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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

2022 Western Palearctic Trips (1 Viewer)

20 March 2022

The next morning our brief stop in the Pyrenees was over and we were heading back to Barcelona via a couple of stops to break our journey. As we headed back, our journey was punctuated by the usual accompaniment of White Storks, Griffon Vultures, Red and Black Kites and Buzzards and as we descended back to lower wetter areas, Marsh Harriers.

We arrived at our first stop Estany d’Ivers at around 8.45am. We tried a couple of vantage points at each end of the lake. Most notable were a Western Swamphen and three Penduline Tit. Duck included 30 Garganey and 6 Red-crested Pochard. We then crossed the A2 and spent some time checking the agricultural landscape of the Bellpuig Plains from 10.25am where after Lesser Kestrel, Iberian Grey Shrike and Calandra Larks, we finally found a group of four Little Bustards enjoying some excellent views from the car.

Suitably refreshed, we then headed onwards towards Barcelona. Our first port of call was Panta de Vallvidrera where we arrived at 12.30pm. Here, we heard our quarry before we had even successfully parked. However, seeing them proved a different matter but with a bit of effort, we had seen at least three Red-billed Leiothrix in relatively short order. Apart from the Leiothrix, the only notable sighting was another Iberian Green Woodpecker. After a pleasant hour, we decided to head on to try our luck with another Category C species but we would not be able to give them long.

We would have had longer if we had found somewhere to park but in short on a Sunday afternoon in Barcelona, street parking is clearly a lot rarer than the next embryonic adventive cagebird population. After battling with one way systems and doing three circuits of Parc del Turo del Putxet, we cut our losses and found a multi storey car park about fifteen minutes from the entrance. We parked up and entered the park at around 2.00pm. We spent an hour in the park trying to locate some of the Black-rumped Waxbill population. It was a pleasant hour with Hoopoes, Monk Parakeets, Crested Tits, Short-toed Treecreeper Black Redstarts and Serins but alas no Waxbills. As a result, Black-rumped Waxbill joined Orange-cheeked Waxbill and Red-whiskered Bulbul on the target list for a follow up trip.

Our last night’s accommodation was at Camping Estrella de Mar to allow us to do some final birding at the Llobregat Delta on the final evening and the next morning before our morning flight. So we set off to the Llobregat Delta reserve for some final birding in the day. We arrived at 4.45pm to discover that the reserve closed at 5.00pm and it would not be open in time the following morning….

Nevertheless with some effort, a long walk resulted in a screen overlooking a scrape on the east side of the reserve. Notwithstanding the access challenges, a good variety of species were seen. The most memorable sighting was a hunting fox which we noticed a lot sooner than the Greylag Goose brood that it successfully dispatched. It was all very reminiscent of the Billy Connolly Wildebeest sketch. Otherwise again a couple of Garganey and four Red-crested Pochard , an Alpine Swift, Kentish Plover, four Little Ringed Plover, Iberian Green Woodpecker and 8 Yellow Wagtail. Sadly, it was soon time to call it a day and tomorrow, we would be heading back.

1 & 2 - Marsh Harrier
3 - Red Kite
4 - White Storks
5 - Penduline Tit (sporting a ring...)
6 - Iberian Grey Shrike
7 to 9 - Little Bustards
10 - Corn Bunting
11 to 12 - Red-billed Leiothrix
13 - Iberian Green Woodpecker
14 - Serin
15 - Blackcap
16 & 17 - Monk Parakeet
18 - Crested Tit
19 - Garganey
20 - Glossy Ibis


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A few pics 21 to 32 of that Fox hunt. Kicking myself that my settings were not prepared for what was going to unfold but I managed a few to represent the action. I decided to record the starting numbers of Greylag in eBird. Not sure of the protcol. I believe at least two of the brood of three goslings escaped...


