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WP rarities mid April? (1 Viewer)

opisska

Jan Ebr
Czech Republic
After the wild success of my previous question - Where to go for WP rarities right now? - from which I am going to take inspiration for years, if not for my entire life, I would like to once again try to abuse your endless collective knowledge - this time on the question "where to go for Easter and after?"

Just to clarify my situation - we originally considered just driving to Slovenia/Croatia for some birds/herps/mammals, but I have just looked at the weather forecast and even on the Adriatic coats, it's going to be quite cold, definitely too cold for lizards to be around much, so this kinda fell. Then I considered Israel, but it still has completely asinine covid entry requirements, and Morocco, but that technically requires you to wear a mask while driving a car .... thanks, no thanks (it's really crazy that we still have to deal with this nonsense two years into it...)

Four years ago, we went to the UK with almost exactly the same timing and it was great, but I am not sure if there will be that many different rarities (we got Ring-necked Duck, American Wigeon, Green-winged Teal, Bonaparte's Gull and American Bittern during the last visit). Also a big drawback of UK is that there are almost no mammals/herps ... but maybe there are at least some good sites for Water Voles and maybe something more?

So are there any good places for rare WP birds in April? For example in Poland, we typically do a "rarity week" on Hel, but at the start of June and that seems to be very efficient timing for that area, where April is rather silent. Is this the case around the continent, or not? This time, accomodation costs are not an issue because we have the time to just camp, no electricity/wifi needed (my wife now doesn't have to work much and she already has a future project secured to start later). Maybe Iceland? Or Iberia again? Mediterranean islands? Or should we just abandon all hope of spring and do Varanger? :)
 

Paul Chapman

Well-known member
In England today for your WP list, I am getting five ticks for you. Three in East Anglia being Lesser Scaup Abberton Reservoir Essex, Blue-winged Teal Berry Fen Cambridgeahire and Pacific Golden Plover Carlton Marshes Suffolk and two in Northern England being Belted Kingfisher Roach Bridge Lancashire and Black-browed Albatross Bempton Cliffs Yorkshire. That should be doable in a weekend but it would be nice if there was more.

Very little news from Scotland. It is a shame that there is nothing on longstaying Pied-billed Grebe or White-winged Scoter so I am only getting routine White-billed Diver and Surf Scoter. Effort for not much return and the Pied-billed Grebe could make it worthwhile.

Also very little news from Ireland with just Double-crested Cormorant. There have been longstaying Forster's Tern, American Coot and Semipalmated Plover but again without those, tricky to justify though the Cormorant is certainly a significant WP bird....

All the best

Paul
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Czech Republic
Thanks! i am thinking about it more and more, in part out of sheer laziness as the UK is just so easy to visit. It could be even interesting to take Ireland as well, but we'd have to plan it ahead, as nobody as far as I know allows a rental car on a ferry to Ireland, so we'd have to fly over probably. I was thinking even about just driving, but the Calais way is long, but the Rotterdam-Hull ferry is insanely expensive for the dates.

Btw. I'd love to hear which 13 birds I have that you don't in WP. I have to admit that I googled you a bit after you said that and only then realized WHO am I talking to :) But your lists are nowadays not easy to come by as far as I could see.
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Czech Republic
I also have the feeling that a lot of the birds are actually wintering, so April is actually a sub-optimal time, as they threaten to leave? Surely all the american ducks at least? But it's also just a nice time to go there in general, especially if the weather pans out as promised ...
 

Paul Chapman

Well-known member
The thirteen species are:-

Rock Partridge - dipped at least twice & planning to sweep up shortly with Parrotbills & Bobwhite in an Italy trip
Lesser Flamingo - dipped once & intending to sweep up with an Iberian Peninsula Category C trip
Sooty Gull - Egypt has 20+ species for my WP list so in the forefront of my mind - a quarter of the regular species left for me to chase
Dwarf Bittern - I should have gone but not done any WP twitching as such yet outside my main list of Britain, Isle of Man & Ireland
Marsh Owl - dipped once & a Morocco clean up is needed
Pharaoh Eagle-Owl - dipped many times so one for the Morocco clean up
African Green Bee-eater - Egypt again...
Azure Tit - hmmm. This may prove interesting in future.
Cyprus Warbler - dipped a couple of times in Israel and planning Cyprus after Easter for this & the Owl as I have seen the Wheatear
Guldenstadt's Redstart - not fit enough on my Georgia trip and intending to maybe sweep up in Azerbaijan to avoid multiple trips
Gran Canaria Blue Chaffinch - again, planning soon
Great Rosefinch - not fit enough on my Georgia trip and intending to maybe sweep up in Azerbaijan as above
Grey-necked Bunting - perhaps Azerbaijan for this, Mongolian Trumpeter Finch, Guldenstadt's Redstart & Great Rosefinch...

