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

Mallorca 2023 (3 Viewers)

Hi David,

We discussed a book on waders yesterday, was this the one?

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Thoroughly to be recommended to all - a very thorough photographic guide with images of birds at all ages and in a range of plumages. Unfortunately it seems to be out of print now, only available second hand on Amazon for well north of 50€.

David
That’s the one David, the photographs are stunning. Good to be able to compare plumages throughout the year. At home we only get some of the waders in winter and don’t get to see breeding colours.
 
I went to Sa Barrala this afternoon but it was very quiet as others have also commented on.
The fields only held Meadow pipits and Skylarks.
I was expecting many raptors to be present but I only saw one Kestrel and one Red kite.
I then went to the polo pitch which was a different story. It was covered in birds but as I approached, four Red kites and one black kite decided to take up residence in the middle of the field, thus scattering all the small birds to the far edges and further out of view.
There was one pipit which was plumper and bigger than the others. It had a longer bill and a bold supercillium but as it was so distant, it will have to remain a mystery.
I then went to the Es Trenc road and saw a flock of about 50 Golden plover flying over, always a treat.
The pans were mostly devoid of bird life, save for the large group of Avocet and resident Shelduck.
Waders were nearly all absent as were the gulls.
All in all, a disappointing day, but it was 20 degrees of sunshine with a few puffy white clouds and sharp light, so it was a pleasure just to be out walking and free.
Mike
 
Derbans day trip to Maria Part 2.
After our exploits on the beautiful central plains Mike S and I spent the rest of the day visiting numerous sites in the north seeing very little. First to Son Real where we spent an hour in a the hide hoping for Hawfinch but to no avail. We did see around 15 common passerines including a group of 12 greenfinch, several goldfinch, crossbill, a pair of blackcaps and then 2 hoopoe. We moved on to Son Baulo for cafe con leche at El Puput cafe then a walk along the sea front where turnstones, audouins gulls and sandwich terns were noted. Still hopeful of spoonbill we moved on to Albufera where we missed out once again! We did see a very small, dark, fast flying raptor low over the water in front of Cibollar 1 hide which we were decided was a merlin. The afternoon was disappearing now and we made a final stop at the screen at Albufereta. The wind had picked up and the light was beginning to fail so we made the smart move to head first to Aries then to Rosa Blanca bars. Im told we saw 53 species in total but that didn’t really matter. Today wasn’t just about birding, more about being around local people in the sports cafe at Maria and then for us to venture out for the day for almost 8 hours of walking and birding in 22° of glorious sunshine. Yet again another lovely day.
I take It you had an enjoyable night also,thanks to the Magpies. :)
 
A Sunday Morning stroll around Can Currassa road, followed by an excellent Pa amb Ol at Daveys Bar and to finish off a visit to Maristany.
Started well with Black Vulture and Crossbills over the appartment, followed by Booted Eagle, Marsh Harrier, Hoopoe, Great White Egret, Common Starlings and Spotless Starlings.
At Maristany nice views of Pintail and Glossy Ibis. A Kingfisher also made an appearance.
Some 45 species seen or heard
Golden Plovers still at S’Albuferata.
What a way to spend a Sunday Morning!
 

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Well done Mike, I haven’t seen Pintail yet so I will have to go to Maristany.
I also need Little bittern.
I was doing very badly in the Bigyear but I’ve had a good couple of weeks so I’m in with a shout to reach the magic 200.
I have been away a lot so I can’t complain.
Spoonbill and Whimbrel would also be nice.
Mike
 
