Sunday, 27 April 2008

Ross's Gull, Lytham

A couple of days after missing the Ross's Gull I want back and this time the bird showed really well. Due to it's rarity and approachability this is certainly the most photographed and blogged bird in Lancashire this year, so I'll make do with just a single picture.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Ring Ouzel and Dotterel - Pendle Hill

The short hike up Pendle is one of my favourite walks and something I do several times year. Between late April and early May Dotterel can be seen on the summit and the slopes often have Ring Ouzel. This is one of 5 Ring Ouzel that were seen during the weekend. There were also a couple of Dotterel on the summit, that were unfortunately flushed by inconsiderate photographers so I didn't get a very good view of them. I didn't have the time to hang around and my non-birding wife Jeanette was with me. I have become quite an expert on how far I can push it when birding with Jeanette and she wouldn't have enjoyed hanging around the summit of Pendle getting cold while I tramped around looking for the Dotterel so we came down after only a few minutes on the summit. I went up a few days later though on my own and got a much closer view of Dotterel. I didn't get any photos though - I don't get hung up about photographing everything I see, sometimes I think it's more worthwhile to just watch and enjoy.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Lytham / Fairhaven

While I was in Ibiza a Ross's gull turned up on the Ribble estuary near Fairhaven Lake. It had been showing very well for several days and the first chance I got to go for it was on 25th April. This was the day it decided to become elusive and wasn't seen during the entire morning I spent looking - it turned up later in the day after I'd left. Consolation came in the form of two summer plumaged adult Little gulls in the channel a short way upriver from Fairlawn road. There were several distant "commic" terns further out - probably Arctic but I wasn't certain. There were also good number of waders on the mud including several stunning summer plumaged grey plovers and a few summer plummaged knot. Other waders included black-tailed godwit, dunlin and ringed plover. Photographically I had to settle for this linnet. It didn't deserve not to have its photo taken just for being common so here it is.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Ibiza 13th-19 April 2008

Every year I normally spend a few days in Ibiza. This is a work trip and spare time is severely limited but I always manage to get a few hours birding in. This year I was hoping to track down Marmoras/Balearic warbler, but missed out. However one of Ibiza's birding highlights is the abundant Audouin's gull which can be observed at close quarters.

The other abundant gull on Ibiza is yellow-legged gull.
The picture above shows the islands of Es Vedra and Es Vedranella, breeding site for Eleanora's falcon. April is a bit earlier for this raptor. Well, that's my excuse for not seeing any.
Most people picture Mediterannean islands as barren lumps of rock, which they normally become in the height of the summer holiday season. However in Spring, Ibiza is surprisingly colourful.

This very distant woodchat shrike was the only one of the trip.
Other birds seen included 3 sandwich tern, 2 possible Balearic shearwater, 100+ cory's shearwater in San Antonio bay on 18th April, Mediteranean shag, thekla lark, corn bunting, serin, sardinian warbler, bee-eater, the first swifts of the year including a possible pallid swift and a Hoopoe on the way to the airport on the 19th.