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


a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
Continuing with this exacting Saturday, we went to one of the best places in the Island for the endemic Fuerteventura Chat, el Barranco de la Torre. We reached there in the late afternoon, so the activity was quite low. Still, we saw quite a lot of the common birds previously seen plus a few new for my year-list… and another lifer!!! o:)

2 May 2009: Barranco de la Torre, E Fuerteventura, Canary Islands

151. Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea)
152. Spectacled Warbler (Sylvia conspicillata)
153. Trumpeter Finch (Bucanetes githagineus) :cool:
154. Sanderling (Calidris alba)

Chuffed with the Shelduck, only my second one in my life (the pic is a digiscoping attempt, just to immortalize it). Very happy too with finding the Trumpeter Finch after several attempts in S Spain, and with pics of it. The place was full of Spectacled Warblers (pic c), specially juvies, so it was a nice chance to get an image of one…

We had a frustrating glimpse of a possible Fuerteventura Chat, and possible Plain Swifts too but as we were not sure we didn't count them. But decided to go back next morning to try again. You will see what happened very soon! ;)


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
Next morning we paid another visit to Barranco de la Torre, this time in the early morning to look for the Fuerteventura Chat… and we succeeded!!! :loveme: And the other doubtful lifer we spotted the day before, appeared again giving great views too!!!

3 May 2009: Barranco de la Torre, NE Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain

155. Fuerteventura Chat (Saxicola dacotiae) :cool: (pic a)
156. Plain Swift (Apus unicolor) :cool:

The Fuerteventura Chat image is another digiscoped record shot.

The rest of the day before taking the plane back home we just drove around trying to find Barbary Partridge, but we didn't. :-C Still, we didn't complain because in the area of Embalse de Los Molinos (W part of the Island) we still had a great view of another lifer, the Barbary Falcon. In this same place we found the Little Ringed Plover for my list, and photographed the Southern Grey Shrike and the Spanish Sparrow of second and third pics. And in the last moment before going to the airport, still found a Squacco Heron in the beach of Caleta de Fustes and had the best photographic session with the Berthelot's Pipits of the weekend (pic d).

3 May 2009: way from W to E of Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain

157. Barbary Falcon (Falco peregrinoides) :cool:
158. Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)
159. Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides)

Chuffed with the Fuerteventura adventure!!! :bounce:


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
During the first week of May a friend of mine told me that the local river mouths were flooded with waders, migration had reached "its climax" with numbers that we had not seen in several years… maybe the local efforts to improve the conditions of these habitats were working finally!!! :bounce:

I had to wait until the weekend to have a look to the "miracle" and I was not disappointed: what a show, so many waders and many of them in beautiful breeding plumage!!! My year list "grew healthy" with the new additions! ;)

9 May 2009: Zeluán, by Avilés, Asturias, N Spain

160. Grey Plover (Pluviales squatarola)
161. Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica)
162. Dunlin (Calidris alpina)
163. Knot (Calidris canutus)
164. Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)
165. Merlin (Falco sparverius)
166. Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)
167. Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea)
168. Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa)

Not only the waders made my day, but the unexpected Merlin, a rare bird around here, specially at this time of the year, wow! Took a digiscoping record shot (pic a) to remind me from time to time that I didn't dream! ;) At the same time I digiscoped a Shag (pic b, in nice company of a headless looking Cormorant and plenty of Bar-tailed Godwits). Pic c is a crop of a bunch of Grey Plovers, showing here three different plumages. And pic d is a Whimbrel strolling relaxed by the shore.

Later in the day I went to look for Butterflies to Cabo Peñas, the most Northern spot in Asturias, and the second in Spain. As it happened this year in many areas of Europe, the place was invaded with Painted Ladies… and a surprise paid me a visit: a Hobby passed flying very close!!! o:) Another raptor I hardly ever see in my area, how exciting!!! Sadly, it perched very far away, but managed to take a picture (pic e) to be remembered in posterity! |=)|

9 May 2009: Cabo Peñas, Asturias, N Spain

169. Hobby (Falco subbuteo)


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
On Sunday (May the 10th) I went to Gijón in the hope to photograph the great variety of waders crossing my area in their route to the North, as the conditions of the beach allow getting closer to the birds without disturbing them, if you are careful. I hoped to add new birds to the list but no luck. Still, I'm chuffed I got nice pictures of so many waders in beautiful breeding plumage. Here there is a sample of the species found: Dunlin, Bar-tailed Godwit, Knot, Redshank and Sanderling.

Next posts will be another exciting adventure during a long weekend! ;)


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
As I had already said, during the month of May I organized several interesting outings to make for the scarce birding activities during the winter. This is the second one, now to Monfragüe National Park, during another long weekend.