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I had visited Barcelona three times previously but always on football trips - not birding - following Arsenal away to the Nou Camp - once with my wife & twice with a football friend with whom I had travelled away to a number of countries. Sadly, no longer with us, a quick pause at Parc del Turo del Putxet was spent in contemplation looking down at Sagrada Familia which I had visited with him on one of those trips. I will hopefully be heading back to Barcelona (and Valencia) for birding for those remaining targets in 2023 and hopefully one day to see Arsenal win away there...... :)


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21 March 2022

Our accommodation was one of a set of holiday chalets within a complex almost on the beach so the next morning gave the opportunity to have a stroll in the continuing winds that had been a challenge throughout the holiday. Thirty Audouin’s Gulls in addition to four Gannets offshore, a Mediterranean Gull & a Sandwich Tern brought the trip to an end save for the same collection of species at Barcelona Airport at the end of the trip as the start.

And so we arrived back at Bristol Airport at 12.20pm and my trip list was 157 species with some very memorable experiences – three WP ticks Red-masked Parakeet, Dupont’s Lark and Red-billed Leiothrix – and one new heard only – Red-whiskered Bulbul. My next birding ironically was to try and get Garganey on my patch yearlist unsuccessfully and then I had to prepare to be away again that Friday to France and the Netherlands with another set of Covid restrictions and another set of Category C targets.

1. Mediterranean Gull
2. Sandwich Tern
3 & 4. Black Redstart
5 to 9. Audouin's Gulls


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My Spanish Trip Species List:-

