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Another great day in the Pyrenees 2018

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Old Thursday 30th August 2018, 20:54   #51
Fat Paul Scholes
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Lots of migrants near the Pyrenees. At my Morlaas patch today, 20+ pied fly, 3 spotted fly, 3 garden warbler, 2 tree pipit, 14 yellow wagtail - and best of all, 2 ortolan recorded flying over during the night.
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Old Thursday 30th August 2018, 22:48   #52
rosbifs
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Originally Posted by Fat Paul Scholes View Post
Lots of migrants near the Pyrenees. At my Morlaas patch today, 20+ pied fly, 3 spotted fly, 3 garden warbler, 2 tree pipit, 14 yellow wagtail - and best of all, 2 ortolan recorded flying over during the night.
We found a field with 24+ ortolan last year - been a couple of times but no success this year and no lesser kestrels yet. I had a very interesting calling pipit today...
Anyway, fps may be worth getting to military base ger or even soulor - there is a big day coming - I sense a pallid!
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Old Saturday 1st September 2018, 16:22   #53
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No Ortolan (yet - well maybe one dissappearing into the corn) and no Lesser Kestrels but nice couple of hours at Gavarnie today.

Someone base jumping off the Lammy cliff! The Lammy was sniffing around incase of mishaps then three Golden Eagles and 20 or so Griffons - only Griffons. I'm pretty sure had a Gos over Mourgat - very hefty and very direct flight - no white rump that Sparrowhawk gives the impression of having - anyway one that got away as it was distant.

Very happy to find a couple of Rock Thrush and a surprise Ring Ouzel - need both of these to kick around until my birdwatchers next week!! Couple of Serin but no Citril Finch - sorry Dragnil.
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Old Friday 7th September 2018, 07:34   #54
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Little bit of time spent round airport today - met Dragnil - very much enjoying my supply of garibaldi biscuits!

Anyway, up to 3, at one time, Black Shouldered Kites hovering in a line - awesome. Kestrel, distant Booted Eagle and Short toed Eagle, Buzzard, Red Kite and a Harrier sp but could get views anything more than through the airport fencing and a fair distance - it was female ringtail.

Small flocks of pipits (possibly the same on a circuit), Linnet, whinchat, stonechat, wheatear, corn bunting. Dragnil had a lark so probably the crested. Weather is set to be bad for a couple of days so this could be really good on sunday monday.

Great white egret on repass after shopping... and some very low griffons sarsan side of lourdes. I got the glimpse of a lone birder - half wondered if it was fat paul scholes, hire car, small telescope hand held in car - too late to stop when noticed - sorry....
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Old Friday 7th September 2018, 22:26   #55
Fat Paul Scholes
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Not me!

Not too much to report from me. A few ortolans, night herons and waders going over in the night, and plenty of common migrants in the morlaas area. Redshank, snipe and 2 LRplover at lac de Louet - but really scaling the barrel!
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Old Sunday 9th September 2018, 18:36   #56
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Thanks, Rosbifs; after what seems like four visits, a good view of your Eagle Owl at last, now what about the "easy peasy" Citril Finches?
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Old Sunday 9th September 2018, 19:15   #57
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And here is the big chap - although I think its the female. Photo taken through your telescope.

I think the male is 'creamier' in colour...
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Old Monday 10th September 2018, 13:44   #58
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Good morning out with Richard and Dragnil. Started at airport but quiet apart from a screech of brakes and debunk to get onto a harrier sp, where it remains just sp, and I was getting concerned that I had 'guaranteed' Black Shouldered Kite. Time was running out but I needn't have worried as we finallly located a distant bird that then turned into 2 3 4 6and then 7! It was the most common raptor of the morning.

Onto the military camp which without explanation was locked up - no hunt for Roller. Did my best to skirt the grounds and find some nice habitat to finally find some birds - it is uncanny how there is so little about. Marsh Harrier male put in an appearance.

Back cross country to stumble across a couple of Ortolan Buntings (there could have been up to 6). Richard kept finding Yellowhammer but id wasn't easy against the sun and through the car window. Fortuantely Dragnil spotted them on the deck and I managed some poor photos.

Onwards and another black shouldered kite and finally two red backed shrikes - I had literally said we haven't seen any shrikes and there they were.

On the way home we decided to spin round for the Egyptian Vulture - 2 put in an appearance with Short Toed Eagle and some Griffons...

Great birding and grafting for our rewards!
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Old Tuesday 11th September 2018, 17:12   #59
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What a day. Arrived at car park spot on 8.30 but rest a couple of minutes late. There was an early Short Toed Eagle and 3/4 Peregrines so I thought I would get the scope out - very light bird but not the Short Toed - hang on looks like a Black shouldered kite - bang MALE PALLID HARRIER! The light was fantastic as the sun was just hitting the rock face and the bird was migrating along the cliff face. Compose yourself get camera - hang on 'card' error - wheres the memory card. Too late watch the bird!!

