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Galana's. Third big year.


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Peter Connan

Congratulations on the 100!

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@Galana you are moving up so quick I have almost forgot to congratulate you on your #100 ! And what a special bird it is.

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Yes, congratulations on #100 and what a magnificent bird it is! Another one Alberto got quite frustrated about, not being able to show us one. He did show us lots of others , though and we managed to see a distant one the last day of our stay there.

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Thanks all. @PeterHG

Yes. Alberto really sweated for a Lammergeier for me. He covered miles to places I can scarcely remember. Even a monastery perched high up a cliff got a visit. so it was very disappointing for me when I got that sitting duck in the very first place he had taken us to on the last day of our visit to Sipan.



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Today's offering starts here:-

We have now moved south on the long drive to Andalucia and had decided to break the self catering routine by indulging two nights in a Spanish Paradore.

By chance I picked the lovely Franciscan Monastery in Amalga for two nights as it was about half way. By complete fluke and serendipity this was within 20 miles or so of a much underused National Park called Las Tablas di Daimiel https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tablas_de_Daimiel_National_Park. so our 'rest' day was spent exploring this wetland. What a bonus even though it was a Sunday and the Spanish concept of what should happen in a National Park is somewhat different to mine!:o

Never mind. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth!



106. Water Pipit. Las Tablas.




107. Whinchat. Las Tablas.



108. Black-winged Stilt. Las Tablas.



109. Pied Avocet. Las Tablas. Long shot but I should do better later in the year.



110. Northern Shoveller. Las Tablas.


So I picked up five here plus improved versions of others and missed photos of Bearded Reedling and Reed Warbler, due "impromptu disturbance", so was well pleased with my find.

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Congratulations on reaching the 100, and looks like you had a very productive time in Spain.

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We are now in Andalucia at a small Finca near Casares where the owners, Penny and John,  are "Birding Pals". I don't recall many of the place names we were shown so it 'location' is vague that is the reason.


First we hit the beach near Tarifa.


111. Corey's Shearwaters offshore.



112. Pallid Harrier. A location I can remember but not the name. In a lot of dried Rice paddies and meadows  with drainage dykes.




113. Eurasian Spoonbill. Same Rice Paddies.

In the same paddyfield were




114. A solitary Greater Flamingo and a White Stork.



On a wire was


115. Zitting Cisticola (Fan-tailed Warbler) but later my camera played up again and insisted I had a better photograph for you.


This location I do recall it was just 10 minutes from our Casita in the valley of the Rio Guadiaro where we spent some time.


More follows:-

Tomorrow has another Lifer.

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Cory's Shearwater and Pallid Harrier, those are really good ones! And a good shot of the Cisticola, indeed.

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With that palid harrier you’re setting the bar too high, I may not have any chances on the EBC King title dispute:lol:.

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1 hour ago, PeterHG said:

And a good shot of the Cisticola, indeed.

Yes. I must clean the lens more often but Spain is such a dry country.

However it got another polish for the following offerings:-




116. Cattle Egret.  Barbate area.


And odd things to find on any Fairway:-



117. Glossy Ibis. Monte Mideo Golf and Country Club.

I know in golf you can get Birdie s and Eagles but IBIS?

And not just one species!!




Howzat? Oh, Sorry, wrong game!!:D




118. Northern Bald Ibis. A small colony established and breeding near Verjer de la Frontera. Badly hit in last winters weather but increasing. Lifer for me.




119. Sanderling.  Marismas di Barbate.




120. No I did not miss the Little Stint with the Sanderling.  Barbate.


More follows later. The sun is shining......

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11 minutes ago, pedro maia said:

you’re setting the bar too high, I may not have any chances on the EBC King title dispute:lol:.

Don't worry. I have had years of practice but you are doing well as a beginner.:rolleyes:

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Peter Connan

That Northern Bald is a cool-looking bird Fred!

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2 hours ago, Peter Connan said:

That Northern Bald is a cool-looking bird Fred

It looks somewhat like I feel some mornings!

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I also liked the bald ibis, never heard of it, but I also haven’t heard of most birds posted around here...

Edited by pedro maia
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Next five:-





121. Kentish Plover. Marismas Barbate.




122. Dunlin. Marismas Barbate.





123. Stone Curlew. Marismas Barbate.  Never mind the quality. Another Lifer for me.





124. Rock Bunting. Valley in Serrania di Ronda.



125. (Red-tailed) Rock Thrush.  Serrania di Ronda. At first I had lumped this with Short-toed Rock Thrush when in East Africa but it appears it is a separate species so another lifer.

