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Marian's 2009 bird-list - Birds from Spain (1 Viewer)


a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
Hi, folks! :hi:

I had given up the idea of keeping a thread with my year list in 2009, as I knew I was going to do little birdwatching this year for different personal reasons. But as I seem to be unable to keep track of what I see during the year if I don't build up a thread, and I've done it quite well so far in my scarce outings, I've decided to start it now with the notes I've taken.

No particular aims this year, just to write down the list as I did last year adding some pictures taken during the birding days.

The first day of the year, I "fleed" from my duties for a while to have a walk in the outskirts of my city. And these are the first birds spotted this year:

1 January 2009: outskirts of Oviedo, Asturias, N Spain

1. Yellow-legged Gull (Larus cachinnans)
2. White Wagtail (Motacilla alba)
3. House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
4. Magpie (Pica pica)
5. Blackbird (Turdus merula)
6. Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
7. Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)
8. Jay (Garrulus glandarius)
9. Blue Tit (Parus caeruleus)
10. Great Tit (Parus major)
11. Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus)
12. Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)
13. Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo)
14. Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis)
15. Carrion Crow (Corvus corone)
16. Song Thrush (Turdus merula)
17. Redwing (Turdus illiacus)
18. Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus)
19. Cirl Bunting (Emberiza cirlus)
20. Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)
21. Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros)
22. Firecrest (Regulus ignicapillus)
23. Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes)

Only one picture taken during this gloomy day, this Song Thrush. And to make the thing complete, I lost my little tripod during this outing! :-C It didn't look like a good start for my birding year! ;)


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
My second day of birding was excellent, saw loads of stuff and took many pictures. I visited the town of Gijón, because of its varied habitat (the beach, the park, the canal with the river that ends in the beach…). It didn't disappoint me and provided me with many birds for my year list. These are the birds seen and snapped in the beach of Gijón:

2 January 2009: Beach of Gijón, Asturias, N Spain

24. Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)
25. Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)
26. Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)
27. Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
28. Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus)
29. Eurasian Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus)
30. Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) (Picture a, probably our more "common rarity")
31. Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) (Picture b, I like this one "stepping forwards", |=)|)
32. Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) (Picture c, first time I get close enough to a Kingfisher for nice pics, o:), more in my gallery)
33. Mediterranean Gull (Larus melanocephalus)
34. Purple Sandpiper (Calidris maritima)

As soon as I can I'll add the second part of this day.


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
After exploring the beach, a visit to the local park yielded:

2 January 2009: Isabel La Católica Park, Gijón, Asturias, N Spain

35. Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
36. Chiffchaff (Philloscopus collybita)
37. Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
38. Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra)
39. Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)
40. Pochard (Aythia ferina)
41. Tufted Duck (Aythia fuligula)
42. Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)

In the park the birds are usually more willing to collaborate and a selection of what I snapped is:

a) Coot
b) Lesser Black-backed Gull
c) Pochard
d) Great Cormorant (loved the way this one was posing with a hanging foot!)
e) Black-headed Gull in winter plumage

Next episode: what I found along the canal! ;)


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
And a walk by the canal yielded:

2 January 2009: Canal of River Piles, Gijón, Asturias, N Spain

43. Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) (Pic a)
44. Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
45. Spotless Starling (Sturnus unicolor)
46. Stonechat (Saxicola rubecula)
47. Siskin (Carduelis spinus) (Pic b, it was nice to get male and female in the same frame! o:))

And I spotted the lovely pair of Mallards of Pic c… I just couldn't resist taking a picture! |=)|


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
A little effort to make grow my year list before my Christmas holiday finished took me to this great place for a couple of hours. And ticked:

4 January 2009: Villaviciosa, Asturias, N Spain

48. Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
49. Common Teal (Anas crecca)
50. Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
51. Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)
52. Water Rail (Rallus aquaticus)
53. Redshank (Tringa totanus)
54. Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia)
55. Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
56. Water Pipit (Anthus spinoletta)
57. Dunnock (Prunella modularis)
58. Curlew (Numenius arquata)
59. Gadwall (Anas strepera)
60. Crag Martin (Ptyonoprogne rupestris)
61. Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)

Very dim light this day, good assortment of birds there but failed shamefully at taking nice pictures :)-C), only a few pics of this Teal were worth keeping:


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
As in the brief previous visit to Villaviciosa I missed some birds like Reed Bunting and Fan-tailed Warbler, this weekend I rushed there again. Still no Reed Bunting but added:

11 January 2009: Villaviciosa, Asturias, N Spain

62. Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris)
63. Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
64. Fan-tailed Warbler (Cisticola juncidis)
65. Raven (Corvus corax)
66. Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)

