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    La Palma March 2018

    I recently had my tenth ever holiday on La Palma, the north-western of the Canary Islands. The weather was bad for most of the fortnight. Indeed, quite a few flights into the island were cancelled. It rained for much of the time, especially during the first week. It was also quite windy from the...
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    Birding along Ría de Villaviciosa

    I am planning a trip to Asturias later in the year, staying in Gijón, amongst other places, and am thinking about a day's birding along Ría de Villaviciosa. Which is the best part of the Ría for birds? I guess that it would be a fair way north of the town, so I'd catch a taxi from the centre.
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    Great marine life sightings from bars and restaurants

    I was at the Marine pub on Peel Promenade here in the Isle of Man yesterday evening and spotted a basking shark just off the bay. A very large animal, comparing the size of its fin with passing shags, it was in sight for quite a while. Has anyone else had great sightings of marine life, such as...
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    Unusual chiffchaff song, Isle of Man (British Isles)

    I heard a chiffchaff with an unusual song in Bradda Glen (south west coast) this morning and wonder if anyone can shed any light on whether it is just an inventive individual of the Common Chiffchaff or an unusual subspecies or species. The bird gave two phrases like the Great Tit's "see saw...
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    Gannets in December

    Gannets are generally scarce around the Isle of Man in December, usually with just 1 or 2 seen. Last month, however, there were records on quite a few days, with double figures recorded on 3 occasions. For example, I saw 15 fly past on a seawatch of 45 minutes at Niarbyl (west coast) on...
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    Butterflies in the Austrian Alps in late August

    I stayed in Lech, a village at about 1450 metres above sea level in the western Austrian region of Vorarlberg from 23rd to 30th August. I forgot to take my butterfly ID book and do not have photographic equipment which might enable me to photograph fast flying butterflies. I did, however, see...
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    Fairly larger raptor at Frankfurt Airport

    I had a 5 hour wait between flights at Frankfurt Airport on 3rd May. At one stage I saw a fairly large raptor over the far end of the airfield. It was too distant to be 100% sure, but it looked a bit like a Common Buzzard or a Marsh Harrier. Are those species in the area, or is it more likely to...
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    Do superb fairy-wrens spend more time on the ground than other species?

    Seeing Mike Beer's photographs of superb fairy-wrens on his thread: http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=297723 set me thinking, do superb fairy-wrens spend more time on the ground than other species of fairy-wren? It might, of course, just be that I've seen more superb fairy-wrens than...
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    Where to Watch Birds in Ireland - current edition?

    Is the 2009 edition of "Where to Watch Birds in Ireland" by Paul Milne & Clive D. Hutchinson still the current version or has a new edition been published? I had a vague recollection of there being a more up to date edition, but could not find it on-line. Thanks. Allen
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    Hawk moth larva on Faial island in the Azores?

    I was in the Azores for 2 weeks in the summer, staying in Horta on Faial island at the start of September. While walking up the steep road towards Horta from Praia do Almoxarife on the 4th I took a slight detour to a little Miradouro (viewpoint) just above the road. On the path there was a light...
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    Access to Canal Vell in the Ebro Delta, Catalunya

    I first visited the Ebro Delta in 2002 and have been back in most years since then. On a lot of visits I have watched many species of birds from the “mirador”, tower, by the SW part of the lagoon called Canal Vell. When I went to that part of the delta in late September the tower seemed to be...
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    Seeing cetaceans in unusual circumstances

    I was on Faial in the Azores at the start of September. I left the island on the 5th, flying out from Horta Airport in early evening. Sitting at the departure gate I frequently looked out to sea with my binoculars to spot passing Cory's shearwaters. At one stage 4 dolphins swam past. Has anyone...
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    Risso's dolphins and common sandpipers

    I was up early yesterday morning and drove out to Niarbyl, a fine place on the west coast just south of Peel. The air was still, the sea was calm and I thought that I would be able to see any basking sharks between there and the Calf of Man, but didn't. However, there was a passage out to sea...
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    Azores birdwatching day tour guide (São Miguel)

    I have booked a trip to the Azores, including a week in Ponta Delgada on São Miguel. I remember it being said in BF that driving is "easy" on São Miguel, but are there any bird tour guides who I could book for a day? I would much rather pay to support a local bird tour guide than a car hire...
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    Pacific Emerald Dove

    I notice in the IOC Names File-3.1 (the most up to date version, I presume?) that it includes 3 species of Emerald Dove Chalcophaps in the Australasian region. Common Emerald Dove Chalcophaps indica, which also occurs in the Oriental region, is described as widespread, whereas Stephan's Emerald...
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    Butterflies I couldn't identify, Wynnum, Brisbane, Australia

    I walked along the mangroves by Moreton Bay at Wynnum, Brisbane on 23rd November 2013. By about Elanora Park I saw two butterflies that I couldn't identify at the time, despite referring to The Complete Field Guide to Butterflies of Australia by Michael F. Braby. They were flying individually...
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    Silver Y moths on the way north?

    I was looking at the website of the Spanish newspaper El Pais today and it mentions that there is a "cloud" of Silver Y moths (Autographa gamma) in Madrid. The article also refers to large numbers in 1997 which, I guess, was the year that there were large numbers of the species in the Isle of...
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    Pipit on La Palma (Canary Islands)

    I have just returned from a holiday in La Palma, my first visit to the range of Berthelot's Pipit since 2005. I only saw 2 pipits during my stay. One was a clear view of a Berthelot's pipit near Centro de Visitantes above El Paso on 16th January. I saw the other pipit in open arable country...
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    How many grasswrens have you seen?

    I have noticed that this type of thread has recently returned to a measure of popularity in the forum. As a fan of Australia and its amazing wildlife, here is one that I have thought of for a while: How many grasswrens have you seen? There are only 11* species in the genus Amytornis and all...
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    Buzzard behaviour 2: hunting by foot

    I stayed a few days last month in Arenas de Cabrales in Asturias, northern Spain. The grass in many of the fields on the hillside SW of the village had recently been cut, perhaps several days before. I saw common buzzards on the ground in two of the fields on the 25th (up to 8 birds at a time)...
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    Buzzard behaviour 1: hovering

    On 13th July I saw a common buzzard while I was driving through an area of moorland (heather and gorse) here in the Isle of Man. The bird was hovering, which is something that I have not seen the species do before. The hovering was quite laborious, unlike that of a common kestrel. Has anyone...
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    Tiny black frog or toad in northern Spain

    I was in Arenas de Cabrales in Asturias, northern Spain for a few days last month. On the morning of the 25th, when the ground was quite damp from dew or showers, I saw a tiny black toad or frog, presumably in the larval stage. With its 4 legs it was hopping across a small road in the woods just...
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    Birds in and around Trondheim

    I am planning a trip to Oslo this summer and am thinking of combining it with a few days in Trondheim. Which bird species would I need to look out for at Trondheim?
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    Bird guide for New Zealand - thorough, fairly light

    It looks as if there are a few bird guides to New Zealand, a country that I am thinking about visiting next year on the same trip as Australia, which I have been to 4 times already. Weight will be at a premium, so I would be looking for a fairly light weight guide to the birds of NZ that is also...
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    Oslo birds

    I am planning a few days in Oslo in the next couple of months. I enjoy birdwatching in city parks on my travels, such as in Barcelona and Brisbane. Are there any interesting birds in city parks in Oslo? I saw a nightingale in a little park in the middle of Valencia last month and it set me...
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