1. Greylag Goose – two domesticated type adults at Parc de Capalcera & nine including a quickly reducing brood at Llobregat Delta
2. Common Shelduck – four sightings with 200 at Laguna de Gallocanta
3. Garganey – five sightings with about 100 at Ebro Delta, 20 at Marjal dels Moros & 30 at Estany d’Ivars
4. Northern Shoveler – five sightings with 400 at Laguna de Gallocanta
5. Gadwall – three sightings at various wetlands
6. Mallard – widespread in wetter habitats
7. Northern Pintail – at least one at Laguna de Gallocanta
8. Eurasian Teal – four sightings with 200 at Laguna de Gallocanta
9. Marbled Duck – six at Marjal dels Moros
10. Red-crested Pochard = five sightings with double figures at Marjal dels Moros & Laguna de Gallocanta
11. Common Pochard – a single at Marjal dels Moros & six at Estany d’Ivars
12. White-headed Duck – drake at Marjal dels Moros
13. Red-legged Partridge - Balsa del Planerón on both dates
14. Greater Flamingo – Ebro Delta, Marjal dels Moros and Laguna de Gallocanta with over 500 seen
15. Little Grebe - five sightings at various wetlands
16. Great Crested Grebe – four sightings at larger water bodies
17. Rock Dove - widespread
18. Stock Dove – two at Bellpuig Plains
19. Common Woodpigeon - widespread
20. Collared Dove - widespread
21. Little Bustard – four at Bellpuig Plains
22. Alpine Swift – two at Rio Huerva valley & one at Llobregat Delta
23. Water Rail – recorded on three occasions in wetter habitats
24. Spotted Crake – heard at Balsa del Planeron on our first visit
25. Common Moorhen – five sightings in wetter habitats
26. Eurasian Coot – four sightings in wetter habitats
27. Western Swamphen – after I dipped on seen by friends at Marjal dels Moros, a single at Estany d'Ivars
28. Common Crane – over fifty seen in the Laguna de Gallocanta area & then whilst travelling en route to the Pyrenees
29. Stone-curlew – two at Balsa del Planerón
30. Black-winged Stilt – five sightings in wetter habitats
31. Pied Avocet – recorded at Ebro Delta, Laguna de Gallocanta & Llobregat Delta with over fifty
32. Eurasian Oystercatcher – two at Ebro Delta
33. Grey Plover – two at Ebro Delta
34. Northern Lapwing – around sixty at Laguna de Gallocanta & two at Estany d’Ivars
35. Sociable Lapwing – single at Laguna de Gallocanta
36. Kentish Plover – single at Llobregat Delta
37. Little Ringed Plover – recorded at Marjal dels Moros & Llobregat Delta
38. Ruddy Turnstone – four at Ebro Delta
39. Ruff – around one hundred at Laguna de Gallocanta
40. Dunlin – maybe ten at Laguna de Gallocanta
41. Common Snipe - singles at Marjal dels Moros & Estany d’Ivars
42. Common Sandpiper – two at Ebro Delta
43. Green Sandpiper – four sightings in wetter habitats
44. Common Greenshank – six at Ebro Delta
45. Common Redshank – twenty at Ebro Delta
46. Black-headed Gull – relatively widespread in wetter habitats
47. Mediterranean Gull – single at Platja de Gavà
48. Audouin's Gull – six at Ebro Delta, a single at Parc de Capcalera & thirty at Platja de Gavà
49. Yellow-legged Gull – widespread
50. Lesser Black-backed Gull – three sightings
51. Sandwich Tern – single at Platja de Gavà
52. White Stork – around seventy seen mostly while travelling
53. Northern Gannet – four at Platja de Gavà
54. Great Cormorant – widespread in wetter habitats
55. Grey Heron – six sightings in wetter habitats
56. Great White Egret – single at Ebro Delta, La Alfranca & Estany d’Ivars
57. Little Egret – four sightings with around twenty at each of Ebro Delta & Marjal dels Moros
58. Cattle Egret – four sightings – twice whilst travelling, four at Parc de Capcalera & a single at Llobregat Delta
59. Black-crowned Night-Heron – single at Marjal dels Moros
60. Glossy Ibis – sixty at Ebro Delta & ten at Llobregat Delta
61. Eurasian Spoonbill – twelve at Ebro Delta
62. Bearded Vulture – single at San Juan de la Peña
63. Egyptian Vulture – fourteen seen on seven occasions around the Pyrenees
64. Black Vulture – single at Huevo de Morrano
65. Griffon Vulture – over 400 seen in total scattered around inland locations & whilst travelling
66. Short-toed Eagle – half a dozen seen mostly whilst travelling
67. Booted Eagle – two at Marjal dels Moros
68. Golden Eagle – single at Rio Huerva valley, two at Huevo de Morrano & one whilst travelling
69. Bonelli's Eagle – a pair at Embalse de las Torcas
70. Western Marsh Harrier – over fifty seen scattered around wetter habitats nearer the coast
71. Hen Harrier – single at Laguna de Gallocanta
72. Eurasian Sparrowhawk – three sightings of singles
73. Northern Goshawk – singles at Embalse de las Torcas & Galacho de Juslibol
74. Red Kite – around fifty seen in the Pyrenees particularly when travelling
75. Black Kite – over fifty seen mainly away from the mountains
76. Common Buzzard – again around fifty seen mainly when travelling
77. Little Owl – two at Laguna de Gallocanta
78. Eurasian Hoopoe – a dozen seen from five locations
