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Owen's lifetime of wildlife in a year. (1 Viewer)

Owene

Well-known member
Wales
April 10th/11th

Some bat detection after dinner brought a lot of soprano pipistrelle, some Kuhl’s pipistrelle and possibly Schreiber’s or bent wing bat but I’m holding off on that one until I’ve had another go as I think it may just be a clash with soprano pipistrelle. Still Kuhl’s is my first mammal lifer of the trip.

Today we went into the Donana national park hoping for another one, Iberian lynx but only managed tracks on our morning visit.

Lots of good birds though. Gorgeous close bee eaters, long enough for photos views of Sardinian warblers and good enough views of Iberian grey shrike to see the differences from more northern birds.

Only lifer so far was a single Thekla lark, my 350th, but still an enjoyable morning before some rain came in after lunch.

205 hoopoe
206 Thekla lark
17 Kuhl’s pipistrelle


Birds 206 Mammals 17 Herp 10 Butterflies 19 Total 252 Lifers 57
 

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Owene

Well-known member
Wales
April 11th

Had another go for lynx in the evening. Drove there and back through the park with nothing unfortunately.

The other stuff probably wasn’t as jaw dropping as a lynx would have been. Never having seen a wild cat species I can only speculate but was very good all the same despite near constant drizzle.

Two young vultures were a real upgrade on the one soaring I saw on my first day here. Nice views of hoopoe and of great spotted cuckoo feeding on a massive centipede.

Reeling Savi’s warbler joins melodious warbler, zitting cisticola and short toed treecreeper on the heard only list. The other 3 would have been lifers but I think with the savis the reeling was the highlight anyway.

Also on the lifers list. Granada Hare. Not the mammal we went out for but a really smart lagomorph all the same and glad to have it.

18 fallow deer
19 Granada hare


Birds 206 Mammals 19 Herp 10 Butterflies 19 Total 254 Lifers 58
 

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Owene

Well-known member
Wales
April 12th.

Dodging the rain a lot today. Was very strong at times to the point both bins and camera were put in a wet bag and I was mainly looking to see which trees would offer shelter. Not sure I should ever do any rainforest birding.

Started out on a heath. A nice education on larks and some gorgeous bee eaters and hoopoes and some calling cuckoos nobody saw but only added dartford warbler for the list.

Moved on to a nearby wood, had a big orange butterfly that nobody identified in the carpark as well as loudly calling wrynecks. Had a very nice melodious warbler and then the rain came down.

The guides worked hard on a wood trail but despite some sightings and beautiful moments of sunshine it was mainly hearing stuff that we couldn’t pin down. Did have sone decent views of western bonellis warbler and brief ones of short toed treecreeper that got improved later in the day. An amazing site whose cork oaks were beautiful but which were a bit spoilt by rain

it was a day that was all about the heard only list. Melodious warbler. Savis, cuckoo and long toed treecreeper and nightingale went the right way. Nightingale as far as singing photo. Crested tit. Gsw, wryneck and Iberian green woodpecker and golden oriole joined the heard only lost. 2 lifers in either direction which I guess balances out.

The last site was pretty dry and provided great views of warblers despite a hunt for a flighty Isabeline warbler that had us turning up great views of nightingale, garden warbler and Iberian Chiffchaff

Also managed views of water vole, wall lizard and speckled wood as well as a butterfly lifer in Western Dappled White

A great day out. Got to el Rocio hoping the sun would lead to more butterflies but despite hunting the wind was too strong and only managed another moorish gecko.

207 Iberian chiffchaff
208 dartford warbler
209 melodious warbler
210 short toed treecreeper

211 blackcap
212 western Bonellis warbler
213 tree sparrow
214 savi’s warbler
215 cuckoo
20 speckled wood
21 western dappled white


Birds 215 Mammals 19 Herp 10 Butterflies 21 Total 265 Lifers 63
 

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Owene

Well-known member
Wales
Shame about the weather Owen but the list is progressing nicely!

