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Another Great Day in the Pyrenees - 2020 (1 Viewer)


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Here we have seen them several times around Lanners. Obviously in wintering sites as we don't seen them in summer. Also Black Redstarts. Brave creatures!


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There is a red blob. A clue is that the picture is framed for a reason - two nests (?) one top one bottom...

Great news is that the Wallcreeper has returned to the 2018 nest site at Gloriettes. I went for some prospecting and although didn't make the full hike I did manage to see a bird in the bins (two in two days) - again not much shout about because it was a bit of a distant blob - read speck. The parcs guy did the hike today.

I took the lazy option of car birdwatching down the mountain. Bonellis Warbler and then three white storks above argeles. Non- breeders maybe. Sadly no Sardinian Warblers where I was prospecting...


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So the list of new singers continues
Serin came and sang from a tree in the garden (garden is 6mx4m) and this morning was welcomed by a melodious Warbler by the back shed and a short toed treecreeper opposite the front door!

After the school run dashed to Gavarnie but in an hour only got the briefest glimpse of the Wallcreeper. The Lammergeier was waiting for me as was a Rock Bunting, the two choughs and other bits and pieces....


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So headed to Gavarnie again. Another territory has been found seen twice two days apart - an adult male anyway so I walked up the valley to try and locate. Sadly, no sign and great it started to rain! I was wearing shorts and no waterproof - then thunder and lightening - brilliant. No such thing as bad weather just bad choice of equipment - or complete lack of it!

Anyway I made it back to the car pretty wet.

The rain had stopped by the time I got back to almost the village I stopped to check above the lammergeier nest and quickly got onto a Wallcreeper. It's not really how you want to see a Wallcreeper, I mean a little distant for bins, but he danced around, had a couple of goes at a Chough which is nesting about 5 metres away from him. After a couple of minutes of relocating he dived into the same hole pictured above. This has to be the nest...

The young Lammergeier, sat below, was beating his/her wings. Great.

Still no sign of the Eagle Owl on way home or should I say no sign since April. I was hoping to be seeing the chicks by now. Maybe I just need to extend the search a little. Is there another nook or cranny in the vicinity? Bearing in mind that in previous years we have regularly seen the adults and chicks during the day and even, thanks Alan, seen the adult bringing food c.6pm.
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So a bit of wild camping to wake up under the wallcreeper.

The Lammy was present most of the time and one distant wallcreeper in the morning. Went to the village for an ice cream and clocked the alpine Swift’s...


Three grass snakes and 2 green lizards which were incredibly colorful!


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Home Rule for Yorkshire
The birds are a bit boring ;) , but the reptiles sound great. Still feeling envious as it's quiet here; we're all walking around looking like yetis...

The ferries are running again and we've booked for Aug/Sep and fingers are very firmly crossed, hope to see you then.


Mike Kilburn
Hong Kong

That isn't the biggest news of the day. I had a bet with the parc guy about where we would find the Wallcreeper nest - expressing great confidence in our abilites. I have been saying for years that they have to be at the entrance of the valley whereas he was saying the top. So I got a text saying I had won the bet! Even more incredible was that the bird was sneaking into the Lammergeier nest and stealing wool to furnish his own nest a little bit higher on the cliff...

One of Europe's best birds cheekily robbing the nest of another many times its size - How cool would that be to watch!

Great stuff!


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I was thinking about the nest situation and asking myself whether there was any correlation between the two. Essentially, the Wallcreeper has a ready supply of food as the number of insects kicking around a Lammergeier nest must be fairly high. There would be spiders in the nesting material and flies around the bones.

Maybe its a luck thing or a profiting by circumstance thing rather than a regular or provable link. For example the nest near the Soulor has a handful of Griffon nests and one Egyptian nearby.

I suspected that the Wallcreeper has been nesting in this area but on the cliff face opposite - more nooks and crannies and more shaded compared to this one being south facing (an English birder thought he had found the nest within about 50m of here in 1993'ish - looks like 'Tim' was correct). Gloriettes and Soulor are both NE facing. They're not easy things to find though and we would be oblivious without the chance sighting of the parcs guy.

Anyway, food for thought.


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can't believe haven't posted in soooo long.

Put up my woodchat elswhere and been seeing bits and pieces - a Roller yesterday. Then a massive migration day. Finally got to the Soulor and it was fairly slow - 309 passed behind the col then I shouted up a small 'pompe' of Kites then some more and more and OMG they kept coming although a little far away - I got given a small sector to count - first lot 440 butall round I could hear clicking of the counters. There was a short pause as the next wave loomed - none of us including the pros had seen anything like it - the counter on my left 1904, two to the right 2200 and middle 2190 and all in 40 minutes - the amazing thing is the horizon from left to centre was full of kites arriving...

Worse news was I had to leave! KIDS and commitments.

The slight downer was some cloud was appearing and maybe a storm. There were storms pn the way home. I can't wait to see the daily count but in 8 years of visiting here during the right period I was overwhelmed for 40 minutes of madness. A handful of Honey's thrown in, a Lammy passing between, Egyptian and some Booties - including a close up intermediate...


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So just seen the stats - 9000 black kites to day but they finished at 14h00 - 15 minutes after I left! I can't help feeling all records would have been broken had the weather held - at the same time Organbi, three cols to the west, had nothing because they were shrouded in clouds for most of the day!

So the biggest chunk of those birds occurred between 12h30 and 14h00. Truly amazing - ok you se figures for Bantumi and Gib but this was incredible.

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