I have just been to my local lighthouse for a seawatch.
The last two visits have drawn a blank so I was not too hopeful, I even took a clicker with me which was a tad optimistic.
As soon as I got there, I saw a dolphin breaching. It was a lovely sight.
I know nothing about their status here, whether they are wholly resident or if they migrate at all.
I will look into it but I’m sure someone knows.
Much to my relief, a Balearic shearwater came into view going at a cracking pace. It was really belting along, flat out. Strangely, it looked smaller than normal, confirmed by one of the same species following on behind.
I saw one more, a few gulls, 3 shag and a very distant northern gannet.
Then came one of those wretched birds that keep me awake at night.
It looked like a diver, long, outstretched neck, long bill, white below but a mottled brown above. I have no idea what it was but I guess if you spend as much time seawatching as I do, unfamiliar species will occur.
Geordie David was recounting his visits to the Northumberland coast with some crack sea watchers. He says they call out each species from tiny black dots on the horizon, then confirmed by others. I don’t know how they do it but I sure could have done with one of those lads with me tonight.
Mike
 
On Saturday at the Son Bosc Depuradora (Albufera), I saw a dark duck that didn't look like a tufted pochard to me, and that at first I thought was like a Greater scaup, although some things didn't fit with it (all my pictures were so far away and almost sunset, so bad to identify a group so much dificult as the Aythyas are.

Today Maties has been able to see and photograph it closer again at the Depuradora and in principle it is not a Greater scaup or Tufted pochard, but a Lesser scaup (Aythya affinis)!!!

If it is 100% confirmed by the best experts (still there are some small doubts to rule out a hybrid), it is a First of Balearics Islands, a new specie for the islands, so a Mega Rarity!

I am so happy with it.
 

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A local day for local people today!! Mike S, Peter and I spent the day in the Port de Pollenca area in 18-20° of wonderful late Autumn sunshine with the occasional cool breeze. I’m heading back to Newcastle on Thursday and this was a timely reminder of why I have grown to love this island so much. We began at the mirador at Albercutx hoping alpine accentor, which have been missing for the last 2 years and so it proved again today. We walked a short way from the mirador up the currently closed Albercutx track and very quickly found the first of the 5-6 Balearic warbler we saw on the day and 2 blue rock thrush. Next stop was the Boquer Valley approach where another blue rock thrush and a booted eagle where the highlights. After a coffee at Eroski at the aeroplane roundabout we had a short walk around La Gola and were treated to several views of a stunning kingfisher feeding on the stream. Off again for a trip to Cala San Vicenc, firstly for half an hour in the woods and then to the lower half of the Fishermens Walk. We had firecrest and crossbill in the woods and black vulture, kestrel and booted eagle on the Fishermens Walk. Our targets were Balearic warbler and Dartford warbler. We had 3-4 of the former and despite our best efforts none of the latter. We weren’t finished yet and headed to the low platform behind Port Blue Hotel and then on to Albufereta, firstly to the screen and then to the main reserve and hides. Great white egret, 30-40 flamingo, marsh harrier, Cetti’s and fan tailed warbler were noted as well as 40+ cormorant beginning to form a roost in nearby trees. I was reliably informed we had seen 49 species in the day. With the light beginning to fade it was time to call a halt to a thoroughly enjoyable day and also time for some of us to head off for a beer. Many thanks to Mike S and Peter.
 

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One of the most fun aspects of bird watching is finding new places to visit.
Thanks to the birders that reported the Ring Ouzel at Randa.
I have never visited the town and I was overwhelmed by the wonderful scenery.
Yes I found 5 or more Ring Ouzels but difficult to photograph. Other birds seen included Song Thrushes, Ravens, Greenfinches, Goldfinches, Black Redstarts, etc were seen.
Great weather and a great Island
 

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Mike Swiss and I met up this morning at Cap de Ses Salines, one of my most regular birding spots to visit.
Mike was as ebullient as ever and we had some great conversations about birding around the world, whilst the ladies went off for a long walk.
We saw 5 northern gannet and Mike picked out a lone Balearic shearwater.
A medium sized wader flew up and I was able to put Mike onto it. He correctly identified it as a a Whimbrel, a nice bird to see. Some of this species spend the winter around the coasts of Mallorca but there are never very many.
We began seeing Monarch butterflies moving through and we amassed a total of 8 examples although I’m sure there were more.
It was quiet as expected and the hoped-for Common cranes failed to put in an appearance.
The Cap is a good place to see small groups flying around.
A few common birds kept us entertained but the conversation and laughter flowed so it didn’t matter so much.
We moved up to passage 5 for possible Rock sparrow but it was quite late in the day for this early riser.
Just a couple of Red kite and a Booted eagle.
We repaired to our apartment for Mrs Montier’s famous lasagne so we were able to continue our bird-talk for a while longer.
It was a lot of fun Mike and Susan, thank you for your excellent company.
Mike
 
