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  1. bittern

    Rwanda - Akagera National Park

    I was recently in Rwanda and spent a couple of days in Akagera NP. I don't have photos but I have posted a trip report on Cloudbirders, You can either find it there or PM me. Mike
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    Greet Grey Shrike ssp

    A fellow birder has photographed an interesting Great Grey Shrike on the borders of France and Switzerland close to Geneva. It is believed that it might be of the homeyerie sub-species from SE Russia. Other photos are available. Any comments are welcome. Mike
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    Low altitude Snowfinches

    I had always believed that (White-winged) Snowfinches were never found below about 1'500 metres altitude, the Collins says 1'000. I recently saw a group of about a dozen among a mixed finch flock in a field at only about 550 metres ASL. That started me thinking and I did a search on ornitho.ch...
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    Pelagics from Cape Town (Simon's Town)

    I recently, Sept/Oct 2016, did a couple of pelagics out of Simon's Town. It was a great experience and if anyone is interested I can write up a short description and list of species. Mike
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    Using Opticron bins with progressive glasses.

    I wear progressive glasses which I normally keep on all the time although my sight is not too bad without them. For the last 10+ years I have been using an Imagic 8x32 BGA and in almost all cases with my glasses. I never noticed any significant differences in the quality of the image with or...
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    Cetti's Warbler migration?

    It is generally mentioned that Cetti's Warbler is non migratory with the exception of the Eastern population. Anybody have any idea whether West European populations are at least partially migratory? Mike
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    Spotted Crake song

    Until this week I was always of the belief that Spotted Crakes only sang at night. In the last week I encountered one singing very enthusiastically in the middle of the day with another one replying. Granted that it was a rather cloudy dull day. Anybody have more information about crakes, and...
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    Short-toed Treecreeper behaviour

    I was looking for Wallcreepers on the castle walls of Annecy Castle (France) at the weekend when I came across a Short-toed Treecreeper moving around at the top of the tower, just like a Wallcreeper... I was surprised to see one so high up and far from any trees. Yes, and I also found two...
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    Some unusual spring migration through Switzerland

    This is proving to be an unusual spring migration with respect to a number of species. Pied Flycatcher: Because of the circular migration of this species we really only see them in the autumn when they are very common for a few weeks, with only a few birds seen in the spring. They do breed in...
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    We seem to be having a Wryneck year in this area, around Geneva, and I was wondering whether anyone else has been seeing more than usual. Most years I am happy to see or hear one or two, but this year more like 5 or 6 with significant numbers apparently breeding. Also, but based on small...
  11. bittern

    Two weeks in Luzon

    I have just got back from Luzon, I have not (yet?) written a detailed trip report but I do have a bird list by site if anyone is interested. Somewhat over 150 species were seen of which at least 42 were endemic depending on one's views on splits.... Mike
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    Little Egret with black feet, Luzon

    While I was in Luzon, Philippines, I noticed several Little Egrets with black feet, (not mud!). The Field Guide to the Birds of the Philippines, Kennedy et al, does not mention this nor had any local birders present noticed it before. A person present with a Japanese field guide found a mention...
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    Active birders or guides in East Kalimantan?

    I'm looking at making a trip to East Kalimantan and so far have not found much in the way of birders or guides in that part of Borneo. Does anyone have any ideas? All the tour companies seem to be principally interested in mammals and hardly mention birds at all. Mike
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    Eastern Borneo - Kalimantan

    Has anybody birded in Eastern Borneo? I was once in Sarawak but it seemed to me that Kalimantan might be cheaper... I would be interested to hear of anybody's experiences. Cheers, Mike
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    Borderland Tours AZ

    Does anybody have any first hand information concerning Borderland Tours, based in Arizona, particularly in connection with bird tours of Costa Rica? Would appreciate any inputs... Thanks, Mike
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    A couple of Wallcreepers - Geneva

    Had a visitor today in the Geneva area who was desperate to see a Wallcreeper, mission accomplished and he got a pair of them at Fort l'Ecluse, their usual winteing spot. Not much else up there but we did find a Firecrest. We went on to see if we could find a Lammergeier but low clouds ruled...
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    France - odd yellow-legged Willow Warbler

    A few weeks ago, actually 1 October, I encountered a somewhat odd Willow Warbler with extremely bright yellow legs. I've trawled through the various guides and none show anything like this colour nor make allusion to such a bright colour. Normally what I have seen have been pale brown or flesh...
  18. bittern

    Strange Harrier?

    With some friends we were watching out for migrating raptors at Sionnet near Geneva this afternoon and we had an interesting Harrier, we already had seen a number of Marsh Harriers, a female Montague's Harrier and finally the "strange" Harrier which started hunting low over nearby fields. We...
  19. bittern

    Around Geneva

    Finally a milder day with some sun... Pointe à la Bise (GE) 1 Great Bittern 1 Ferruginous Duck 1 Blackcap (male) eating mistletoe (Not a very common winter bird here 1 Stock Dove Chens le Pont (FR - 74) 1 Firecrest 8 Velvet Scoter 1 Fieldfare Excenvex (FR - 74) 2 Black-throated Diver 1...
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    French Alps, Col de la Colombière

    I and some friends had a great day's birding at the Col de la Colombière on Wednesday. (The Col is well known to Tour de France followers and is located near to Grand-Bornand in Haute-Savoie). Some excellent birding and we saw pretty well everything that is possible up there at this time of...
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    Red-backed Shrike numbers in 2009?

    Hi, I am involved in a census of breeding Red-backed Shrike in Eastern France (Haute-Savoie) and up until now I am finding far fewer than usual in the area that I am surveying. Does anyone have any ideas concerning numbers of this species elsewhere in Europe this year? I am only surveying a...
  22. bittern

    Woodpecker day

    Had a great day on Sunday, south side of Lake Neuchatel. On arrival first bird was a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker fighting with a Greater Spotted Woodpecker over possession of a tree, quickly followed by several Green Woodpeckers and finally the reason for our visit two Grey-headed Woodpeckers, one...
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    Would be interested to know if there is any thought about splitting the Bluethroats. The red-spotted and white spotted races appear to have totally different habitat requirements and even migrate at different dates so presumably there cannot be much gene flow between the races. Mike
  24. bittern

    Ghana Trip Report, Jan/Feb 2009

    I have now written and attached a trip report covering my recent visit to Ghana. Mike
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    Just back from Ghana

    I just got back from Ghana and will be writing a trip report over the next week or so, but if anyone is going shortly and wants information drop me a line. Once again I was doing Ghana by bus, the cheapest method by far if you are travelling alone or with a limited budget. Mike