I went with my birding team, from Madrid. We reached the Park in the evening, so we had not many chances to see loads of birds, but it was enough to add several to the year list and even a lifer!!! o:) It was a baby Eagle Owl, and managed a record shot digiscoping it in the low light of the evening (pic a). Not a great pic but a super souvenir for me!!! :bounce: And next day we spotted the adult too, again in very low light (pic b). And the third pic is the emblematic Azure-winged Magpie, ubiquitous in the area!

15 May 2009: Monfragüe National Park, Cáceres Province, N Extremadura, W Spain

170. Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus)
171. Black Stork (Ciconia nigra)
172. Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo) :cool:
173. Booted Eagle (Hieraetus pennatus)
174. Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur)


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
The following day, we spent the morning in Monfragüe National Park. We saw almost all the emblematic birds of the Park (Black Stork, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Cinererous Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Azure-winged Magpie, etc). We only failed to find the Bonelli's Eagle and the White-rumped Swift (this last one is very scarce and probably a bit too soon in the season too… no excuse for not finding Bonelli's Eagle, :-O). New additions for the year list are:

16 May 2009: Monfragüe National Park, Cáceres Province, N Extremadura, W Spain

175. Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe hispanica)
176. Alpine Swift (Apus melva)

And here you have a sample of typical birds to look for in Monfragüe: the beautiful Black Stork (pic a), the majestic Cinereous Vulture (pic b), the smart Blue Rock-Thrush (pic c) and the endangered Spanish Imperial Eagle (pic d, another poor digiscoping, but I couldn't get it while it was flying and showing the white shoulders).

More sightings and pictures from this exciting day in a next post! o:)


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
After exploring Monfragüe for an evening and a whole morning, we decided to visit another area close to the National Park to change completely the habitat and try to find more birds. We went to Casatejada and the close Embalse de Arrocampo, an area of marches and lagoons very popular for birders. Here we found:

16 May 2009: area of Embalse de Arrocampo, Cáceres Province, N Extremadura, W Spain

177. Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni)
178. Gull-billed Tern (Sterna nilotica)
179. Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
180. Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus caeruleus)

Chuffed about finding the Black-shouldered Kite, only my second one!!! o:) But failed to take a picture where it is recognizable! :-C. Other birds photographed there are:

a) Bee-eater. For some reason I've seen very few of these stunners this year, almost no chances for pictures either. :-C
b) A passing by Great Heron in flight.
c) Just had to share here this, loved this Cattle Egret marching so lordly by the Cattle while crossing the road!!! :-O


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
We spent the last day of this long weekend looking for steppe birds in the area of Trujillo, further south of Monfragüe N. P. That is well know as a very good area for Bustards and Sandgrouses but we didn't find the good spot (limited time as we had to go back home was a handicap). Still, we saw other typical birds of the area as varied Larks, Spanish Sparrow, many raptors… And two new additions to the year list, both photographed:

17 May 2009: area of Trujillo, Cáceres Province, W Spain

181. Montagu's Harrier (Circus pygargus)
182. European Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus)

And in the way home, we stopped near Oropesa (Toledo Province) and there I managed to photograph two raptors I had failed to snap so far this year: Lesser Kestrel (pic c) and Booted Eagle (pic d). Chuffed with these 4 subjects!!! o:)

Another exciting weekend in the next post! ;)


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
I've just realized I've posted over 100 birds photographs so far!!! o:) I'm thinking about struggling to present here at least another 50 different birds! It's good to have an aim!

In the last weekend of May, I received the visit of BF buddy Scottishdude, for a trip in the mountains of my area in quest of high altitude specialties. Our main targets there were Alpine Chough, Alpine Accentor, Snow Finch and Wallcreeper.

From Fuente De, a cable car climbs to an altitude of 1800 m. It was surprising to find loads of snow up there in spite of the time of the year, which made difficult to move around and find birds. If fact, we couldn't find the Wallcreeper, its area was still under a thick white blanket :)-C). But we didn't complain, we had a swell time up there and we found and photographed the other target birds (all lifers for my buddy and one was a lifer for me too):

25 May 2009: Fuente De, Picos de Europa National Park, Cantabria Province, N Spain

183. Alpine Chough (Pyrrhocorax graculus) (pic a)
184. Alpine Accentor (Prunella collaris) (pic b)
185. Snow Finch (Montifringilla nivalis) :cool: (pic c)

Water Pipit was around too (4th pic), and plenty of Northern Wheatears… and some cooperative Chamois (I'm not adding this last one here because it isn't a bird, but it's in my gallery).


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
I'm back after my summer holidays… an unexpectedly long break in BF due to family duties too! But here I am finally, and I continue with the interrumpted report of the Picos de Europa adventure with my buddy Scottishdude.