79. Common Kingfisher – single at Marjal dels Moros & Estany d’Ivars
80. Great Spotted Woodpecker – two at Huevo de Morrano
81. Iberian Green Woodpecker – single at Galacho de Juslibol, Panta de Vallvidrera & Llobregat Delta
82. Black Woodpecker – single at San Juan de la Peña
83. Lesser Kestrel – eight alongside the A132 & a single at Bellpuig Plains
84. Common Kestrel – around forty seen – a common sight on journeys
85. Merlin – single near Belchite
86. Peregrine Falcon – two at Huevo de Morrano
87. Ring-necked Parakeet – sightings at Parc de Capcalera & Llobregat Delta
88. Monk Parakeet – sightings at Parc de Capcalera, Parc del Turo del Putxet & Llobregat Delta
89. Red-masked Parakeet – twenty at Parc de Capçalera
90. Iberian Grey Shrike – singles near Belchite & Bellpuig Plains
91. Eurasian Jay – two sightings of singles
92. Common Magpie – widespread
93. Red-billed Chough – a dozen seen from four sites
94. Eurasian Jackdaw – two at Estany d’Ivars & 150 at Bellpuig Plains
95. Carrion Crow - widespread
96. Common Raven – around thirty seen mainly whilst travelling
97. Coal Tit – recorded from pines in Pyrenees but also Panta de Vallvidrera & Parc del Turo del Putxet
98. Crested Tit – recorded from San Juan de la Pena & Parc del Turo del Putxet
99. Eurasian Blue Tit – widespread
100. Great Tit – widespread
101. Eurasian Penduline Tit – three at Estany d'Ivars
102. Calandra Lark – around fifty seen in various plains & farmland habitats on five occasions
103. Dupont's Lark – three heard on first date & six on the second with one seen on each occasion but only one photographed
104. Mediterranean Short-toed Lark – at least ten on each occasion at Balsa del Planerón
105. Woodlark – two at Embalse de las Torcas
106. Eurasian Skylark – three widespread sightings
107. Thekla's Lark – two at Balsa del Planerón
108. Crested Lark – widespread
109. Savi's Warbler – single at Marjal dels Moros
110. Eurasian Crag Martin – widespread particularly inland & in the Pyrenees but also at Llobregat Delta
111. Barn Swallow – good numbers at Marjal dels Moros, Estany d’Ivars & Llobregat Delta
112. Common House Martin – four sightings
113. Red-whiskered Bulbul – single heard at Parc de Capçalera
114. Common Chiffchaff – widespread
115. Cetti's Warbler – widespread in wetter habitats
116. Long-tailed Tit – four sightings
117. Eurasian Blackcap – widespread with large numbers in berry bushes at Alquezar
118. Sardinian Warbler - widespread
119. Dartford Warbler – single at Mallos de Riglos
120. Red-billed Leiothrix – at least three at Pantà de Vallvidrera
121. Common Firecrest – recorded on both visits to San Juan de la Peña
122. Eurasian Nuthatch – recorded on both visits to San Juan de la Peña & Pantà de Vallvidrera
123. Short-toed Treecreeper – recorded at both San Juan de la Peña & Pantà de Vallvidrera
124. Eurasian Wren – singles at Alquézar & Pantà de Vallvidrera
125. White-throated Dipper – single at Astún
127. Common Starling – various sightings – mainly coastal but not really studied…
128. Spotless Starling – more commonly encountered than Common Starling particularly inland with birds nesting on the cliffs at Galacho de Juslibol
129. Mistle Thrush – five sightings
130. Song Thrush – five sightings
131. Eurasian Blackbird – widespread
132. Spotted Flycatcher – single unseasonal bird at Parc de Capçalera
133. European Robin – widespread
134. Black Redstart – around 25 seen at very widely scattered locations
135. Blue Rock Thrush – a single at Galacho de Juslibol & three at Mallos de Riglos
136. European Stonechat – four sightings
137. Black Wheatear – two at Embalse de Mezalocha & a single at Galacho de Juslibol
138. Alpine Accentor – two at Mallos de Riglos
139. House Sparrow – widespread
140. Eurasian Tree Sparrow – two at Parc de Capçalera
141. Rock Sparrow – two at Villabla de Los Morales
142. Grey Wagtail – sightings at Parc de Capçalera & Embalse de Lanuza
143. Western Yellow – a single at Parc de Capçalera & eight at Llobregat Delta
144. White Wagtail – widespread
145. Meadow Pipit – three sightings in wetter habitats
146. Water Pipit – single at Villabla de Los Morales, four at Formigal & single at Llobregat Delta
147. Common Chaffinch – widespread
148. Hawfinch – six by the A1230 whilst travelling & two at Mallos de Riglos
149. European Greenfinch – six sightings
150. Common Linnet – six sightings
151. European Goldfinch - widespread
152. European Serin – widespread with over fifty seen from more than ten locations
153. Eurasian Siskin – six at Mallos de Riglos
154. Corn Bunting – six sightings from farmland & plains
155. Cirl Bunting – male at Huevo de Morrano
156. Yellowhammer – singles at Alquézar & Formigal
157. Common Reed Bunting – two at Marjal dels Moros
Wow. Just the ten lifers for me in that bunch. And Spain is one of the few countries where I’ve actually birded