Planning to make a bit more of an effort on my WP list. No guarantees but I can see the rares staying for you. Something else would be good.

I pulled the lists off the web as it isn't about the numbers & people got so excited during Covid that it all got a bit wearing. I'll probably reinstate them at some point maybe.

All the best

Paul
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Czech Republic
Interesting - basically you have a huge WP list while missing some rather easy things, so it's actually even better :)

Azure Tit was something we have been planning to go for for years but it never happened for some reason - and then one just appeared at a feeder in Warsaw to twitch. I was almost sad by this "ruining" the reasons to go to Ukraine, now I am not so much ... but we'd still like to go there the nature is stunning.
 

Diedert

Well-known member
Netherlands
Cool thread! I was thinking of doing the same by going for the Albatros and the Kingfisher.
How reliable is the Kingfisher and how does one get current info as an outsider in the UK? Do I have to get a subscription on one of the services? In NL most info is free.

Two of my thoughts:
Great Rosefinch is far from easy in Azerbaijan and wouldn't count on it there. Perhaps in summer its a bit better but then you'll have to go high. In winter, there are no known spots really. Nakhchivan for the Mongolian and Grey-necked Bunting is a good place. They aren't seen in 'mainland' AZ. Dipping Omid has left me with quite some info. ;)

Azure Tit is quite the wish list species for me. Planned to go to Belarus in 2018, but life happened. Then in 2020, Covid hit and we had to cancel after obtaining the painstaking permits. 2021, rinse & repeat + the protests put out the ethical issues of the visit. And now, we'll probably have to wait some decades...
Lets hope there'll be a twitchable one soon.
 

Stephen Dunstan

Registered User
Cool thread! I was thinking of doing the same by going for the Albatros and the Kingfisher.
How reliable is the Kingfisher and how does one get current info as an outsider in the UK? Do I have to get a subscription on one of the services? In NL most info is free.
The Kingfisher is reliable at present, but if there are periods of heavy rain it has disappeared several times over the winter until river levels subsided again.
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Czech Republic
I am actually having second thoughts about the UK trip because I invented a new destination - not rich in rarities, but surprisingly rich in resident species I don't have: Corsica. As a bonus, there is a big deal of herping there and if time allows, even more herping on Sardinia. In the UK, the species available now, besides the Kingfisher and the Albatross are relatively scattered and not that unusual (for UK standards), so maybe another time would be better? On the other hand, there is a lot of covidism in Italy and the UK fares much better.

I wouldn't say that there will be decades of wait for Azure Tits - they are also accessible in Ukraine, not just Belarus, and I firmly believe that Russia will have to sod off from there relatively quickly. When that happens, go there by alleans, as the country will need any tourist money it can get! The Warsaw one from last winter was particularly twitchable, as it was within sight of the airport radar, so maybe another one like this can appear at some winter!
 

