Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Tavira, Portugal. 11th-18th June 2017.

I have finally found a window of time to put a post on my blog of a holiday that now feels as though it was an age away!
I have posted on Tavira before so I will not go in to too much detail but will say that it is a super area for birding and it also has some great restaurants!

The Salt Pans/ Salinas in Tavira are always a delight to explore. Highlight species were Bee-eater, Serin, Black-tailed Godwit, Turnstone, Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Greater Flamingo, Little Owl, Audouin's Gull and an amazing looking spider on a web!!

We were informed of Red-necked Nightjars that feed on the moths and insects that are attracted to the floodlights that illuminate the Church of Santa Maria do Castelo, which is in the centre of Tavira. It was a joy to see and hear the Nightjars as they hawked the insects, a treat indeed and well worth the walk up the hill!
 



 
 
 
Bee-eater.
                            Superb views were enjoyed of this charismatic bird!

                                                 
                                                    Black-tailed Godwits.

                                                    
                                                  Black-winged Stilts.

                                                Black-winged  Stilt chick.
 



                                                   A solitary Serin!

                                         Turnstone and Black-winged Stilt
 
 
Greater Flamingos
 
 

                                      Argiope  brunennichi (wasp spider).
A species of orb-web spider. I have read that it is quite harmless and highly unlikely to harm you but maybe best to keep a distance just in case.;-) A stunning spider to see if you are a spider fanatic!
                                                    
                                                   
                                                      Crested Lark
                                                      
                                                             Geckoes
This character had a new tail growing after shedding it's original tail probably due to stress. It is a way of distracting a predator so  the Gecko can escape.
 
 
                                                  
                                             Two Geckoes in one piece.

         

 
What big eyes you have!!
 
 
 
        Success after a couple of trips to see this Little Owl.
 
Slender-billed Gull
 
 
Highlight sightings at the Lake at Sao Lourenco, Quinta do Lago.
                                             
                                                    Black-headed Weaver
                                                                 
                                                          Gadwall
                   
                                                     Great Crested Grebes.

Little Grebe

                                               Red-crested Pochard
 
 
Little Bittern chicks!
Lovely to have had good views of these two youngsters as they waited for a parent to return with food!
 
 
Cacela Velha
 
Cacela Velha is a picturesque white-washed village. 
There are no tourist facilities apart from a few café-restaurants. However the views from the clifftop of the Ria Formosa are stunning and along with the pretty village well worth a visit.

 
 Megascolia maculata flavifrons...a Mammoth Wasp! It was huge and though it looked intimidating it is not dangerous to people! Even so another one to keep at a distance maybe! ;-)
                                  
                              

 
Red-rumped Swallows
 
 
 
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A day's birding in the Baixo Alentejo and Tavira was again a brilliant day with our guides for the day June Taylor  & Peter Dedicoat of
 
Highlights were plentiful, the wildlife, the scenery, the sunshine and last but not least great company!
My highlight birds were Great Bustard, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Pallid Swift, Eurasion Hoopoe, European Bee-eater, Europen Roller, Golden Oriole, Crag martin, Tawny Pipit, Rufous Bush Robin, Blue Rock Thrush, Zitting Cisticola, Woodchat Shrike, Iberian(Southern) Grey Shrike, Spotless Starling, Eurasion Griffon, Short-toed eagle, Black Kite, Montagu's Harrier, Common Kestrel and Lesser Kestrel.
 
64 species in total with a Quail ♫ and Turtle Dove ♫, heard only.
 
Photography was not a priority today as most of the species in the areas visited do not hang around for any length of time or are at a distance. So, most of my images are 'record' photo's...well that is my excuse and I am sticking to it! ;-) 
 
Blue Rock Thrush

                                                             Crag Martin
                                              
                                                         European Roller
                                
                                                    Black -winged Stilt.
  
                                                   White Stork chicks.

                                        Woodchat Shrike......honestly!

 
Montagu's Harrier
A stunner!

                                 
                                               
                                                 Great Spotted Cuckoo.

 
Black-tailed skimmer
 
                                                                 Lizard
 
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The end of another splendid holiday in the Algarve!
 
 
 Bye bye Tavira, for now!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, 31 July 2017

Birds, Bees, Butterflies, Bugs and all creatures great and small. (in other words a catch up ;-) )

A (small) selection of a few of  my sightings seen in May, June and July.

12th May.
Foxes x 3 caught on camera in my garden.


 
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                                    May Bug in my garden on the 29th May.
                                                                  
 
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                        Chaddesley Woods. Worcs Wildlife Trust, Nature Reserve.
 
28th May.
 
Beautiful Demoiselle
 
Surprising what difference a little sunshine can make.
 
Shade
 
Sunshine
                                                                                                

                                                              25th June
 
Ringlet
 
9th July
 
Red Admiral
 
Comma


                                                          Meadow brown
                                         
                                                    Silver-washed Fritillary     
 
 
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RSPB Sandwell Valley. 14th May
 
I believe this to be a Grey-haired Mining Bee.

                                                 Ring-necked Parakeet. Pretty but noisy!




                                                      Smooth  Newt (male)


                               
                                                 Smart looking Greenfinch
                                                      
                                                Canada Geese and goslings.
 
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Carrion Crow admiring the sunset. 17th May.
 
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June
 
Fox in my garden 24th June. A little beauty!
I was on my holiday in June so not much to add for June in this post. Holiday images to arrive on my blog in the not too distant future. ;-)
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July
Whittington, Stourbridge. 4th July.
 
Gatekeeper

                                               An assemblage on Ragwort.

                                                              Ringlet
                                        
                                                   Small Skipper (I believe) :-) 
                                                
                                                          Small Skipper ( I think) ;-)

                                                     Small Tortoiseshell.
                             Sadly not many of this species seen this summer.
.......................................
Forest of Dean. 13-15th July.
 
Barn Swallows that were making or maybe repairing a nest.

                                         
                                               Blue-tailed damselfly ( I reckon) :-)
 
Gatekeeper
 
                                                       Speckled Wood
   
                                                    Large White

                                                  Juvenile Pied Wagtail.

                                                     Juvenile Robin.

                                                         Another one.


                                   Peregrine Falcon at Symonds Yat Rock.

 
Pond Skater
 
Wolf Spider (I think) ;-)

                                   

                                              Mandarin Duck at Cannop Ponds.


.....................................
In my garden. 23rd July
 
Red Admiral
 
Red Admiral with attitude! ;-)
 
Vipers Bugloss inspection.

........................
 
Hagley Hall,  Stourbridge, West Midlands.
 
Good to have had closer views than normal of the Fallow Deer. Only the Bucks on view today, presumably the Does were busy with fawns.
 

 
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 Trimpley Heavy Horse Show. 30th July.
 
A great show!
 
Suffolk Punches.






Shire Horses.


 
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I will end this post with a delightful Comma butterfly that was in my garden on the 16th July.