The group arrive but park at the wrong end of the car park - all the time the bird disappearing - finally they get the message and pile out of the van the first seeing the bird before its gone! A dream bird for me. The 'wedge' unbelievably clear and seemingly pure white otherwise. Wow...

Everything else 'pales' into insignificance. Egyptian Vulture looked on, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Black Kite, another short toed eagle, Griffon Vultures... At the coffee stop a Booted Eagle.

Up to the Soulor and they had not picked up the bird but had seen a few bits. The wind and weather meant birds were very high and it was a case of working for everything. A couple of Golden Eagles distant, a Lammergeier distant, Honey Buzzards, common buzzard, a juv Monties Harrier, Osprey distant, Red Kite the 15th raptor for the group for the morning.

Great stuff. Afternoon picked up a few bits and pieces (a pair of closer Golden Eagles) with a Nightingale being the star pm bird. Finished by dropping back to Argeles to try and get better views of Egyptian Vulture when finally picked up a flying adult when packing up.

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Old Thursday 13th September 2018, 06:21   #60
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There are only a handful of targets for Gavarnie and we, eventually, ticked most of the boxes - Citril, Rock Thrush included being the main ones but the significant 'unticked' boxes being Wallcreeper and lammy. The weather really didn't help as it broke pretty much immediately upon arriving at the hotel du cirque. It fortunately held off for the walk back (Crested Tit, Citril Finch upon leaving) and for lunch where we were joined by some Redstarts, Pied Flys and a Serin.

Back in the cars for some serious Lammy and Wallcreeper searching and the weather broke again. Managed to pick up 2 Rock Thrush just before though. Some Water Pipits kept us company as did some Wheatear then another Citril Finch hidden in, seemingly, the only cover for miles around. Eventually, a mixed flock of Linnet and Citril gave themselves up.

A quick visit at the lake produced a couple of waders and a(nother) male harrier over the fields but on a narrow busy road and high corn I find anywhere to stop nor get a view - it did have a Hen feel about it but sp!

1 1/2 days left and ground to cover and 'ticks' to find - I say find because birds are fair and few between but the 'quality' is great. Targets today Black Wood, Lammy, Alpine Accentor and a shrike!
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Old Tuesday 18th September 2018, 08:21   #61
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The end of the week didn't dissappoint - well marginally.

Whilst once again being a little bit hampered with the weather. A walk through the fields produced a few migrants - Whitethroat, Spot Fly, Pied Fly, Whinchat, Meadow Pipit and a Booted Eagle and then the move up the mountains a Lammy amongst Griffons. This was followed by a pair at tree height overhead.

Dipped on the Black Wood but the walk produced Crested Tit.

At the col we found 4 very obliging Accentors! A few little bits Serin etc. but no Snowfinch - too late!

The last morning was a blinder though. Started with some lovely Yellow Wagtails and 13 Rock Sparrow (my highest count round here), and on to the airport for the Black Shouldered Kites which were eventually found! We moved position to get them downbreeze or sun behind and they were stunning - 5. One even balacing on a wire eating a mouse. A couple were extreme 'tail-cocking' which I have never seen before - it was mentioned that it could be balancing on the wire but it was interesting to watch.

A Wryneck was picked up and a Monties Harrier Juv above the runway - he must have thought he was in Scotland as the bird scaring fireworks were blasting around him! crested Lark (took some work) and a Zitter on the wires.

The morning was polished off with 1 then 5 Cirl Buntings on the way back and at base.

Great.

94 species in the 3 1/2 days although could have easily been 110 - I had 6 extras on the Sunday Monday and 3 during the week plus missed a couple of sitters!
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Old Tuesday 18th September 2018, 13:54   #62
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Onwards and upwards - well actually went to the med coast with the girls. Very little time for birding and don't tell their mother but I did sneak out before breakfast to score a Rosy Starling! The hours I have spent scouring Starling flocks has finally paid off!

Lots of intersting birds about - Storks Waders etc.

The last afternoon was best with Slender Billed Gull, Pallid Swift (by my reckoning sillouetted), Rollers, Lesser Kestrels, Tawny Pipits etc.

Sadly no Bonellis Eagle despite efforts and only Woodchat Shrike, not bad in his own right, or Little Bustards.

The Lesser Kestrel was most interesting and one normally wouldn't look twice at...
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Old Tuesday 18th September 2018, 13:58   #63
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Good news in the Purple Gallinule is back in Gruissan - bad newzs is that I didn't see one!

Typically I spent a ridiculous amount of time sifting through Yellow Wagtails looking for the Citrine and waders looking for anyrthing. I'm pretty sure I managed to find a Temmincks but the wrong side of the field and a long way away. The glossy Ibis were nice though.
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