Winter is back! When I left the house at just before 8 this morning, the thermometer registered 2°C; when I started the windscreen wipers to clear the condensation from the car windscreen, it immediately turned to ice. By the time I parked in from og Font Santa hotel, the car's thermometer showed 1°C and there was a light dusting of frost here and there. The views over the marshes were breathtaking – clear sight all the way to the Tramuntana. The first pools were very quiet, later, there were large flocks of little stint, dunlin and kentish plover. Common sandpiper were also in evidence, as were white wagtail, grey plover, cormorant and, for me a highlight, lapwing, always a pleasure to see. But then things became dramatic – an osprey passed immediately overhead and continued to circle for at least five minutes. I felt I was being sized up for breakfast. Then further on, at the last pool, there were two ospreys, engaged in what looked like a mock fight but also folding their wings, diving and then skimming just above the water. What a sight!

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Mrs B and I arrived this morning for a long weekend with Mike and Mrs M. I persuaded Mike to take me to Randa this afternoon in search of Ring Ouzels, a potential new bird for my Mallorca list. He was most obliging!

In the event it was blowing a hoolie at the football pitch, so the Ouzels were in the olives down by the irrigation pool, and flying down to the slopes below the road. With a bit of effort we got some good views, but all too brief as they perched briefly before diving into the undergrowth. We confidently estimate at least seven birds - although photo opportunities were not great!

There were Black Redstarts everywhere - a nice distraction!

Stew
 

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After leaving Mike yesterday evening , we stayed in Ses Salinas..a wonderful town with great character.
Today we visited the Polo fields, the Salt pan areas and famous " Eddie's Track".
The weather was changing but despite the dark clouds, no rain today!
Birding was quiet as expected this time of the year.
Highlights included nice Black Kite, 30 Lapwings, Song thrushes and 3 Golden Plovers at the Polo fields as well as many Thekla and Sky larks, Meadow pipits and White wagtails. No sign of Redwings nor Fieldfares.
Quiet also at the Salt Pans, only Dunlins, several Cattle Egrets and 2 Curlews of note present.
Eddie's track was much more productive. 3 Ospreys, 4 Marsh harriers, 30 Dunlins, 3 Red Kites, Several Kestrels, Grey Plovers, Little Stint and many Kentish Plovers were seen. I noted Derbans report above.
No sign of Bluethroats.
Back to the North.
 

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By the way, I also spotted a pipit this morning. I was a bit unsure so checked with Merlin photoID and it suggested rock pipit, red throated pipit, water pipit... Merlin had also "heard" water pipit when I was there so I was keen on that. Sadly, I don't believe any of these suggestions, I think this is probably not a year tick! Meadow pipit I reckon, but the other species in non-breeding and juvenile versions..., well you have to be a lot better than me to tell them apart. :)

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By the way, I also spotted a pipit this morning. I was a bit unsure so checked with Merlin photoID and it suggested rock pipit, red throated pipit, water pipit... Merlin had also "heard" water pipit when I was there so I was keen on that. Sadly, I don't believe any of these suggestions, I think this is probably not a year tick! Meadow pipit I reckon, but the other species in non-breeding and juvenile versions..., well you have to be a lot better than me to tell them apart. :)

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Pale legs rule out Rock & Water, I would agree with Mipit.

Chris
 
Some superb photos there derban.
What a treat with the Osprey display.
More thrushes seem to be appearing and a Brambling has been seen by Biel.
I’m off up north with Stew so I hope to report something good later.
Ever hopeful,
Mike
 

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