And photographed the Redwing of Picture a. In my way home, stopped in Gijón again just in case something new was around. No luck, but took pics of several birds in the late evening light: a Chiffchaff "on the rocks" :)eek!:), Turnstone, Purple Sandpiper and Oystercatcher. As a whole, not so bad for an improvised outing! ;)


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
At last a bit of "exotic birding"!!! :bounce: This weekend had to go to Madrid for familiar reasons. I managed to visit El Pardo (one of my favourite places around Madrid) on Saturday morning. Loads of birds there, and many to add to the year list! o:)

17 January 2009: El Pardo, Madrid outskirts, C Spain

67. Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus)
68. Cinerous Vulture (Aegypius monachus)
69. Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nissus)
70. Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)
71. Eurasian Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus)
72. Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus)
73. Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis)
74. Spanish Imperial Eagle(Aquila adalberti)
75. Jackdaw (Corvus monedula)
76. Crested Tit (Parus cristatus)
77. Short-toed Treecreeper (Certhia brachydactyla)
78. Goldcrest (Regulus regulus)
79. Corn Bunting (Millaria calandra)

And here you have three typical birds found in El Pardo:

a) A Magpie (with a "trophy")
b) Griffon Vulture
c) Corn Bunting


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
On Sunday of this weekend in Madrid, I went to the other spot I like the best around Madrid, Rivas Vaciamadrid. It was a beautiful sunny day, birds were everywhere and my year list grew a bit more:

18 January 2009: Rivas Vaciamadrid, Madrid outskirts, C Spain

80. White Stork (Ciconia ciconia)
81. Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
82. Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius)
83. Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala)
84. Green Sanspiper (Tringa ochropus)
85. Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)
86. Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
87. Penduline Tit (Remiz pendulinus)

And here they go a few pics of birds from Rivas: Collared Dove, Sardinian Warbler, House Sparrow and White Stork in flight.


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
After almost 3 weeks with no birding at all and with serious withdrawal symptoms, I paid a quick visit to a little local park just to try to take some pictures as a tonic. There I photographed the White Wagtail and the Meadow Pipit of the first two pics.

And then I came across a friend of mine who told me a pair of Hawfinches was visiting her garden along with many Bullfinches and other goodies. She invited me to her home the following day to have a try at getting a picture of the Hawfinches and of course I said yes! o:) Sadly it was very dark and raining, so taking pictures was almost impossible with my gear, but got some ticks for my year list and a picture of the Bullfinches.

8 February 2009: Oviedo, Asturias, N Spain

88. Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)
89. Coal Tit (Parus ater)
90. Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes)


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
First of all, thanks a load for rating this thread!!! o:) I'll do my best to keep it worth of it!!!

Going through my notes and pictures I've realized that for several days I didn't see new birds but photographed a good bunch of the birds of my area. So, I've decided to add this post with some selected pics just to show you some of the common birds found around my city in winter time. Here you have: a) a Blue Tit, b) a Black Redstart (just love these guys, o:)), c) a Grey Wagtail, d) an absent-minded looking Goldfinch and d) the cute Long-tailed Tit.

New additions to my year list very soon! :t:


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
This Sunday I paid the first visit of the year to this beautiful spot, one of my favourites for photography. My aim was not finding anything new for the year list, as I had already seen most of the winter birds found there but had a lovely surprise:

15 February 2009: Gijón Botanical Gardens, Asturias, N Spain

91. Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis)

I didn't expect to see it, let alone to take a few pics of him… turned out to be a bit shy though! |=)| It's the Iberian subspecies sharpei (pale face, instead of black). Photographed too a bold Robin and a lady-Blackbird too busy looking for worms to pay me attention! An enjoyable morning of snapping! o:)


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
Another weekend and made no serious plans of birding because of the unfriendly weather forecast. Just improvised an outing to Villaviciosa thinking of taking pictures of the Fan-tailed Warbler and fortunately found a few more birds for the year list (including at last the Reed Bunting), along with my target little bird (pic a).

21 February 2009: Villaviciosa, Asturias, N Spain

92. Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)
93. Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)
94. Greylag Goose (Anser anser)

And, as usual, I went back home visiting Gijón. No new birds there but found a collaborating Common Starling (pic b) and several Mediterranean Gull in almost full breeding plumage, wow, how beautiful they are like that!!! o:) (pic c)

And on Sunday, a short walk in the late morning in the outskirts of Oviedo provided me with a very welcome Cetti's Warbler that even allowed me a relatively clear shot of it! (pic d)

22 February 2009: Las Caldas, Asturias, N Spain

95. Cetti’s Warbler (Cettia cetti)


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
Another family visit to Madrid. No time for real birding in this occasion but managed another visit to El Pardo, expecting to find some of the early migrants I was dying to reencounter. It wasn't wasted time at all, not bad variety of birds around and could take some pictures in spite of the bad light.