Owene

Well-known member
Wales
The thirteen species are:-

Rock Partridge - dipped at least twice & planning to sweep up shortly with Parrotbills & Bobwhite in an Italy trip
Lesser Flamingo - dipped once & intending to sweep up with an Iberian Peninsula Category C trip
Sooty Gull - Egypt has 20+ species for my WP list so in the forefront of my mind - a quarter of the regular species left for me to chase
Dwarf Bittern - I should have gone but not done any WP twitching as such yet outside my main list of Britain, Isle of Man & Ireland
Marsh Owl - dipped once & a Morocco clean up is needed
Pharaoh Eagle-Owl - dipped many times so one for the Morocco clean up
African Green Bee-eater - Egypt again...
Azure Tit - hmmm. This may prove interesting in future.
Cyprus Warbler - dipped a couple of times in Israel and planning Cyprus after Easter for this & the Owl as I have seen the Wheatear
Guldenstadt's Redstart - not fit enough on my Georgia trip and intending to maybe sweep up in Azerbaijan to avoid multiple trips
Gran Canaria Blue Chaffinch - again, planning soon
Great Rosefinch - not fit enough on my Georgia trip and intending to maybe sweep up in Azerbaijan as above
Grey-necked Bunting - perhaps Azerbaijan for this, Mongolian Trumpeter Finch, Guldenstadt's Redstart & Great Rosefinch...

Planning to make a bit more of an effort on my WP list. No guarantees but I can see the rares staying for you. Something else would be good.

I pulled the lists off the web as it isn't about the numbers & people got so excited during Covid that it all got a bit wearing. I'll probably reinstate them at some point maybe.

All the best

Paul


I can totally understand this. Especially around the time of the mockingbird and if you want to keep them off then great but can I just say yours were some of the most informative and entertaining bubo lists because of the comments you included and I read them a few times to help get an idea of WP locations and British twitching
 

Owene

Well-known member
Wales
Cool thread! I was thinking of doing the same by going for the Albatros and the Kingfisher.
How reliable is the Kingfisher and how does one get current info as an outsider in the UK? Do I have to get a subscription on one of the services? In NL most info is free.

Two of my thoughts:
Great Rosefinch is far from easy in Azerbaijan and wouldn't count on it there. Perhaps in summer its a bit better but then you'll have to go high. In winter, there are no known spots really. Nakhchivan for the Mongolian and Grey-necked Bunting is a good place. They aren't seen in 'mainland' AZ. Dipping Omid has left me with quite some info. ;)

Azure Tit is quite the wish list species for me. Planned to go to Belarus in 2018, but life happened. Then in 2020, Covid hit and we had to cancel after obtaining the painstaking permits. 2021, rinse & repeat + the protests put out the ethical issues of the visit. And now, we'll probably have to wait some decades...
Lets hope there'll be a twitchable one soon.

I think asking on here in the rare birds section would at the very least get you the paid service announcements paraphrased and probably much better info
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Czech Republic
regarding the services: RBA for web+app costs 10 pounds for a month, so I just pay for that when I start planning a UK trip. Paul has nicely summed the situation up here, so I knew that I was interested, so I paid to see details. They should give him a cut for this service :)
 

DMW

Well-known member
I am actually having second thoughts about the UK trip because I invented a new destination - not rich in rarities, but surprisingly rich in resident species I don't have: Corsica. As a bonus, there is a big deal of herping there and if time allows, even more herping on Sardinia. In the UK, the species available now, besides the Kingfisher and the Albatross are relatively scattered and not that unusual (for UK standards), so maybe another time would be better? On the other hand, there is a lot of covidism in Italy and the UK fares much better.

I wouldn't say that there will be decades of wait for Azure Tits - they are also accessible in Ukraine, not just Belarus, and I firmly believe that Russia will have to sod off from there relatively quickly. When that happens, go there by alleans, as the country will need any tourist money it can get! The Warsaw one from last winter was particularly twitchable, as it was within sight of the airport radar, so maybe another one like this can appear at some winter!
I went to Corsica right at the end of April and first few days of May, and it was still pretty cool and wet. I didn't see Mediterranean Flycatcher (if you care about that!) until my last day. It's a beautiful island, but I would think about going a little later, especially for herps.
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Czech Republic
Well this year's weather forecast is pretty good for the next week for Corsica. But you may be right, we also now think it's better for later, because we do, somewhat, care for the flycatcher and also found out that there are almost no records before the last days of April

That's all a bit irrelevant right now because we ended up buying a tickets to Leeds :) We figured out that Corsica is gonna be there in the future, but not so much the Kingfisher/Albatross. While making a 10-day trip to sweep everything in the UK seems a bit weak given the offering now, a 4-day trip for the two species seems appropriate. We have also bought very cheap tickets for the return which we would be happy to let fall through if something exciting was to appear.

