Tuesday, 31 January 2017

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 28th January 2017

I was more than pleased with my garden bird watch count this year as a Sparrowhawk and a Goldcrest ( not weekly visitors) paid a visit to my garden, a welcome addition to my counts and how timely!

My list: 1 each of Goldcrest, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Wren and Sparrowhawk, 2 each of Blue Tit, Robin, Magpie and Carrion Crow, 3 each of  Dunnock and Blackbird and 10 Woodpigeons!

I reckon after the recent cold weather followed by heavy rain the birds were ready for a good feed! The Sparrowhawk did not capture any of my garden visitors....not on this visit! ;-)

Redwings were perched a couple of gardens away....no matter how much I wished they did not venture in to my garden! :-)

Blackbird...The Beatles

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.
Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free.
Lovely to hear Robin and Blackbird song again early mornings! Spring is just around the corner!

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

A Fuerteventura post before February arrives!

Where does the time go? Answers on a postcard please!

31/12/2016 - 7/01/2017

This was my first holiday to the Canary Islands and Fuerteventura was the chosen island.

A few images to follow that were taken on the Island in order of appearance.

Sunrises were lovely to see. The weather was sunny, warm/hot though with a strong wind that remained for much of the week, just one calm day out of the seven. Apparently the unusually strong winds had been around for 2 weeks. At least it remained dry!

                                                Berthelot's Pipit
A Canary Island endemic seen numerous times throughout the day on a days Guided Birding. A delightful looking and quite confiding Pipit.


                                               A view with vegetation
and a stony desert landscape view.
Stone Curlew
Fantastic views of this stunning looking bird!

Black-bellied Sandgrouse
Another stunning looking bird and very flighty!

Cream Coloured Courser
Wow, a little beauty and to have had such close views was a real treat!

Interesting geological rock formations.

Ruddy Shelduck
Numerous sightings on the ground and in flight were enjoyed of this colourful Shelduck.

Fascinating rock formations.

Egyptian Vultures
We stopped off at a vulture feeding point.  The feeding point was quite a distance away from the track we had stopped along, we saw several vultures of varying ages around the area, some nearby on the ground and others flying in and over the area. A couple of Ravens were also seen here!
During the day a pair of Ravens were viewed displaying and making a 'knocking' sound, I did not know they made such an unusual sound. Good to know, I shall now listen out for them making this sound if I spot a pair displaying.

Barbary Ground Squirrel
You had to be very quick to manage a photograph of these cute squirrels, the majority of views was of them disappearing into rock crevices at the speed of light!  The Squirrel is an introduced species, in 1965  two squirrels were  brought in as pets, they were released, bred and colonised the island.
Trumpeter Finch
Distant views were had of this bird which was the only one seen during the day. 
      A Hoopoe took flight close by to the Finch.

Los Molinos reservoir is the largest and often the only large fresh water accumulation on the island. 
                                  There are Goats in abundance on the island.
There are freely running goats which are not milked but will be rounded up at times and most will be processed for meat. Goats that stay on a farm and generate a lot of  milk and goats that strive around in herds and are collected each evening for milking.



                                         Greenish black-tip or lemon white. (I think )

Hibiscus flower.

Red-vented Bulbul
An introduced species and a delightful looking and sounding bird. There were a pair in the hotel grounds enjoying the berries and the sunshine! I would love to have a pair in my garden.

Wishing I was still there.lol
A few images of some enormous cacti and Euphorbias.


The black and white sand patterns were ever changing with the ebb and flow of the tide.
A solitary ring-necked Parakeet  was spotted as it sheltered from the midday sun! 
What a landscape!
It was an enjoyable holiday...different!
Highlight bird species seen were and in no particular order:
Black-winged Stilt, Common Snipe, Hoopoe, Yellow-legged Gulls, Spanish Sparrow, Raven, Spectacled Warbler, Berthelot's Pipit, Collared Dove (seen around every corner, well it seemed like they were), Rock Dove, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Goldfinch, Trumpeter Finch, Ruddy Shelduck, Little Egret, Southern Grey Shrike, Coot, Kestrel, Cream Coloured Courser, Common Buzzard, Egyptian Vulture, Rock Pipit, Common Sandpiper, Moorhen, Linnets, Greenshank and my 2 'Star' birds....Stone Curlew and Red-vented Bulbul!
Bye, bye Fuerteventura.