28 February 2009: El Pardo, outskirts of Madrid, C Spain

96. Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
97. Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus) (Pic a, of a very "pot-bellied" looking one)
98. Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) (Pic b, lucky me, to have it at my eye level… this hardly ever happens to me)
99. Crested Lark (Galerida cristata)
100. Hoopoe (Upupa epops)
101. House Martin (Delichon urbica)
102. Red-rumped Swallow (Hirundo daurica)

And the third pic is a pair of Cirl Buntings. They were a bit too far away for my camera but it was great to catch the pair in the same frame, so decided to add it to this thread.

Here I realized that with few and (in general) short outings I had managed to find more that 100 birds so far… and the best was still to come! o:)


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
As the weather forecast was reasonable for this new weekend and I was desperate for a proper birding outing (besides, two weeks with no birding at all is inhuman, :eek!:), I took free of duties this weekend and on Saturday I visited this wonderful place for Raptors and Larks. It didn't disappoint me and saw around 60 different species, many of them new for the year list:

14 March 2009: Hoces del Río Duratón, Segovia Province, C Spain

103. Red-legged Partidge (Alectoris rufa)
104. Southern Grey Shrike (Lanius meridionalis)
105. Thekla Lark (Galerida theklae)
106. Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)
107. Skylark (Alauda arvensis)
108. Calandra Lark (Melanocorypha calandra)
109. Linnet (Acanthis cannabina)
110. Dartford Warbler (Sylvia undata)
111. Red-billed Chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax)
112. Black Kite (Milvus migrans)
113. Egyptian Vulture (Aegypius monachus)
114. Woodlark (Lullula arborea)
115. Red Kite (Milvus milvus)
116. Little Owl (Athene noctua)
117. Rock Bunting (Emberiza cia)
118. Short-toed Eagle (Circaetus gallicus)

The snapping was a bit chaotic but I'm happy with the birds I got. Here is a selection of species found in the area:

a) Thekla's Lark, the nicest and closest I've ever had!!! o:)
b) Red-billed Chough with nesting material in its bill.
c) Calandra Lark, a bit far away but I like the composition it provided me with.
d) Crested Lark.
e) Little Owl… or better to say, two of them! ;) They were so well camouflaged! :eek!: I don't know how I could spot them!


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
And on Sunday (very cool and windy one) I visited this remarkable reedy place, well known for its breeding Bearded Tits and its bird population during migration. I had never been there before, and was very interesting even if was too soon to see it at its best. Missed the Bearded Tit :)-C) but saw other super stuff:

15 March 2009: Laguna de la Nava, Palencia Province, N Spain

119. Marsh Harrier (Circus aeroginosus)
120. Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
121. Wigeon (Anas penelope)
122. Great Egret (Casmerodius albus)
123. Great Bustard (Otis tarda)
124. Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)

Only stayed there for the morning, had to go back home by couch in the afternoon. And from the couch window spotted a Rook flying by our side for a few seconds! o:)

15 March 2009: near Leon, N Spain

125. Rook (Corvus frugileus)

All the pictures here are from Laguna de la Nava, and give a taste (along with the new year-list birds) of what can be see in the area:

a) A Marsh Harrier surveying the area (chose this view, so you can see what the habitat around looks like, |=)|)
b) A very ruffled Tree Sparrow in the nasty windy.
c) Red Kite, plenty of them around at this time of the year (European wintering birds mainly, I think)
d) A Shoveler drake and his "camera shy" best half :)-O)
e) A Penduline Tit, kind enough to let me take this single shot and come back home with a souvenir of it! o:)


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
Migration season arriving and little chances for going out birding due to unavoidable duties… so decided to "sort out my priorities again" (o:D) and visited Gijón hoping to find something new for the year list. Still a bit soon for migrants, it seemed, almost no waders around (for example) but caught up with some goodies:

21 March 2009: Gijón, Asturias, N Spain

126. Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula)
127. Sandwitch Tern (Sterna sandvicensis)
128. Sand Martin (Riparia riparia)

It wasn't my intention to post this pic (c) of Sand Martin but finally decided to add it because for once I photographed all the new year-list birds of the day. |=)|


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
For the umpteenth time during this winter I had only little time available for birding so visited again Gijón, because it's easy to reach for me and the surprise factor there usually is high. An early morning Sunday visit around the University Campus was relatively successful, as I found and photographed:

22 March 2009: Gijón University Campus, Asturias, N Spain

129. Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus)
130. Serin (Serinus serinus)

And the following weekend, just before my Easter Holidays started, went to the Gijón Botanical Gardens where I photographed the Jay and singing Wren attached and picked up another goodie for the list:

5 April 2009: Gijón Botanical Gardens, Asturias, N Spain

131. Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri)


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
Easter holidays at last!!! :loveme: And to be spent with the family in Madrid.