Chris
Thanks
I'm sure the wetlands could use the rain. It wasn't a miserable time or soaking me through or anything it was just hard to see anything for a bit. So many of the birds are new to me that I don't really have many specific passerine targets. I want to see a gull billed tern as they are my favourite family and it would be the final of the European breeding species for me but I'm having a great time
 

Owene

Well-known member
Wales
April 13th

A travel day from donana to extremadura so a lot of time in the van not really able to see much wildlife. The stops on the other hand were great

A quick rest stop at the services brought my first crag martins. A stop at embalse de alange dam and it’s amazing Alpine swift colony was a welcome picnic location

Almost immediately had close in singing rock bunting and a blue rock thrush that everyone else got on while I had wandered off watching a thekla lark. A flyby tern was too quick for ID. Frustrating as gull billed would be my final breeding European tern species. My favourite bird family.

The rock thrush returned and I had very quick views before going back to look for terns. Soon had clear views of an absolutely beautiful Gull billed tern, it’s wings flashing in the sunlight.

Sone butterfly hunting brought speckled woods, small heaths that seemed smaller and smarter than at home and a skipper that looked almost featureless.

Also had soaring Black vulture. Great but I’d like to see them lower down.

Getting near to our base in extremadura we stopped for a raptor watch. Amazing dark morph montys and ring tailed hen harrier along with a few regular montys. We had marsh a lot earlier so a three harrier day with the dark morph really special. A long song flight from a calandra lark was also really great

While watching we lucked on to a displaying Little bustard. A massive upgrade on 2 seconds of head views at slimbridge a few years back. From our base we had nice scope views of a pair of little owl and I thought the day was over only for me, without binoculars unfortunately, to call a flying Great Bustard from the lounge and have most people get onto it.

A great day. Particularly happy to get the tern a real target for me but not one for the group as a whole so happy to secure it. Also going past my previous year record of 219 although this trip has obviously helped a lot
216 crag Martin
217 rock bunting
218 blue rock thrush
219 Eurasian black vulture
220 Gull Billed Tern

221 little bustard
222 little owl (first Cat A)
223 great bustard (have seen the Salisbury plain birds)
22 small Heath

Birds 223 Mammals 19 Herp 10 Butterflies 22 Total 274 Lifers 70
 

Owene

Well-known member
Wales
April 14th

Lucked out with a male great bustard before we left our hotel. I was lucky to find one later and we ended the day with four.

Stopping for bread we added garganey (life’s best views of male and female) and little ringed plover to the trip and year list. One of the bonuses of this trip was it removing the need to chase year ticks at home when I could be getting butterflies.

Saw an amazing Egyptian locust before finding a skipper that looked grizzly with my British head on that I think was probably mallow.

On to the plains where we had flying pin tailed sand grouse, gorgeous Spanish imperial eagle and black and a few griffin vultures plummeting down onto a carcass. Real Serengeti stuff with a Spanish tick red kite forced off the kill.

Over lunch I got a Southern Brown Argus then back up onto the plains for lots of rollers and swallowtails and eventually some more sandgrouse and young imperial eagles.

225 little ringed plover
226 garganey
227 Spanish imperial eagle
228 pin tailed sand grouse
229 European roller
23 mallow skipper
24 southern brown Argus

25 common blue
11 Mediterranean tree frog

Birds 229 Mammals 19 Herp 11 Butterflies 25 Total 284 Lifers 76
 

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Scridifer

Used Registrar
Supporter
Bulgaria
April 14th

Lucked out with a male great bustard before we left our hotel. I was lucky to find one later and we ended the day with four.

Stopping for bread we added garganey (life’s best views of male and female) and little ringed plover to the trip and year list. One of the bonuses of this trip was it removing the need to chase year ticks at home when I could be getting butterflies.

Saw an amazing Egyptian locust before finding a skipper that looked grizzly with my British head on that I think was probably mallow.