Sounds like a lot of fun
Definitely recommend the area. I was lucky to be with friends with whom I had done a number of trips over the last fifteen years or so. As is so often the case, the company really adds to the trip.

All the best

Definitely recommend the area. I was lucky to be with friends with whom I had done a number of trips over the last fifteen years or so. As is so often the case, the company really adds to the trip.

All the best


Yes it’s mainly the mountain and cat c birds I’ve not seen so the area appeals a lot. Will definitely look into it for 2024.
24 March 2022

Now for a trip with four adventive targets. Some with better credentials than others but at least all get a mention in the European Breeding Bird Atlas 2….

In the short window after Spain, Covid Certificates were duly saved. A French form was completed on-line despite the fact that no one seemed entirely clear on whether it was still active or not. We digested the various conflicting Covid regulations covering France, Belgium and the Netherlands. It seemed that we were fine as long as we did not stay overnight in Belgium! I had also digested the various requirements to take my car abroad with a Green Card and International Driving Permit. Carrying my own breathalyser seemed the oddest requirement and the most complex thing was working out how to fit the adaptors to my headlights. Something I would need to do just before arrival. Finally, the day before, I felt ready to go…..

We were unlikely to see that many birds other than hopefully the adventive targets but it should be interesting.

1. EBBA2 Parrotbill entry
2. EBBA2 Alexandrine Parakeet entry
3. EBBA2 Bar-headed Goose entry
4. EBBA2 Reeves's Pheasant entry


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25 March 2022

With another Western Palearctic lister whose anonymity will be preserved for their own reputation, I left Bristol in the early hours. Interesting and experienced company and someone with whom I had not travelled previously. As we drove towards the Channel Tunnel, Buzzard and Kestrel were noted alongside the M26.

We arrived at the Channel Tunnel at 8.50am and had emerged in Calais at 10.25am. My first experience of using the Tunnel and I was duly impressed. A mainly automated process that went smoothly including the passport checks and boarding. The journey was short and uneventful. We emerged onto the right hand side of the road. It was the first time that I had driven on the right hand side for two years and the first time in a left hand drive vehicle. This proved surprisingly easy but the vehicle was familiar and I had spent the Spanish trip in the passenger seat so I suppose that was unsurprising. There would be some more challenging driving in trips ahead.

Again, Kestrels and Buzzards were the roadside sightings before arriving at Foret d’Hesdin at midday. This was not the time to be arriving to look for an elusive pheasant. The entrance was at 50.403580 1.979170 and we spent most of our time around the crossroads at 50.399488 1.999701. It was nice woodland with Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Buzzards, Kestrel, Marsh Tit and Nuthatch as well as six Chiffchaff heralding the early spring.

After nearly four hours, we had still drawn a blank so a check of observation.org sightings resulted in a decision to try some woodland near Auxi le Chateau as a back up site. Kestrel was seen again en route. An hour and a half there also proved fruitless but a calling Tawny Owl was a surprise. We started planning our efforts for dawn but we had not booked any accommodation at that point and decided to try Foret d’Hesdin again first in a quick attempt at dusk.

On this occasion, having returned at 6.45pm, our luck was in and we were greeted almost instantly by a magnificent and exceptionally wild male Reeves’s Pheasant. Clearly, this was photographed from a vehicle as otherwise it would have disappeared in a flash. We had a choice to make. It would have been nice to have seen more in better light in the morning but our experience earlier showed that might be a struggle. It would also have been nice to have seen a female but again, experience suggests that all of these self-sustaining exotic pheasant populations consist exclusively of males. Hold on…. So we decided that it was time to leave the area.

My personal inclination at this point would have been to drive to the Netherlands to be as close to our next target as possible for dawn but after discussion, we agreed to look for a decent restaurant and accommodation in France but nearer the Belgian border. A good meal and a decent night’s sleep was welcome after a long day travelling.

Attached are pics of 1 & 2 of Reeves's Pheasant


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26 March 2022

We were up and out relatively early. Sparrowhawk, Kestrels and Buzzards were noted before arriving at the De Krang reserve at 51.2329422 5.7586347 in the Netherlands at 10.15am. Some good birding was had. Wildfowl included 40 Greylag Geese, a White-fronted Goose, two Egyptian Geese and a few assorted ducks. A Goshawk and a Red Kite was seen in addition to the Buzzards and a Great White Egret burst from one of the dykes. Amongst the woodlands, a couple of Short-toed Treecreepers seemed intent on spring. But from the reeds and the ditches, Chiffchaffs, a few tits and a few finches were all that we could find. In slightly under three hours, there were no Parrotbills to be found. We needed to make a decision…

The epicentre of Black Swan sightings on waarneming.nl seemed to be Roermond and it felt sensible to try and get one of the easier targets out of the way. On this occasion, things went far more smoothly and as we crossed the N280 bridge at 1.40pm, some Black Swans were obvious on the river below. We negotiated the one way system and eventually parked underneath the bridge. In addition to 2 Egyptian Geese and 100 Greylags, a count produced 29 Black Swans. There was little to hold us much longer here!