Dreadful weather forecast for our second attempt with the Wallcreeper! :storm: We then decided to change the plan and to go further South, at the other side of the mountains, to look for some nice weather and other kind of stuff. We visited a couple of Mountain passes, not as high as the destination of the cablecar in Fuerte De but not bad either, around 1100-1200m, which is good for other kind of birds. Great variety and some interesting species new for me this year (and some lifers for my buddy):

26 May 2009: Puerto de San Glorio, Cantabria Province, N Spain

186. Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella)
187. Whitethroat (Sylvia communis)

26 May 2009: Alto de las Portillas, Palencia Province, N Spain

188. Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis)
189. Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio)
190. Bonelli’s Warbler (Phylloscopus bonelli)

And this is my selection of pictures among the many taken in this super-duper day:

a) Rock Bunting, one of my buddy's target birds… and what fantastic pics he took!!!
b) Tree Pipit. Another lifer for him, and one of the most exciting experiences for me this year. It performed for us singing from several perches, providing us with a wonderful photographic session.
c) Yellowhammer
d) One of the many Northern Wheatears seen during the weekend… this is the closest I had for pics.
e) Red-backed Shrike, a quite cooperative one, stood there for ages.


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
I had to visit the University Campus in Gijón this day for working reasons. I know a place there for Melodious Warbler, so went to work with my camera just in case I had a chance for birding after work and could look for this new bird for my Year list. I was very lucky, not only found my target bird and had a super photographic session with it (pic a), but found a lovely pair of Moorhens with 4 chicks (an adult and 3 chicks in pic b) and a cooperative Greenfinch at my eye level (pic c).

11 June 2009: Gijón University Campus, Asturias, N Spain

191. Melodious Warbler (Hippolais poliglotta)


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
A weekend in Burgos area. This outing was mainly focussed in finding Butterflies, as the conditions would be great for them according to the weather forecast. Saturday was great for them indeed, so I had not many chances to pay attention to birds. Still, I got the Dipper for the year list and had a try at snapping an Alpine Swift (pic a is the best I got, |=)|)

13 June 2009: Valdelateja, Burgos Province, N Spain

192. Dipper (Cinclus cinclus)

But on Sunday the weather changed and got cloudy, cool, wet and miserable :)-C). Had to forget about finding Butterflies and I looked for some more birds to snap. At least it wasn't wasted time:

14 June 2009: Outskirts of Burgos, N Spain

193. Stock Dove (Columba oenas)
194. Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus)

I'm glad I managed these pics in spite of the very dull light, a lovely quite cooperative Stock Dove (pic b) and a Chaffinch in marching mood under the rain (pic c).


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
Middle June and no special plans for the weekend. So I went for a walk along the paths in the outskirts of my city and took the camera with me just in case something interesting appeared. And it did! (|=)|). I had a fantastic encounter with a cooperative family of Spotted Flycatchers that let me take plenty of shots (pic a). And earlier in the morning a family of Stonechats that seemed very interested in having plenty of pictures taken for their family book (|:D|) (here you have the male in pic b, in argument with me, :-O). And the third pic is a Buzzard that passed by quite low… great to have snapped properly one this year, finally! o:)

21 June 2009: outskirts of Oviedo, Asturias, N Spain

195. Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata)


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
Last weekend of June. Butterflies should be reaching the pic of activity, numbers and variety in C Spain. So, I programmed to spend this Saturday in one of my favourite places for them, in the mountains of Madrid. We climbed from 1200m to 1700m, finding nearly 40 different species of Butterflies… and more birds for my year list! (|=)|)

27 June 2009: Miraflores de la Sierra, Madrid, C Spain

196. Honey Buzzard (Pernis apivorus)
197. Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca)

I couldn't snap the Honey Buzzard :)-C) but got both male and female Pied Flycatchers with grub (here is the female, pic a) and a passing by Raven (pic b) to illustrate the birds of this area.


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
After the exhausting Saturday climbing to look for Butterflies (I'm afraid my age is trying to tell me something, :-O) we decided to take it easy on Sunday. And then we went to Rivas, there were several birds there still to find for the year list: Purple Swamphen, Great Reed Warbler, Red-necked Nighjar, Little Bittern,… But incredibly no traces of most of them!!! :eek!: Only the Little Bittern showed up:

28 June 2009: Rivas Vaciamadrid, Madrid, C Spain

198. Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus)

I'm not showing here the pic I took of it because I have my dignity :)-O). Not brilliant but I got a shot of a Red-rumped Swallow in flight (pic a). And a pic of the most common raptor in this spot, the Black Kite (pic b).