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You can eat very well in that part of Spain, jamón ibérico and pescado frito, you must be having a great time.

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Your Spain list is quite impressive. Great shots of the Rock Bunting.

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9 hours ago, pedro maia said:

You can eat very well in that part of Spain, jamón ibérico and pescado frito

We did. We found a nice little Venta and had some lovely local dishes for lunch. Been home a while now.


2 hours ago, PeterHG said:

Your Spain list is quite impressive. Great shots of the Rock Bunting.

Thanks Peter. You must take part of the credit of course having steered me there last year.

Andalucia was my idea and there are a few more to come yet. :D

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Still in Andalucia but not so far ranging from our Casita now:-


Later in the season we were told this river valley would be full of Woodchat Shrikes but we were more than happy to find three especially as they were so friendly. (One of my favourite birds.)




126. Woodchat-Shrike. Rio Guaddiaro.




127. Greenfinch. Evidently not so common as my hosts were quite pleased to see this. Rio Guaddiaro.


Now a question for the experts.

How long does it take for a Wheatear to moult?


When I first encountered this bird it looked like this:-



And I could not really convince myself that it was not a female Northern with the 'ear' being just a shadow of the bill.

Next day, same place within 5 metres of the day before, I got this through the car Quarter light...



Quite like the day before's bird but definitely not Northern.


Then again the day after on exactly the same location here it was to dispel all doubts:--





128. Black-eared Wheatear. Rio Guadiaro.

I ask the question as the bird was within feet/metres of the same place each day. Indeed we parked up expecting to see it and it duly appeared.

We never saw more than one bird each time so "Was I seeing the same bird each day as it moulted into Spring plumage or was there more than one bird and they were working shifts?" NB. I never saw the earlier versions later.


No such problem on the next offering.





129. Little Ringed Plover. Rio Guadiaro. Several pairs.





130. Cirl Bunting. Rio Guadiaro. My penultimate Lifer.


More later.

Edited by Galana
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Dave Williams

Fair motoring Fred, must admit I have taken to Spain and must try the areas you went to this time. You saw some cracking birds along the way and there would be several lifers for me too!

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2 hours ago, Galana said:

Was I seeing the same bird each day as it moulted into Spring plumage or was there more than one bird and they were working shifts

I think that was way too short a time-span for a moult. Could the first bird not have been a dark female of the same species? Literature states that there is variation, both in darkness of feathers and in having  full, or partial ear coverts, though never as black as in males.

You're still having a good time, obviously!

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I am certainly not claiming to be an expert but I find it hard to imagine that moulting and new feather production could take place so quickly.

You continue to do very well in Spain

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Re the Wheatear. Thanks all for the input. These were my thoughts too but hand on heart we only ever saw one bird over the four days and it was within metres of the same rock each time. Maybe there was a team effort or they worked like one of those weather station toys with only one of the pair on view?


Spain @Dave Williams I had never considered it until @PeterHG's post last year although I have long fancied the Cota Danana for Lynx.

Worth a look and I never paid for any hide use? :rolleyes:

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Dave Williams
1 minute ago, Galana said:


Worth a look and I never paid for any hide use? :rolleyes:

It shows!!!!


Seriously, I loved the places we went in Extremadura where we didn't uses hides.However, I'm booked in for more hides next year too!


I was chatting to a guy who went after Lynx in Spain and he spent 11 days in a hide and had two brief sightings, I seem to recall he took about 3 shots which make my one day ordeal a mere inconvenience!

Estonia have Lynx but again, you need a lot of luck to see one.

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The final curtain on Spain..Ole!




131. Crested Lark. Rio Guadiaro.




132. Northern Wheatear. Rio Guadiaro.




133. Ringed Plover.  Barbate Miasmas.




134. Monk Parakeet. Sotagrande.




135. Booted Eagle. La Janda valley.   Note the landing lights!


And finally.....



136. Common Buzzard.  La Janda.


So in total two weeks in Spain yielded 82 for BY2019 along with several personal lifers.

Some of the 82 I would have got, will get, later this year no doubt but it was a great trip.

And of course we must not forget 'the ones that got away'. Seen but not brought to lens even within the scope of ECB. Kingfisher, Red-rumped Swallows.Audouins Gull, Little Bustard and Pin-tailed Sandgrouse to name but a few.  Maybe next year?

Now back on the island for a few weeks but I have got most of the regulars already.:(

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