Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Menorca in May 2018.

If I had known in advance that the UK would be at least 5-6c hotter than on the Island of Menorca at the beginning of May then I may have stayed at home.;-) As it happened the temperatures were just right for a spot of birding, sightseeing and sunbathing!

A few images to follow whilst it is still the month of May...just!!

I had once again booked a days guided birding/wildlife with Javier of http://menorcawalkingbirds.com/en/ I can highly recommend him for a good days birding and also the Menorcan picnic he brings along for lunch! It consists of  Menorcan bread, cheese, cold meats, tomatoes, fruit and biscuits, I can taste it now,  delicious! :-)

The highlights species seen on the day were: (as encountered on the day)  Corn Bunting, Thekla Lark, Tawny Pipit, Booted Eagle, Egyptian Vulture, Honey Buzzard x2, Kestrel, Collared Pratincole x2, Blue Rock Thrush, Red-Footed Falcon, Short-toed Eagle, Red Kite, White Wagtail, Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Squacco Heron, Green Sandpiper, Ruff, Redshank, Coot, Mallard, Black-winged Stilt, Little Egret, Raven, Woodpigeon, Blackbird , Marsh Harrier, Peregrine falcon, Collared Dove, Spotted Flycatcher, Cory's Shearwater, Shag, Woodchat Shrike, Turtle Dove x3, Nightingale and Cetti's Warbler heard only, Spotless starling, Swift, Bee-eater, Hoopoe, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Roller, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Yellow Wagtail and a visit to a breeding colony of Cattle Egrets was a good sight and sound! We were told it get's quite noisy when the chicks have hatched!

                                     Can you spot the sheep?
                  It took me quite a while to notice them, they have a good camouflage!
                                                  Blue Rock Thrush
                                 Wonderful views were enjoyed of the sea and cliffs.
                          The 3 Shags were on the rock in the centre of the above photo.
                                                Red-footed Falcon! A lifer!
                                                   A Red-veined Darter.

              The view was from a viewing point called El Toro (The Bull). A wonderful vista!

 Marshland where the Herons were sighted, good scope views were enjoyed of the Purple and Squacco Herons.

                                                 3 Turtle Doves, another Lifer!
Flower meadows were a delight to see especially when the sun shone which was not all of the time unlike in the UK.;-)
Egyptian Vulture.

                                                   Speckled Wood butterfly.

                                           Orchid, I believe it to be a Pyramidal.
Nightingales were to be heard singing in many areas. The one in the photo came out  from under cover for a few seconds as walked along a Gorge. Another Lifer and a little beauty! Magic!!!

Spotted Flycatcher. These were also singing along with doing what their name says...fly catching! Stunning birds!

                                                 Beautiful Demoiselle

                                                Synema globosum

I shall end this half of the trip report with a Spotted Flycatcher that posed for me.
The next instalment will be posted shortly..well I am aiming for within a week, we shall see.
Thank you for viewing.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Meet the Fox family!

I now have four foxes visiting my garden! Mum, Dad and 2 sweet, cute and cuddly looking cubs! I feel privileged to see them, sometimes in the mornings and mostly caught on camera throughout the night!

                                This is Mum! She is a beauty and looking healthy!

Mum and Dad.
Mum with one of the cubs.
  The Dunnock in the background is not fazed with the presence of the foxes.
Mum and both cubs, 2 little bundles of fun!!

Algarve Birds, Butterflies, Bits & Bobs. Spring 2018.

A few odds and ends to finish off my Algarve holiday post.
Whilst sitting outside at a café and enjoying a coffee and cake this meadow was a pleasure to see, such delightful Spring colours. Unfortunately a couple of days later the whole of the meadow had been ploughed up. I understand why though as I was told that the field was needed for growing vegetables. Still, it was a joy to behold when in flower.

                                                      Spotless Starling

                                                           Red-legged Partridge
Market hall at Silves It is lovely to see such fresh and varied produce.

                                                            Large White butterflies.
Numerous were sighted along the riverside embankments at Silves.
The stunning Monarch butterflies were also seen but in smaller numbers.
                                                      Who lives in a house like this? Maybe a look through the keyhole would give a clue as to who lives there! ;-)
                                         Barbary Nut, one of the native irises, with a carpet below of Paronychia argentea, of the carnation family.
Unidentified Insect!
                                   I have yet to ID the following Wildflowers.

                             The  Corn Buntings sighted were singing beautifully!
Crested Larks were also singing sweetly!
                                       Quick march! Cattle Egret in a hurry.

                                                        Spot the Shepherd.

A tasty grub!!!

                               I like this image a lot, simple is good sometimes.

                                                    Another tasty grub!! Hoopoes were often sighted on this trip.

Kestrels were also often seen hovering over the scrubland.

There were four in the bed and the little one said..roll over!
                              There were three in the bed and the little one said....roll over!
                            There were two in the bed and the little one said....roll over!
                        I hope they all come back, it is lonely up here on my own!

If you can't beat them....

                                Corn Bunting and a Greenfinch enjoying a rest!
Finally a Woodchat Shrike! A bird that gave super views as it perched on the shrubs and swooped in the air after an insect or dropped to the ground after a grub!
An awesome bird is the 'butcher bird'!