The main drawback of this plan is that car rental is insanely expensive nowadays in the UK, there are no cars in the Manchester/Liverpool/Leeds area for less than 80 pounds per day which is outrageous, what the hell happened? At least the prices is surprisingly not increased for a return at different site, so we could get a Leeds to Manchester rental to line up with the flights better.
 

leonardo_simon

Well-known member
Cool thread! I was thinking of doing the same by going for the Albatros and the Kingfisher.
How reliable is the Kingfisher and how does one get current info as an outsider in the UK? Do I have to get a subscription on one of the services? In NL most info is free.

Two of my thoughts:
Great Rosefinch is far from easy in Azerbaijan and wouldn't count on it there. Perhaps in summer its a bit better but then you'll have to go high. In winter, there are no known spots really. Nakhchivan for the Mongolian and Grey-necked Bunting is a good place. They aren't seen in 'mainland' AZ. Dipping Omid has left me with quite some info. ;)

Azure Tit is quite the wish list species for me. Planned to go to Belarus in 2018, but life happened. Then in 2020, Covid hit and we had to cancel after obtaining the painstaking permits. 2021, rinse & repeat + the protests put out the ethical issues of the visit. And now, we'll probably have to wait some decades...
Lets hope there'll be a twitchable one soon.


Uk bird services offer a free trial period. Should suffice for a holiday.

BirdGuides, Rarebird alert are the two
 

Richard Prior

Halfway up an Alp
Europe
Well this year's weather forecast is pretty good for the next week for Corsica. But you may be right, we also now think it's better for later, because we do, somewhat, care for the flycatcher and also found out that there are almost no records before the last days of April

That's all a bit irrelevant right now because we ended up buying a tickets to Leeds :) We figured out that Corsica is gonna be there in the future, but not so much the Kingfisher/Albatross. While making a 10-day trip to sweep everything in the UK seems a bit weak given the offering now, a 4-day trip for the two species seems appropriate. We have also bought very cheap tickets for the return which we would be happy to let fall through if something exciting was to appear.

The main drawback of this plan is that car rental is insanely expensive nowadays in the UK, there are no cars in the Manchester/Liverpool/Leeds area for less than 80 pounds per day which is outrageous, what the hell happened? At least the prices is surprisingly not increased for a return at different site, so we could get a Leeds to Manchester rental to line up with the flights better.
If you’re flying into Leeds and return from Manchester I would do your car rental like that Jan, we did into Leeds and came back from Bristol last month and like you say, the ‘penalty‘ for returning the car at a different airport was negligible.
A whole separate thread would be needed to air our different views on how ethical it would be to visit certain countries mentioned above these days of course!
 

Diedert

Well-known member
Netherlands
You flying in on Manchester and return from Leeds? Good luck! Sadly my Easter is pre-booked, fingers crossed for 22-24 April.

Re: Azure Tit; I'd think the areas Azure Tit is possible in Ukraine aren't as exciting as any area in Belarus. Where are they in Ukraine? We had a trip lined up to Naliboki and the southern parts, one part with the governmental organisations who now keep the Dutch Konik horses from the Oostvaardersplassen NP (this park holds about 80 Eurasian Lynx!) and then visit the ringing station from ABP (now marked a hostile organisation... :( ) with species like Great Snipe and Terek Sandpiper of course, majestic nature areas. This will be a long wait, I'd think and before going to Ukraine could be a long wait too (add the time to remove some mines, bombs, etc...).
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Czech Republic
We fly to Leeds and return from Manchester, that's how the cheap flights work out.

I checked eBird, it has a plenty of Azure Tit records in the very northern Ukraine and I know that some people were there for it - clearly a problematic part nowadays as the invasion force comes also through Belarus and you are right about the mines (and even IEDs) being a risk now, but I would still hope this can be cleaned in a few years.

There is Terek Sandpiper in Belarus? That's interesting! Great Snipe is also breeding in Poland but I guess in Belarus it would have been far easier, their natural areas are immense in size.
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
I'd recommend keeping track of any issues at Manchester Airport before catching your return flight...it's been on the news here recently for bad delays at check-in and security. Hopefully if you're returning at the end of the Easter period it won't be so bad, the problems have been for people wanting to leave at the start of busy holiday periods.
 

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