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Another Great Day in the Pyrenees - 2020

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Old Thursday 16th April 2020, 20:16   #26
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Indeed, on safari in Kenya I called "vulture" and the minibus screeched to a halt as a light aircraft flew over.
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Old Friday 17th April 2020, 12:52   #27
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Great story Rosbifs.

I had a similar experience of aircrafts Forestwitcher, but it was a jumbojet.

And thanks John to explain me that Mr D.
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Old Friday 17th April 2020, 13:32   #28
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Hey, it could have been one of these (/from Wikipedia ): Saab JAS 39 Gripen (IPA: [ˈɡrǐːpɛn]; English: griffin) is a light single-engines multirole fighter aircraft”

In other words a Gripen Vulture
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Old Friday 17th April 2020, 15:00   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Prior View Post
Hey, it could have been one of these (/from Wikipedia ): Saab JAS 39 Gripen (IPA: [ˈɡrǐːpɛn]; English: griffin) is a light single-engines multirole fighter aircraft”

In other words a Gripen Vulture
😄 😄😄
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Old Friday 17th April 2020, 19:39   #30
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There really needs to be a like button.
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Old Monday 20th April 2020, 20:47   #31
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46

House Martin last week and Peregrine today

That take the garden raptor list to 13

Have just spent the last couple of hours trying to narrow down dates of a satellite tagged Greater/Lesser Spotted Eagle hybrid. It has passed this area 5 times since 2015 to and from Lithuania.

14.10.2107 Lau Balagnas
27.04.2018 LUZ ST SAUVEUR
29.10.2019 Pau
03.04.2020 St Jean Pied de Port

I have been looking but not seeing.....

Still happy with 13 lockdown Raptors so far. Still waiting for Hobby, Honeys etc to come and maybe something extra special - the camera is poised and when its sunny the scope is permanently erected in the garden.

Last edited by rosbifs : Tuesday 21st April 2020 at 08:04.
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Old Tuesday 21st April 2020, 08:22   #32
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Some very quick analysis of the Eagle

On the 3/04 he travelled from Logorno in Spain to Agen c.340km from 6am until 6pm
4/04 c.310km
5/04 c.440km

The morning wake up seems to be between 6 and 6.45 and seems to roost between 18h and 18h40.

It's actually a bit of a faff calculating but if I find a quicker way, or some spare time, I might try and find some of the 'bigger' days, then try and analyse against weather etc...
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Old Tuesday 21st April 2020, 08:28   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Prior View Post
Hey, it could have been one of these (/from Wikipedia ): Saab JAS 39 Gripen (IPA: [ˈɡrǐːpɛn]; English: griffin) is a light single-engines multirole fighter aircraft”

In other words a Gripen Vulture
Saab also produced a Griffin car range starting in 90's, I think, based on the 9-5 with a 3lt turbo petrol engine...
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Old Wednesday 22nd April 2020, 13:34   #34
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Whitethroat in the garden last night

shopping today

Swift
Whinchat pair

Fifty, Eagle Owl - decided to run the gauntlet and head out the 2km for this one

51 Sand martin
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Old Saturday 25th April 2020, 11:05   #35
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Ah, the infamous white post
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Old Saturday 25th April 2020, 18:54   #36
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I was hoping that you could add some eagle pictures to the 15 year post.

I lost a bit of impetus...

That said had a Common Redstart yesterday 50 yards from the front door. Shopping day today which brought me 3 Yellow Legged Gulls (52). First during lockdown and not usually seen this side of Pau.

At the same time can you find dates of the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker you had on the campsite?

Last edited by rosbifs : Saturday 25th April 2020 at 19:50.
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Old Saturday 25th April 2020, 19:45   #37
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shopping today

Swift
Whinchat pair

Fifty, Eagle Owl - decided to run the gauntlet and head out the 2km for this one
I'd be quite chuffed if I could swing an Eagle Owl on route to the shops ...good one! Nice read this thread, especially the Wallcreeper story
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Old Sunday 26th April 2020, 11:10   #38
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Sorry, I've lost the 15 year post - I can see the white one though.
Lesser pecker on 26 Aug 2000 and 27 May 18.
Has the Tour been cancelled?
Fingers crossed for August-Spetember.
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Old Sunday 26th April 2020, 21:23   #39
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Sorry, I've lost the 15 year post - I can see the white one though.
Lesser pecker on 26 Aug 2000 and 27 May 18.
Has the Tour been cancelled?
Fingers crossed for August-Spetember.
The tour de France has been moved to the end of august through to the 22 September ish... It finishes the day the cycling world championships start. the tour is not in our area this year.

The May Woody was on your campsite. That was the year I had one above the site, I think.

53 - Dipper - today. The nest is less than 200 yards from the front door. Chicks shouldn't be that far off now...

Also the Eagle Owl shouldn't be far off from having walkabout chicks. They should soon be spending some time out in the open. If only we weren't in lockdown. Same goes for the Tengmalms owl.

A farmer lost some sheep to a bear not far from the tengmalms nest - maybe less than 1km from the site. Wildcamping anyone?

I've been trying to sort my camera lens out. The parcs lady, who lives across the road, has the same lens as me but a better camera. Her shots are way way better than mine. It has given me a bit of impetus to get it right. I reset everything and am starting from scratch again. There is also a lot of technique that I'm probably lacking because I tend to fire two or three shots off then move on.

Still waiting for some Honeys and Hobbys (maybe something rarer!!!)
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Old Thursday 30th April 2020, 19:07   #40
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So today was a mad day - well a mad half hour.

I cycled up for some bread and on the way back a Booted Eagle dived into the mayors garden next to the road. He failed to catch anything but wow! I got home and had a sniff outside - I had noticed some Griffons.

