
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Just down the hill were some Roman ruins where we saw Green-striped White, Crested and Thekla Larks and some green lizards which were much bigger than I thought would occur in Europe.
I'm just looking forward to photos the Green-striped White Lark. Is that an endemic?
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Old Sunday 15th April 2012, 13:06   #46
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...a passing flock of Spanish Sparrows, Cuckoo, Dartford and Sardinian Warblers, Short-toed Eagles, Griffon Vultures, Corn Buntings, etc...
Dunno about that dodgy lark but I'd love to see a flock like that!
As to CCC - yeah, like, woteva.......
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Old Monday 23rd April 2012, 19:38   #47
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Where's Wolly?

You lot are absolutely hilarious! We are sitting in a bar in Barcelona laughing our tits off. Serengripitydipity indeed! And blimey I'd better watch where I stick my commas too!

Richard, Ibe Woody spot was on the N379, first obvious picnic area on east side of road after it bends to the south if coming from Sesimbra.

Lots has happened, so I better do this in episodes, starting with:

Where's Wolly?

April 13th, when we saw the courser was pretty windy, but next day was also very wet. We pretty much stayed indoors all day, but did pop out to see the courser again, and more migrants seemed to have appeared along the stretch between Tarifa and Punta Paloma. There were a lot more Short-toed Larks, our first Northern Wheatear, and a fair few Yellow Wagtails (Blue-headed and Spanish). I Was also glad to finally spot 3 or 4 Audouin's Gulls among the Yellow-leggeds.

By far the most interesting bird of the day for me was something I couldn't identify for sure. It was in view for quite some time as it battled northwards against the wind a few hundred metres inland, always remaining too distant for me to be able to work out what it was. The only thing it reminded me of was a Bald Ibis, and I think it may well have been one, if there is such a thing as Bald Ibises of dodgy origin anywhere near here.

Next day we figured it was time to start looking for Wolly, even though it was so windy that looking for warblers seemed like a daft idea. Basically we had limited time. The first spot we tried was the area suggested by, Eddie, the birder who told us about the courser. This was a rough track that heads through scrub-lined canals and fields, inland from where the N340 meets the road to Zahara. This looked like a great area for birding, but it was way too windy to look for warblers, and the track was pretty bad for the van. We picked up a Whitethroat and some Spoonbills before deciding to turn back, bumping into some local birders on the way out who couldn't help with the whereabouts of Wolly.

Next stop was a sheltered bay just north of Barbate, where there was an awful lot of scrubby stuff that looked a bit like tamarisk, but I think is something different. I spent a few hours here trawling with our recording of Wolly-speak (just the call, as we couldn't find the song on xenocanto). I discovered that Sardinian Warblers like it.

We then decided to press on to Coto Donana (Wollyville), but just to the small part of the reserve on the east (south) side of the mighty Guadalquivir river. Visiting the bit where most people go would mean a huge detour via Seville, and we wanted to revisit a spot we'd spent Christmas about 9 years ago. The area is called Pinar de la Algaida, just north of Bonanza, and we parked up for 2 nights there at the Ermita recreation area, seeing a fair few Montagu's Harriers en route. The small lake to the left of the entrance to this part of the reserve produced 2 White-headed Ducks and 3 Red-crested Pochard among the Pochard flock, and a very well-dressed Squacco Heron with the Cattle Egrets. There were also some Common Waxbills, which I've still not seen anywhere they're actually supposed to be! The lake has lots of Night Herons too.

The Ermita has a constant and plentiful supply of displaying Booted Eagles, and plenty of Black Kites, and from there it is possible to exit the pines and explore the reedy drains, saltpans and scrub up to and along the Guadalquivir. This area is thick with birds, so you would have to be a total wally to spend your time wandering from tamarisk to tamarisk looking for what could possibly be the world's least interesting-looking bird (although according to Nicky, Buzzing Flowerpecker is the world's least interesting bird). Examples of some of what I managed to see during the (sadly minimal) time I was not doing this were:-

A jammy adult Imperial Eagle being attacked by Yellow-legged Gulls over the river, Purple, Night (200+) and Grey Herons, Greater Flamingos (100s), Glossy Ibis, Purple Swamphen (6+), Gull-billed, Caspian and Whiskered Terns, Slender-billed Gulls (c10), Collared Pratincoles, Spotted Redshanks (3), Redshank, Greenshank, Grey Plover, Dunlin, Common, Green and Curlew Sandpipers, Spoonbills, Hoopoes, 3 Turtle Doves, Spotless Starlings, Short-toed Treecreeper, Tree Sparrows, Common and Pallid Swifts together, 100s of Short-toed Larks, lots of Crested Larks and a few Calandra Larks, Bee-eaters, Woodchat Shrikes, Nightingales, a Black-eared Wheatear etc. (commas OK there Ads and DMW?)

But, I was in fact spending most of my time seeking out patches of tamarisk and playing this stupid recording.