The best areas for groups of Bar-headed Geese are often north east of Amsterdam or close to the German border but again, we had spent quite a bit of time researching waarneming.nl and that had given us a recent site near Utrecht. That seemed worthwhile to get the species out of the way south of Amsterdam. En route, I was surprised to see three White Stork but checking the status, it seems that the Stork population is doing well and pretty widespread. We arrived at De Hooge Kampse Plas at 52.1147643 5.1608706 at 4.40pm and in an hour’s birding, we finally found a Bar-headed Goose with the Greylags. It gave us a suitable demonstration of its free flying status… Another two White Storks were the main back up at the site. Two of the targets now secured.

The next apparently straightforward target was Alexandrine Parakeet. Again, we had checked for recent sightings and we set off for Sarphatipark at 52.3544739 4.8962545 in Amsterdam as the most convenient location. A number of parakeets were seen shortly after arrival at 6.15pm and eventually, we settled on five Alexandrines being present with a number of Ring-neckeds. They mostly favoured the taller trees. Mission accomplished. If I recall the Meatloaf lyric properly, three out of four ain’t bad.

Whilst we were there, we received news of a Baikal Teal that had been found at De Groene Jonker and although it seemed a very unlikely outcome, we decided to try and make it before dark. We failed. A Marsh Harrier and a Great White Egret were seen en route but we arrived with no birding light left scanning ducks in the dark so arrangements were then made to stay near Utrehct and track down a restaurant for dinner. The Baikal Teal search would need to wait for the morning.

1 & 2. Short-toed Treecreeper
3 to 6. Black Swan
7 & 8. Bar-headed Goose
9. Ring-necked Parakeet
10. Alexandrine Parakeet


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27 March 2022

We arrived back at De Groene Jonker at 9.15am. It was a very nice birding site but there was no sign of the Baikal Teal despite searching through thousands of duck. Highlights were Brent Goose, 8 Barnacle Geese, 4 Garganey, 50 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Ruff, an adult male Goshawk, an immature White-tailed Eagle causing havoc amongst the wildfowl and a single male White-spotted Bluethroat singing loudly from the reeds. A good morning by any standards. I also photographed some apparently free range Red Junglefowl of various colours but to my disappointment on checking, it seems that no one yet considers them tickable. My investigations are ongoing… Yet another site that would have merited a leisurely stop but the previous evening, we had agreed to see if we could track down a Black Woodpecker nearby before heading back to De Krang for a resumed Parrotbill search. So after almost two hours, we were on our way.

The journey was again punctuated with White Stork, Kestrel and Buzzard sightings. We parked up and began searching some woodland near Baarn at 52.2055855 5.2630929 at 11.45am. After quite a bit of effort and the best part of two hours, a female Black Woodpecker was found with a backdrop of Nuthatches and a Marsh Tit. The journey then back to De Krang was again punctuated by a White Stork, a Sparrowhawk and some Buzzards but on this occasion, also another Goshawk. We arrived at 4.45pm and in an hour and three quarters, the species list was very similar save for a loose group of ten Vinous-throated Parrotbills. We kept tabs on them for around twenty minutes as they progressed through the bushes and reeds. Generally, they kept very low and were pretty tricky to photograph but I ended up with something recognisable…

With the classic definition of madness, we decided to repeat the previous night’s mistake and head for another site by dark. We set off for some Eagle Owls at Maastricht and then successfully compounded that error by being unsure of the directions or the vantage points in a quarry that was the largest that I have ever seen. We dipped appallingly and the last hour of the day was spent in fruitless confusion.