But the happiness couldn't be complete and the weather forecast was dreadful for the whole Easter time! :-C So, a strategy was necessary to make the best of those days: to go out as a little ray of sunshine appeared and go back home with the family when it started to rain… it worked quite well: saw a bunch of birds and my reputation as a formal and reliable girl remained more or less untouched in my family circle (o:D).

So, this is what an early Spring visit to El Pardo yielded for the list:

9 April 2009: El Pardo, outskirts of Madrid, C Spain

132. Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator)
133. Spanish Sparrow (Passer hispaniolensis)
134. Subalpine Warbler (Sylvia cantillans)
135. European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster)
136. Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos)

And to end up nicely this day:
a) I had a wonderful photographic session with a bunch of cooperative Barn Swallows.
b) A singing Nightingale let me take a couple of shots… but in backlight :)-C).
c) I found a Short-toed Treecreeper too busy preparing its comfy nest to pay me any attention. It was carrying feathers to its nest (not in this pic selected though).
d) Plenty of Woodchat Shrikes to snap… not very obliging nor in the best light but I don't want to complain.
e) Managed to get close to a group of Monk Parakeets, providing me with another lovely photographic session.


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
After a couple of days raining, a sunny morning arrived and rushed to Rivas Vaciamadrid (the other place around Madrid I love) in the search of more goodies. This is what I got:

12 April 2009: Rivas Vaciamadrid, Madrid outskirts, C Spain

137. Common Swift (Apus apus)
138. Rock Sparrow (Petronia petronia)
139. Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
140. Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
141. Great Spotted Cuckoo (Clamator glandarius)
142. Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea)

Sadly most of the stuff was too far away, so this time I'm only posting three pics to illustrate the birds of Rivas: Wood Pigeon, Spotless Starling and Purple Heron (chuffed this one was relatively close, first time I have the chance to snap one perched and in the open, o:))


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
Here starts the best part of my year, I think.

In desperation for a bit of adventure, for the month of May I planned several interesting trips, and the first one was to the Canary Islands with my birding team. We visited Fuerteventura just for a long weekend, our duties didn't allow us to stay longer.

Right in the Airport and while sorting out the renting of a car, we spotted the first lifer of the trip in the company of several Yellow Wagtails:

Fuerteventura 01/05/2009

1 May 2009: Fuerteventura Airport, Canary Islands, Spain

143. Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava)
144. Berthelot's Pipit (Anthus bertheloti) :cool:

We arrived to the Island in the late afternoon, so we really didn't have time for much birding but after finding the hotel in Caleta de Fustes (which was quite chaotic) had a look at the sea and found by the shore:

1 May 2009: Caleta de Fustes, E Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain

145. Cory's Shearwater (Calonectis diomedea)
146. Pallid Swift (Apus pallidus)

The Following day, the aim was to find Houbara Bustard and Cream-coloured Cursor in the area of Tindaya, and Barbary Partridge and the endemic Fuerteventura Chat if possible. The reddish hues of this desertic area in Spring were amazing, the pictures don't make justice to reality! Along with jaw-dropping with the scenery, we did it again spotting quite soon our two first target birds and other goodies! Wow! :eek!:

2 May 2009: Area of Tindaya, NW Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain

147. Lesser Short-toed Lark (Calandrella rufescens)
148. Stonecurlew (Burhinus oedicnemus)
149. Houbara Bustard (Chalmydotis undulada) :cool:
150. Cream-coloured Courser (Cursorius cursor) :cool:

The desert birds are really hard to see, so mimetic! First pic is the Houbara Bustand and second a Stonecurlew by the road… that was close! o:) Just for fun, I'm adding the dreadful souvenir I got of the Courser… just follow the arrow to find it in the third pic! :-O (I promise not to post this kind of rubbish again, ;)) And the last pic is the endemic subspecies of Common Kestrel dacotiae.

As I have too many pics of our findings for a single post, I'll continue with the report of this day in the following one.


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