Mid April is not a good time to play “where's Wolly?”, but I thought I'd give it a go. The limited info I could get suggested that Western Olivaceous Warbler tends to arrive in Spain in numbers in May, but is possible earlier, eg Simon Wates had some on the other side of the Guadalquivir on April 19th one year, in tamarisk. He very kindly gave precise directions to where he saw them (nice one Simon), but we thought we'd try our luck here instead because of time restraints and diesel.

During the evening of our arrival it was still quite windy, and it was clear there weren't many warblers about except for Sardinians and Zitting Cisticolas, but a singing Reed Warbler and a Whitethroat provided some encouragement. The sky cleared by dusk and the wind dropped, so I was hopeful that some migrants might arrive the next day. In the morning, a short distance from the parking area produced a singing Chiffchaff, and a nice surprise in the form of a Western Orphean Warbler in a small tamarisk patch, as well as a Melodious Warbler that burst into song. Setting off on our bikes in the direction of the salinas observatory hide we found what I was looking for: a substantial isolated patch of tamarisk pretty much on the Guadalquivir. I figured that if I was Wolly, that's where I'd first pitch down. Trawling this just produced a single Garden Warbler though. All pretty quiet. Later that evening in the low sparse tamarisks on the ditch bank near the parkup I had a crazy few minutes. I unexpectedly hit a group of 4 or 5 warblers in the same tamarisk. I was on the wrong side of the light, and it was pretty breezy again, but as far as I could make out there were 2 Garden Warblers (one had no tail), a Reed Warbler, a Whitethroat, and a bird that straight away went BANG theres Wolly. Unfortunately I only snatched a few partial brief frustrating views, and when I tried to shift position to get better light, they all split, and I lost the right bird. I'm sure there are heaps of birders out there who would have nailed it properly given the chances presented to me, and I might have stood a better chance if I'd really had my eye in after a couple of weeks heavy birding instead of heavy partying. But basically I realised that there was no way I'd ever really be sure on that occasion for such a subtle bird, and that I'll probably never be that good no matter how many more years I go birding. I realised at that moment that if I ever could get that good, then what it would take (for me personally) would mean I'll have wasted my life.

That night was very clear and still, and I was even more hopeful that more migrants would arrive, so I planned to bike it early to “my” tamarisk patch and see if anything had turned up. Wow! It was thick with warblers! This was incredibly exciting, and I'd started to get my eye in by then. We hadn't seen any Willow Warblers up until now, and they were everywhere. Just one letter out. Willys not Wollys. Never mind. There were also lots of Garden Warblers, always good value when you're playing “Where's Wolly?”. Even a singing Sedge Warbler, and ridiculous numbers of Subalpine Warblers too. Unfortunately I had to head back to the van early, as the Guardia Civil had decided to wake up Nicky and tell her that we shouldn't be parked up where we were. Oh well. Only the 2nd time this trip that we've been checked by the police. Bad timing, but I may well not have scored anyway. On our way out of the park we took the semi-sealed road northwards along the edge of the Guadalquivir, and trawled another belt of tamarisk, picking up more Gardens, Willys and a frustrating possible Wolly.

And that was that. You can't win 'em all, and we really had to start heading north. That's 2 dips out of 3 so far as far as target birds go, but wow, Coto Donana is totally amazing. Missing Wolly is fine by me. Any excuse to come back to this wonderful country.

204. Wheatear
205. Audouin's Gull
206. Yellow Wagtail
207. Red-crested Pochard
208. Squacco Heron
209. Night Heron
210. Purple Heron
211. Purple Swamphen
212. Reed Warbler
213. Whitethroat
214. Melodious Warbler
215. Western Orphean Warbler
216. Turtle Dove
217. Tree Sparrow
218. Swift
219. White-headed Duck
220. Common Waxbill
221. Gull-billed Tern
222. Spotted Redshank
223. Garden Warbler
224. Whiskered Tern
225. Slender-billed Gull
226. Curlew Sandpiper
227. Willow Warbler
228. Sedge Warbler
229. Collared Pratincole

The weather's been pretty duff for butterflies, but there were notably several Bath Whites and Clouded Yellows at Coto Donana.

There's more to come....

Last edited by Larry Sweetland : Monday 23rd April 2012 at 19:50.
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Old Monday 23rd April 2012, 22:45   #48
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The area north of the Algaida pine woods is good for Spectacled Warbler and Lesser Short-toed Lark... and I've often seen Marbled Duck along the road by the river in the ponds between the road and the river.

Further up the old road to Seville from there is a small pond (Laguna de Mejorada) with hundreds of various breeding Herons and LOTS of OLIWA's. If I'd known you were heading back up to the river I'd have given you the details..... Sorry!

That small lake you went to is I think the Laguna de Tarelo (?) It's always on my agenda when I go that way!
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Old Tuesday 24th April 2012, 01:02   #49
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Gripping storytelling Larry, as always.

A treat to read.

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Old Tuesday 24th April 2012, 05:53   #50
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Great read Larry, shame about all the Willy's though mate!
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