The plan had been to see the Eagle Owls and then get some accommodation back at Weert to try for better photographs of the Parrotbills in the morning. Due to the confusion and wasted time that proved more challenging but a beer, a pizza and some accommodation were eventually secured and in reality, we had now secured all four targets. I had photos of each. We had been successful.

1. De Groene Jonker
2. Red Junglefowl
3. Great Crested Grebe
4. Black-tailed Godwits
5 & 6. Garganeys
7. Goshawk
8 & 9. Bluethroat
10 to 12. White-tailed Eagle causing havoc
13 & 14. Black Woodpecker
15 & 16. Vinous-throated Parrotbill


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28 March 2022

We were back at De Krang at 7.45am and my hopes were high that this morning, I knew how and where to find the Parrotbills and nail some excellent photos. I didn’t…. A nice mix of species again included a Little Ringed Plover and five Ruff in addition to those seen on earlier visits but in the best part of three hours, no Parrotbills could be found. I accepted my fate and we decided to head home. We were booked on a return train in the evening but again, the Channel arrangements impressed and we actually moved our booking forward for a discount with a simple touch of a button on check-in. Everything went smoothly and we were back in Bristol around 7.00pm.

It was another month before I was due to be away again but next time it was to Cyprus to target Cyprus Warbler for which I had searched previously unsuccessfully in Israel. So more credible less niche trips to come... Also later in the year, a chance would be taken to upgrade my Alexandrine Parakeet & indeed my Red Junglefowl outside the Western Palearctic. :)