So in 15 minutes I had
2 Booted Eagles
2 Kestrel
At least 32 Griffon Vultures
2 Egyptian Vultures
A Golden Eagle
A Black Kite
and a Buzzard...

Then two Hobby - first of the year moving north. By there time I got the camera out they were gone!

I hetched around for a bit and grabbed some shots of the Booted and Egyptian. All afternoon there seemed be something going on culminating with 4 Short Toed Eagles in close proximity - I grabbed a shot of 2 early evening.

Wow - not much effort required. There seemed to be some higher migration but in and out of the clouds...

Lots of hirundelles as well.

Great stuff
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Old Thursday 30th April 2020, 19:20   #41
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Great Stuff indeed!
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Old Friday 1st May 2020, 09:26   #42
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54 Long tailed Tit
55 2 Hobbys seemingly passing north. As per previous post.
56 Mallard - forgot to add after shopping the other day...

Also the Dipper flew over the garden - I wasn't in it because I had wandered down with the girls to check the nest out. He flew up the stream then out over my garden and back along the stream...

99.9% certain that birding groups will be cancelled in June and rescheduled for end of August. Lets hope that travel restrictions are lifted quickly and safely, better add that.

That said we start to come out of confinement on the 11th May. Can then travel up to 100kms without a 'permission' slip. There is another thread on the subject but I have 4 immediate things to do in mind - find a Wallcreeper territory, check out the Tengmalms Owl and a the Eagle Owl, head to the next valley for some Hobby action (the spot mentioned previously where they flock pre-breeding - up to 80 counted) and find me a bee-eater colony... Actually thats 5 - so there are five things Wallcreeper, Eagle Owl, Tengmalms Owl, Hobby, Bee-eater and the Lammergeier - oh thats 6.....
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Old Friday 1st May 2020, 11:28   #43
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Well, Lincoln to Luz, let's see, yes it's 99 km isn't it? ;o)

PS Nice shots, they look clear and sharp.
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Old Friday 1st May 2020, 11:34   #44
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Well, Lincoln to Luz, let's see, yes it's 99 km isn't it? ;o)

PS Nice shots, they look clear and sharp.
I think that I have got closer with the camera and lens combo - now its down to technique....

I'll be sure to save some birds for you Dragnil.
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Old Monday 4th May 2020, 14:29   #45
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57 Stonechat
58 Marsh Tit

Does feel like cheating as both were away from my garden... I drove round past a couple of Red Backed shrike spots but without success.

Oh yeah had 37 Griffons over the house the other morning! And a further 2 Egyptians. My friend had some Bee eaters over his house...

Last edited by rosbifs : Monday 4th May 2020 at 14:32.
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Old Wednesday 6th May 2020, 14:01   #46
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So here are some shots after some tinkering with my lens and the micro focus

Pretty happy apart from getting the colour balance wrong on one of the sparrows
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Old Thursday 7th May 2020, 06:42   #47
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Great Tits beak looks little bit over grown.

PS. Vultures an Bee Eaters must be some Fantasy creatures... (Here anyway)
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Old Tuesday 12th May 2020, 09:59   #48
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So now move into partial lockdown and immediately there were fisherman, cyclists and a lone birdwatcher in the shape of me up the mountain.

This consisted of a trip to Gavarnie and the relentless, annual, search for a wallcreeper nest. I figured I would make life easy and opt for a slightly longer drive but a flatter walk. The rain was intermittant, the sun warm when it shone and the wind refreshing. There had been snow during the night on the higher peaks but the beauty lie in the peacefulness. There was a farmer and two commune workers passed on the track on the way down but otherwise no one else at these far reaches of the valley.

I was rewarded immediately with a pair of Lammergeiers in the cloud. I didn't have my scope so couldn't properly check out the nest. I am told that there is a chick though. These were followed by some Alpine Choughs and some Red Billed (outnumbered in these parts).

I tried for Citril Finch and Rock Thrush but they were absent from the higher slopes.

So the track. In normal circumstances this road is NOT accessible until the end of May so it was important(!) to try it. Lack of snow this winter made it easy. The carpark produced a pair of Rock Thrush (in both directions) and scores of Water Pipit, Crag Martin, Wheatear all vying for there signing and territorial look outs.

I trekked for 40 minutes and at the end was surprised by the avalanche depth in a couple of places maybe 10-15 or even 20 metres!

Sadly no Wallcreeper. I think I have found my preferred area though so in better weather... That said I now need a Wallcreeper to agree with me.

A pair of Golden Eagles passed overhead and I was constanly supported by Marmottes whislted as I walked by. They were incredibly tame so I suspect younger ones that may not have seen humans, ever.

Even in the light rain it was fairly pleasant to be at the base of a glacier in isolation. The only thing missing was a picnic (I hadn't packed food or water) and a couple more ticks. I picked up the call of a Citril Finch but couldn't find him.

The Rock Thrushes were still near the car park and another a little bit lower. An Eagle not far from a previous years nest. I spent some time listening to the Garden Warblers, Blackcaps as I surveyed another cliff for the Wallcreeper but again no joy.

A couple of trips for the Eagle Owl - I'm really expecting to see a chick any day but not yet...

Nice Booted over the house this morning.
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Old Tuesday 12th May 2020, 10:02   #49
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So ok the pictures are almost there but slightly out, see previous efforts. That said the light wasn't good, the birds weren't close and the speed not fast enough.

It wasn't a day to worry about detail...
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Old Tuesday 12th May 2020, 10:05   #50
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And todays Booted which crashed into the wood in front the house but I missed the dive!!
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