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

Another Great Day in the Pyrenees - 2023 (1 Viewer)


Something inspired me to kickstart this years thread - what could it have been?

OK short trip to Gavarnie and because of the rubbish weather didn't get out of the car! Highlights Rock Thrush pair, Red Backed shrike wishing he was in Africa, 2 Snowfinch - didn't get a photo because it was snowing and they flew off and a Wallcreeper with the picture taken through the sun roof. Sadly it didn't want to come any closer... Shame I didn't have a bird watching group with me!

As for the Eagle Owl - had various views this year including the couple together in February. It was 25 degrees in February and now is 6 overnight and snowing in the mountains! Anyway the attached photo was taken, again from the car, but just with the mobile phone as I didn't have my camera!

Down the mountain the usual fair of Black Shouldered Kites, Turtle Doves, Golden Oriole and some woodpeckers middle lesser great black. That said I did have calling Middle in the village very close to a previous nesting site without any further views. Biggest news was a Sociable Plover few a few days in spring - I dipped but did see a nice Short Eared Owl!

2 out of 4 Lammy couples seem to be going term. Not a big year for Tengmalms but one calling locally without finding the nest Again!


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Lack of birding is hurting but have managed a couple of sessions

Went out with Jacob and we failed miserably for all our targets however, Egyptian Vulture and the Lammy helped with spirits!

Then a tour down the mountain round a friends village after a rare sighting of a Peregrine 'on plain'. Clocked 4 male Red Backed Shrikes in very close proximity 2 females and 6 chicks flying around begging for food, a cracking Black Shouldered Kite and a calling Golden Oriole.

Closer to home and a couple of trips for the Eagle Owl. No sign of chicks but a fair bit of calling!

Over the Soulor migration has started - haven't made it that far but there was 7000 Black Kite yesterday and a Eleonoras Falcon - in addition to the usual fair!!!!!!!!!

PS Clearly the middle photo is indecypherable but my daughter was super excited that she could get a picture on her phone of the bird and also a little recording!


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13,150 Black Kite over the Soulor on Monday - I was working! Plus both Storks...

Some Lesser Kestrels at Bagneres so I'm off to Argeles to see if ours have come back. Wish me luck
So finally got to Argeles after laundrette, shopping, more shopping and some work.

The pylon was empty! Oh well a short walk around to find the Red Backed Shrikes, surprisingly no Sand Martins and very little else along the river bank. The highlight was a Hoopoe as it skulked away into a tree and then over a grange. All the adult bird species were busily feeding their young so I wondered if the Hoopoe might be a breeder too - would be nice to find some young around here!

Back to the car and one Kestrel on the pylon. I couldn't quite seem to get a photo that wasn't silhoueted but the bird wouldn't settle. I took some snaps in the hope they would help on a bigger screen. Sure enough white claws - Lesser.


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My thanks to Charles and daughter Izzy for their hospitality today when they took us around the fields of Argeles and then to the raptor watch point at Col de Soulor. At the Soulor a group monitors and counts the raptors migrating through the pass every autumn and he mentions 13000+ Black Kites in an earler post. I failed to see a Black Vulture that Charles picked out as a distant speck, but perhaps I wasn't looking through the wrong end of a telescope... ;o)

Some great days and a dudd.

Bit of prep for this week and a trip to Gavernie - let's forget the day to Gavarnie as it rained and I saw one bird - a Chaffinch,,, hmmmm

Friday - Soulor - few bits and pieces but highlight a Black Vulture - ala Davids photo above

Next trip to Gavarnie and more rain, however, before the rain came down managed a few little migrants and 2 Rock Thrush. Bird of the day though was a Goshawk at roof height, ok 4 storey hotel, best I've seen for a number of years...

Last prep down the mountain - Slow and few birds, difficult to understand but finally a couple of Black Shouldered Kites, onto military camp and target number one Roller but in fairness little else, Hobby and Marsh Harrier, so on to the lake. Usual suspects but the water level was very good. I spotted 3 Glossy Ibis, tick for the area, then a stunning Caspian Tern. On the same little lake two smaller terns - Whiskered - and then an Osprey - great to see simultaneous splashes as the Caspian and Osprey fished together!
Few Honeys dotted about culminating in a flock of 100+


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Bird day

Started 8.45
Quiet, quiet and more quiet - very little in the way of dawn chorus although scraped a family of Rock Bunting, calling Cirl, Firecrest, ST Treecreeper and a few bits but nothing in the air1
Coffee stop and finally a break as a Booted Eagle came into view.
Up the mountain and some Whinchat and a Red Backed Shrike were engouraging. Some raptors in the air though - Griffons with two Golden Eagles and finally a Monties Harrier overhead. TO the watchpoint and fears realised as they might as well have been playing cards - more slow.
Perseverance produced some Honeys, Black Kite a distant Hobby and then an Osprey. When we decided to leave things picked up with some closer specimens - 6 birds, 6 species in the viewfinder - Osprey, Black Kite, ST Eagle, Griffon, Honey and Booted Eagle - cool
Back down the mountain and bagged Lammy - our 16th raptor of the day.



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Fair to say birdwatching in these temperatures not easy but a great day out in Gavarnie today!

11 Alpine Swifts and a Golden Eagle announced our arrival to the village. Good start then a few migrants around the hotel Vignemale - the best viewpoint in the village. Male Redstart and some flycatchers - both seen.

2 distant Lammys amonst some Griffons although as usual they went their separate ways. A Goldcrest and a cracking Honey Buzzard. Struggledd to find Citril Finch though - the main target along with Crested Tit. Overhead two raptors - one I'm positive was a Golden but I was intersted in the 'smaller' raptor with a few flaps and a positive flight - Goshawk! Another trip target. Another 2 Lammys over the Spanish border and a Short Toead Eagle reasonably close.

The walk back less eventful with a high Black Kite.

Up the mountain some Marmottes and a lone Rock Thrush. A nice flock of Alpine Chough, 3 figures, being corraled by a Marsh Harrier male.

Still no Finches though.

Great day - birds conspicuous by their lack of numbers though.


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