Trip Species List

1. Bar-headed Goose – single at De Hooge Kampse Plas, Netherlands
2. Greylag Goose – commonly encountered with large groups in the Netherlands with over 500 at various sites and far more whilst travelling
3. Greater White-fronted Goose – single at De Krang
4. Brent Goose – single at De Groene Jonker
5. Barnacle Goose – eight at De Groene Jonker & more whilst travelling
6. Canada Goose – around twenty seen between Roermond, De Hooge Kamose Plas & De Groene Jonker, Netherlands
7. Mute Swan – around twenty seen between Roermond, De Hooge Kamose Plas & De Groene Jonker, Netherlands
8. Black Swan – twenty nine at Roermond, Netherlands
9. Egyptian Goose – around twenty seen between five sites
10. Common Shelduck – two at De Groene Jonker, Netherlands
11. Garganey – four at De Groene Jonker, Netherlands
12. Northern Shoveler – sightings at De Hooge Kampse Plas (6), De Groene Jonker (300) & De Krang (10), Netherlands
13. Gadwall – sightings at De Krang (two visits 4 & 5), De Groene Jonker (100) & De Hooge Kampse Plas (10), Netherlands
14. Eurasian Wigeon – around 1,000 at De Groene Jonker, Netherlands
15. Mallard – widespread in Netherlands
16. Northern Pintail – twenty at De Groene Jonker, Netherlands
17. Eurasian Teal – up to twenty on all three visits to De Krang & 300 at De Groene Jonker, Netherlands
18. Common Pochard – four at De Hooge Kampse Plas & twenty at De Groene Jonker, Netherlands
19. Tufted Duck – two at De Krang (first visit), ten at De Hooge Kampse Plas & one hundred at De Groene Jonker, Netherlands
20. Reeves's Pheasant – a single male at Forêt d'Hesdin, France
21. Common Pheasant – commonly encountered at the French sites & also two sites in the Netherlands
22. Little Grebe – two at De Groene Jonker, Netherlands
23. Great Crested Grebe – two at Roermond, four at De Hooge Kampse Plas & twenty at De Groene Jonker, Netherlands
24. Rock Dove – commonly encountered
25. Stock Dove – recorded at De Krang & De Groene Jonker, Netherlands
26. Common Woodpigeon – commonly encountered
27. Collared Dove – recorded at De Hooge Kampse Plas & De Krang, Netherlands
28. Water Rail – single at De Groene Jonker, Netherlands
29. Common Moorhen – commonly encountered
30. Eurasian Coot – four at Roermond, two at Sarphatipark & 300 at De Groenke Jonker, Netherlands
31. Eurasian Oystercatcher – two at Roermond, ten at De Hooge Kampse Plas & ten at De Groene Jonker, Netherlands
32. Northern Lapwing – four on two visits to De Krang, single at De Hooge Kampse Plas & ten at De Groene Jonker, Netherlands
33. Little Ringed Plover – single at De Krang, Netherlands
34. Eurasian Curlew – five at De Groene Jonker, Netherlands
35. Black-tailed Godwit – fifty at De Groene Jonker, Netherlands
36. Ruff – four at De Groene Jonker & five at De Krang, Netherlands
37. Common Redshank – ten at De Groene Jonker, Netherlands
38. Black-headed Gull – widespread
39. Common Gull – a single at De Groene Jonker, Netherlands
40. Herring Gull – six at De Hooge Kampse Plas, four at Sarphatipark & six at De Groene Jonker, Netherlands
41. White Stork – seven seen during travels in the Netherlands
42. Great Cormorant – widespread
43. Grey Heron – widespread
44. Great White Egret – three seen including two sightings at De Krang, Netherlands
45. Western Marsh Harrier – single near De Groene Jonker, Netherlands
46. Eurasian Sparrowhawk – five seen in total – two whilst travelling through Belgium & three in the Netherlands
47. Northern Goshawk – three seen in the Netherlands
48. Red Kite – a single at De Krang, Netherlands
49. White-tailed Eagle – an immature at De Groene Jonker, Netherlands
50. Common Buzzard – over forty seen – mostly whilst travelling in each of France, Belgium and the Netherlands
51. Tawny Owl – a single heard at Auxi le Chateau, France
52. Great Spotted Woodpecker – recorded at Forêt d'Hesdin, France & near Baarn & at De Krang, Netherlands
53. Eurasian Green Woodpecker – recorded at Forêt d'Hesdin, France & at De Krang, Netherlands
54. Black Woodpecker – a female near Baarn, Netherlands
55. Common Kestrel – fifteen seen mostly whilst travelling in each of France, Belgium and the Netherlands but far commoner in France
56. Alexandrine Parakeet – five at Sarphatipark, Amsterdam, Netherlands
57. Ring-necked Parakeet – four at Sarphatipark, Amsterdam & a single at De Groene Jonker, Netherlands
58. Eurasian Jay – recorded at Forêt d'Hesdin, France & each visit to De Krang, Netherlands
59. Common Magpie – widespread
60. Eurasian Jackdaw – widespread
61. Carrion Crow – widespread
62. Marsh Tit – recorded at Forêt d'Hesdin, France & near Baarn, Netherlands
63. Eurasian Blue Tit – widespread
64. Great Tit 25 Mar – widespread
65. Common Chiffchaff – arriving in force in the early spring with 26 recorded across five sites in both France & Netherlands
66. Long-tailed Tit – recorded at Forêt d'Hesdin, France & De Krang & De Groene Jonker, Netherlands
67. Vinous-throated Parrotbill = ten at De Krang, Netherlands
68. Eurasian Nuthatch – recorded at Forêt d'Hesdin, France & near Baarn & De Krang, Netherlands
69. Short-toed Treecreeper = two at De Krang, Netherlands
70. Eurasian Wren – widespread
71. Common Starling – widespread
72. Mistle Thrush – two at Auxi le Chateau, France
73. Song Thrush – widespread
74. Redwing – recorded at Auxi le Chateau, France & on two visits to De Krang, Netherlands
75. Eurasian Blackbird – widespread
76. Fieldfare – twenty at De Krang, Netherlands
77. European Robin – widespread
78. Bluethroat – singing male White-spotted at De Groene Jonker, Netherlands – the race that is often our earlier vagrant in Britain
79. European Stonechat – a maximum of two on two visits to De Krang, Netherlands
80. Dunnock – widespread
81. House Sparrow – four at De Krang, Netherlands
82. White Wagtail – five at De Krang & single at De Groene Jonker, Netherlands
83. Common Chaffinch – widespread
84. Eurasian Bullfinch – a single at Forêt d'Hesdin, France
85. Yellowhammer – three at De Krang, Netherlands
86. Common Reed Bunting – single at De Krang, Netherlands
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