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
Had a terrible busy July this year. :-C Very little birding but during one weekend I joined my birding team for one of my favourite birding and butterflying areas in N Spain: the Canyon of Río Lobos (River Wolves, ;), don't ask me why this river has this name, it has no wolves, :-O). Wonderful birding this day, only one new bird for the list but nearly 60 different birds seen and plenty of pictures taken.

18 July 2009: Cañón de Río Lobos, Soria Province, N Spain

199. Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus)

These are the pics I've selected to illustrate the birds of the area, all new in this thread:
a) the mega-handsome Hoopoe, quite common but hard to snap (this was relaxed eating by the road, |8.|)
b) absolutely thrilled to have caught this passing Short-toed Eagle, the closest I've ever had! o:)
c) a very familiar view all over Europe, House Martin perched in its nest.
d) here you have my very first decent picture of a male Common Redstart! Chuffed to have found finally a cooperative one! o:)


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
Not much time to bird on Sunday because we had to go back home in the afternoon, but still a last effort to find birds in the area during the morning was quite rewarding. Another bird for the list:

19 July 2009: Cañón de Río Lobos, Soria Province, N Spain

200. Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra)

and a bunch of good ones to go back home with pics:

a) Crag Martin. I did an effort with this one because I knew it was the only Hirundine from Spain I still had not photographed this year. I'm quite happy with this view showing very well the tail pattern! o:)
b) Rock Sparrow, in an orchard! :eek!: Certainly, you never know… ;)
c) Egyptian Vulture. Still quite far away but notoriously closer than the pic from last year in my 2008 thread. I hope next year I'll get a proper one! ;)


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
Summer holidays finally!!! o:)

This year, I spent the first part of my holidays in the area of Burgos, paying visits to different hot spots around. But the holiday started raining! :storm: Terrible birding and almost nonexistent snapping during the first day, although I managed the Carrion Crow calling of pic a. Next day it started very dull too, but things started to improve. Got my first sight of a Nuthatch this year:

2 August 2009: La Quinta, outskirts of Burgos city

201. Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)

and photographed several species in the outskirts of the city: a juvie Great Tit, the Nuthatch (I'm glad I got these two in spite of the terrible dull light) and a couple of Little Grebes in the river.

The events of the afternoon, in a next post. ;)


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
And in the afternoon of that same day (August the 2nd) we visited the lagoon of La Nava. We had been there for the very first time in winter and that visit was very successful. Now we wanted to know what it was like in middle summer. We were expecting to see it almost dry and with not much around but… wow, on the contrary, it still had some water and the variety of birds attached to that "oasis" was remarkable. In spite of the variety of species there was only one new for the list:

2 August 2009: Laguna de la Nava, Palencia Province, N Spain

202. Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida)

but could photograph a lot of bird I still had not shot during the year. I'm only showing the most exciting ones of the day:

a) this juvie Black-crowned Night-Heron gave us a good fright, just appeared like a dark ghost from nowhere among the vegetation only a couple of meters away from us.
b) A Gull-billed Gull, there was a good bunch of them but most of the time too far away… still I seized this opportunity with one coming a bit closer.
c) The same can be said for the Whiskered Tern. And I'm happy as this is my first pic of one ever. o:)
d) A flock of Spoonbills flying over our heads. Breathtaking! o:)


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a.k.a. Madam Butterfly
The remaining 5 days spent in Burgos area during this summer holiday were mainly focused in finding Butterflies. Still, I didn't waste my chances of finding new year-birds. I must admit that by now I had found almost all the possible birds present in the area… but there is always something to be found (|=)|):

4 August 2009: Páramo de Masa, Burgos Province, N Spain

203. Tawny Pipit (Anthus campestris)

5 August 2009: Canyon of River Riaza, Segovia Province, C Spain

204. Rock Thrush (Monticola saxatilis)

- As I knew there were very few chances left to take a picture of Swifts because they were leaving soon, I tried in Páramo de Masa, as there were quite a good number of them in the sky. Here you have my best result (pic a); a bit pathetic but… ;)
- A bird I heard loads of times this year, saw only a few of them but didn't shoot yet was the Bonelli's Warbler. A good flock of them in Sierra de Ayllón (Segovia Province) provided me with this pic (b) for this thread… Not an easy bird to snap, so I don't complain.
- I had promised not to post shameful rubbish shots (I allow myself some rubbish shot though, |:D|) but this has to be an exception: a Rock-Thrush is always an exciting bird to see, and I wanted to have it illustrating this post (pic c). o:)
- And to finish with this post on the second part of my summer holiday, here you have a lady Hen Harrier who visited us while looking for Butterflies in the coast of Asturias (in the most Northern spot of my region, Cabo Peñas) later in the month. A very welcome sight (pic d)! o:)

There is still a third part of my summer holiday but that episode will arrive later. |=)|


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