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KB57's 2019 list

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Old Monday 2nd September 2019, 11:50   #51
kb57
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Durham, UK
Posts: 640
31st August: Warkworth

A walk along the River Coquet produced a great flight view of a species I normally catch up with a little earlier in the year than this..

301. Common Kingfisher
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Old Wednesday 25th September 2019, 12:02   #52
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21st September: Lindisfarne

More of a walk than a dedicated birdwatch today, reflecting the fact I'm on a bit of a weight loss mission at the moment. The island was full of people, although population density declined dramatically away from the village and castle.

Quite a few waders about on the foreshore, including lots of knot - finally adding a couple of very belated species to my list.

302. Red Knot
303. Bar-tailed Godwit
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Old Wednesday 16th October 2019, 13:06   #53
kb57
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3rd October: Santa Luzia, Portugal

A combined birding and beach holiday back at our usual haunts in the eastern Algarve. My partner had visited earlier in the year (adding species like bee-eater to her year list) but this was my first trip for two years.
We had a non-birding (but interested in nature) friend along for the first couple of days; on our first day we walked from the village to Pedras del Rey, over the bridge and along by the rail track to Barril Beach. As well as the usual waders on the saltmarsh (frequent whimbrel, plus ringed plover, turnstone, redshank and a greenshank) I added serin to the year list in trees by an orange grove. At Barril beach, our friend drew my attention to a small bird in a bush by the rail halt, and I had my first 'lifer' of the trip!
Distant views of grey plover and osprey on the saltmarsh on our return from the beach, then we took a drive before dusk around the Santa Luzia saltpans, adding Sardinian warbler, flamingo, and a flock of distant Audouin's gulls, with the usual YLGs and LBBs

304. Yellow-legged Gull
305. European Serin
306. Western Subalpine Warbler
307. Grey Plover
308. Western Osprey
309. Audouin's Gull
310. Greater Flamingo
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Old Thursday 17th October 2019, 12:08   #54
kb57
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4th October: Faro, Portugal

My partner had arranged a boat tour from Faro port with Ocean Vibes, a relatively new company run by a couple of young marine biologists. There was just the 3 of us booked on the early afternoon tour, which took in part of the Ria Formosa we'd not visited before - the extensive saltmarshes and creeks south of Faro.
Birding from a small boat was great - mostly the species you'd expect here like whimbrel and black-tailed godwit, but much better views of grey plover and a better view of an osprey than the previous day, plus the only curlew of our trip, and a few little terns. When they realised we were keen birders and not that interested in a coffee stop on an island, they took us offshore to look for seabirds and cetaceans. No luck on the dolphin front but 3 Cory's shearwaters (including one close flypast) and 1 Balearic made it well worthwhile. A distant juvenile skua will have to remain unidentified.

311. White Stork
312. Cory's Shearwater
313. Balearic Shearwater
Stercorarius sp. skua

We drove back to Tavira afterwards so our friend could do some shopping as she was leaving the next day, adding an unexpected 'lifer' as we approached the town, sat on a roadside pole.

314. Black-winged Kite

A species I'd hoped for but dipped on my previous trips here
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Old Thursday 17th October 2019, 12:16   #55
kb57
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5th October: Tavira, Portugal

Spent much of the day in and around Tavira. Not much birding getting done, but we did take a drive down to both sides of the rivermouth past the saltpans to connect with larger flocks of flamingos than were currently around the Santa Luzia pans.
Sat on the beach at the east of the rivermouth, when a hoopoe flew across the narrow channel to the Ilha de Tavira opposite. A year list tick for me, if not my partner.

315. Eurasian Hoopoe
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Old Yesterday, 12:07   #56
kb57
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6th October: San Lourenco / Ludo saltpans

Back to Faro again, parking on the road at the west end of the airport runway. Walked along the causeway by the saltmarsh, past the golf course lake at San Lourenco, then back across the saltpans.
Always good for birds, we added significantly to the trip list, with a few year list species thrown in. One potential 'lifer' we decided not to count was a little bittern hiding behind reeds from the golf course lagoon hide - other birders let us use their scope, but in all honesty neither of us felt we had a countable view.

316. Crested Lark
317. Zitting Cisticola
318. Black-winged Stilt
319. Slender-billed Gull
320. Western Purple Swamphen
321. Iberian Magpie

Other highlights were migrant pied flycatchers, willow warblers and chiffchaffs in the trees; and a ssp. leucorhoa Northern wheatear on the saltpans which had me looking very carefully at my pics - strong bill, upright stance, pale colour, lots of black on the tail...but long, evenly-spaced primary projection nailed it as a Northern...
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Old Yesterday, 12:11   #57
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7th October: Santa Luzia

Took the ferry along the channel to Terra Estreita beach. Often get good views of Audouin's gull close by the boat here, but none around today. My partner did ask 'what's that tern with a big red beak'? though...

322. Caspian Tern

8th October: Santa Luzia

The following day we repeated the same, both times as part of a circular walk along the beach and back to Santa Luzia...we got the hoped-for closer views of Audouin's gulls, and saw a Cory's shearwater offshore (as well as the usual Northern gannets).
On the landward side of our route, added a species near Pedras del Rey that had managed to elude us this trip so far.

323. Spotless Starling

Last edited by kb57 : Yesterday at 12:13.
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Old Yesterday, 12:20   #58
kb57
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October 10th: Sagres

Drove to Sagres for a Mar Ilimitado pelagic on the first day of the birdwatching festival. This was the first time we'd done the motor yacht rather than a RIB. The lower speed (meaning, presumably, why we didn't take in the Cory's shearwater rafts off Cape St. Vincent) was balanced by greater comfort, and a good vantage point for photography.
After stopping by a large pod of common dolphins, we passed a single storm-petrel before stopping to chum. This brought at one point a total of 16 storm petrels, plus close flypasts of 2 great skuas, as well as the usual gannets and gulls.
A bit late in the year for the Wilson's we've seen here before, and lacking in any shearwater sightings (lucky we did the Faro trip!), but an enjoyable day out nonetheless.
A 'normal' Northern wheatear near the harbour served to emphasise how different the presumed Greenland bird at Ludo saltpans had been.

324. European Storm-petrel
325. Great Skua
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Old Yesterday, 12:27   #59
kb57
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12th October: North Newcastle on Tyne

Sometimes you need to travel to see good birds, occasionally they come to you...a sunflower heart feeder in my partner's garden, to be precise...

326. Willow Tit
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