On to the plains where we had flying pin tailed sand grouse, gorgeous Spanish imperial eagle and black and a few griffin vultures plummeting down onto a carcass. Real Serengeti stuff with a Spanish tick red kite forced off the kill.

Over lunch I got a Southern Brown Argus then back up onto the plains for lots of rollers and swallowtails and eventually some more sandgrouse and young imperial eagles.

225 little ringed plover
226 garganey
227 Spanish imperial eagle
228 pin tailed sand grouse
229 European roller
23 mallow skipper
24 southern brown Argus

25 common blue
11 Spanish tree frog

Birds 229 Mammals 19 Herp 11 Butterflies 25 Total 284 Lifers 76
Great stuff Owen, hoping for a few of those ticks myself late next month/early June!

Chris
 

Owene

Well-known member
Wales
April 15th

Great visit to Monfrague today

There were a few lifer birds but the main highlights were best ever views of a few birds from earlier on the trip and of summer plumage black redstarts that I’ve only seen in the U.K. winter before.

The vulture colony was incredible and included views of Black Stork eggs (as well as birds) and Egyptian Vultures as well as countless Griffon and black.

While watching them we watched a pair of close in rock buntings gathering lichen and looked down on a Blue Rock Thrush in the sun. The walk back to the van brought a Cleopatra butterfly

The next few stops were great but a little frustrated. Missed Orphean and subalpine warblers and firecrest as well as missing good views of a Spanish festoon. Did get brief flyby views from the van

The next stop rectified that although 3 other butterflies remained identification free and I was away from the viewing point when a whipsnake crossed the river. At least one of the butterflies is quite imprinted on me so I’ll try and book it.

But the festoon views were amazing even if my photos weren’t.

Sat down to dinner when two stone curlew came into view on the track. Amazingly weird birds.

All photos are BOC

230 Egyptian Vulture
231 black stork

232 stone curlew
26 cleopatra
27 Spanish festoon


Birds 232 Mammals 19 Herp 11 Butterflies 27 Total 288 Lifers 80
 

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Owene

Well-known member
Wales
April 16th

Started off scouring a village park for roosting scops owl. Ended up with 3, amazing how hidden they were and how by the end you could find you’re own. This full time birding day after day is definitely improving my skills.

Up into the woods where I luckily managed to get onto and track a flying golden oriole that most of the group only heard. Really classy male. Another was spotted (not by me) from the van but a long search only got a lot of calls.

Missed a hawfinch there and clearly heard LSW and GSW (others heard Iberian green too) but managed Spanish ticks of nuthatch and mistle thrush and a year tick of crested tit.

That was it for the birds. Nice views of eagles and especially lesser kestrel but nothing else new

Our lunch spot was herp heaven. Countless marsh frogs and huge limbed tadpoles. Nice views of whatever Iberian wall lizard has been split into this far north, Spanish pond tortoise. Tree frog and 4 viperine snakes going from 30cm to about 140. Including views of the smallest eating tadpoles and the second largest on land.

Nice orange tip and speckled wood, southern brown Argus and a few Spanish festoon. Then had a flyby scarce swallowtail from the van that is immediately the species I most want proper views of. Oh and a cool scorpion fly and sawfly orchid. Not things I obsess over but very cool to see.

Oh and photos suggest I had European pond tortoise earlier in the week. Very different from the much flatter ones today

233 scops owl
234 golden oriole

235 crested tit
12 viperine snake
13 European pond tortoise

28 orange tip
29 scarce swallowtail

I’m not sure but I think that puts me past my previous life herp total in one year. 1/4 done. 725C22C2-D993-4B51-A672-B5F99C4128DB.jpeg A57F56E2-6282-429A-B7B1-432089C25AC2.jpeg 4D3ABE2A-8B8E-47C4-BD64-BEDF9ABB290B.jpeg 2333F15A-D8F5-4792-B761-868780371AE3.jpeg

Birds 235 Mammals 19 Herp 13 Butterflies 29 Total 295 Lifers 85
 
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