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Another great day in the Pyrenees 2018

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Old Friday 4th May 2018, 09:36   #26
rosbifs
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Nice little walk this morning with Bo.

Started, immediately, with a male Cirl Bunting and further down the road 3 Rock Buntings. Always great to see and very attractive!

I could hear a Short toed treecreeper but couldn't locate it until he finally gave himself up. This was followed by a pair of Nuthatch, Chiffchaff, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Kestrel overhead and a Great Spotted Woody. Not the heights of the Wallcreeper or such like but all nice to see.

Back at the car I disturbed a Whitethroat - not that 'common' here and finished witht he Cirl Bunting again. Bo was obviously bored, although he did manage to spot the Rock Buntings again, because he decided to fully roll in some cow pooh.

From the car I clocked a nice male Whinchat and a foraging Melodious Warbler.

All of these, Dragnil will be pleased to hear, we were within earshot and or sight of his preferred 'lodgings'.
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Old Saturday 5th May 2018, 17:37   #27
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Sounds good, we've just had a spell in Sicily then the north of Italy so ready for Luz once more. Looking forward to it as always. I'll try to pick up the Wallcreeper at Esnandes on the way!
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Old Saturday 5th May 2018, 21:01   #28
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Should be not far from breeding grounds if not nesting already...

Few red footed falcons in country so you might get lucky there!
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Old Friday 11th May 2018, 14:05   #29
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Speaking of Wallcreeper made a couple of half xxxx attempts of tracking the beast down. Snow levels are such that skis are required for some places so being lazy I left the skis at home at took the scope instead.

Couple of recent reports around Gedre proved unsuccessful although did hear a Bonellis Warbler and saw a large-ish group of grifters - one coming quite close. A Goldie passed overhead.

The second trip was to Gloriettes but scanning the cliffs again proved fruitless. There were a few Wheatears vying for attention but very little else. Did manage a nice party of Izzard - about 12 with 4 young so that was great! They were feeding in the snow line.

Sun has come out and that snow line is going to recede but for the fact that more is forecast...

Last bit of news was hearing a pair of Scops Owls the other night. Both male and female 'dueling' around the corner from the house. Great news as its on the way to the pub...
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Old Saturday 12th May 2018, 13:46   #30
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I'm useless I forgot the Alpine Swifts! 5 of them high above Gavarnie. They look like they will breed again - I think 10 was my high count last spring so maybe 5 pairs with 5 sitting now and 5 flying around... Only an assumption.
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Old Sunday 13th May 2018, 14:39   #31
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Great little walk to today didn't produce many birds but 4 adult Lammergeiers together! Never seen four adults together before so excited!

Other birds pale into insignificance but did see three small parties of Meadow Pipit which we only get on migration here - 8, 3 and 3. Followed by a singing Rock Bunting which I managed to scare away...
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Old Monday 14th May 2018, 17:02   #32
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Raider in the mist....

Very difficult day - cold -2 and snowing, not great visibility. Failed with many birds but were treated to this fellow and also the chick in the nest...
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Old Monday 14th May 2018, 17:51   #33
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Weather forecast is promising - could be good when warmer conditions kick off the breeding season. Hoping for Rock Thrush above Heas and Citril Finch wherever we might find them. It's great to be returning!
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Old Thursday 17th May 2018, 06:47   #34
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The sun has come out! Despite this the 'barrage' was very quiet! I scanned and scanned and scanned the cliffs but couldn't find anything of interest. Finally a Golldie flew over and was met by a young Lammergeier (maybe 2ca) which drifted up and down the slope opposite for a good five minutes.

I decided to continue round the lake and was rewarded with a singing male Rock Thrush. Bearing in mind I had seen one at the bottom of the valley on Tuesday, in the rain, I wasn't too hopeful about finding this fella! A small flock of Alpine choughs (c.80) over the point and an Izzard passed about 20m behind us - pretty quickly when he saw us. Back to the Chough which had mostly dispersed but they were replaced by two Wallcreepers, one flying about 20m above the other. I tracked them virtually the whole length of the cliff until at the other end one dived into the cliff. After spending 20 mins unsuccessfully scanning with the scope we returned to the car... This was the bird that had been requested but only I saw it!

We moved off to Gavarnie and a picnic lunch. Citril Finches have failed to return to their old nest site in the village and I couldn't pick up any Swifts. We headed for the Lammy nest and it was great looking into the nest and seeing the young (albeit through a scope). The Alpine swifts, 7, were picked up but sadly not seen by all and a couple of cracking male and one female Red Backed Shrike - one male busily impaling a beetle in a bush.

One last ditch attempt for Wallcreeper and blimey 2 wallcreepers! They flew out from the cliff in what looked to a territorial battle. One doubled back over our heads and descended, maybe a mile across the valley, the second one disappeared in the other direction - Great!

Birds not numerous but high quality...
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Old Sunday 27th May 2018, 17:08   #35
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Great - found a black shouldered kite nest near Lourdes followed by Rock Sparrow building a nest. Supporting cast Short toed Eagle, Hobby and 99%sure Woodchat - difficult to confuse but was at 140 on dual carriage way....
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Old Saturday 9th June 2018, 07:45   #36
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Funny game birdwatching and what a great leveller the weather can be!

Tuesday Wednesday in cloud and rain Thursday Friday sunshine. So the birds - well the ones I expected to be 'easy' were hard and the ones I expected to be hard were easy! I have 4 preferred spots for Rock Thrush and nothing appeared but fortunately the back up paid off on pretty much the last chance to pick up this bird. I thought while I'm here I'll chance my arm for an Accentor and bang there he was. The latter was a bird that, because of the snow levels, I had written off.

Lammergeier - what can I say, 6 different adults and the chick performing in the nest. Incredible views but at the same time they were absent from two of the areas visited because of the weather. Disaster avoided when the sun came out.

Eagle Owl - a banker but a no show! I'm really starting to worry about this one as that is now 2 weeks where adults or chicks (not seen this year yet) haven't been seen when at this time over the last couple of years they have been daily and during the day.

Citril Finch - after finally finding the birds last week they duly performed all round Gavarnie. Neither group connected last year but this year we had them in two places and amazing views at Gavarnie.

Significant absences for the week Black Wood, Alpine Swift but the significant pluses were the Citril and the Accentor - I think that is 'credit'.

By my reckoning 100 species for the week albeit a couple heard only...
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Old Tuesday 12th June 2018, 14:39   #37
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No sign of weather improving in fact Lourdes is now on flood alert as we are here (albeit we are ok personally).

Scops Owls were out in force a couple of nights ago, despite weather comment, with both male and female calling the other night - not even sure there weren't three birds (but too early for young here).

Sadly, been scouring the cliff for eagle owl and it looks like they have failed. I don't know whether they are capable of trying again? In fact I have set up scope in four different sites including the cliff opposite and looked under every nook and cranny. Yes I know that doesn't mean success but this time last year we were watching the chick on a daily basis and even being fed during the day ie active...
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