Monday, 18 March 2019

Spain VII

The Northern Bald Ibis (Hooaka-tokiホオアカトキ) was reintroduced into Andalucia and the project has been successful. One of the breeding sites the Ibis chose (apparently they didn't like the site humans chose for them!!) is on a cliff by a busy road.

Their plumage was very beautiful and their faces were ... yes, very bald!

They were sharing the cliff with the Western Jackdaw (Nishi-kokumarugarasuニシコクマルガラス).

On the way to the Strait of Gibraltar, we stopped by a lake to check if there was something interesting to see.

Vicent spotted an Osprey (Misagoミサゴ) sitting on a pole in the lake.

Barn Swallows (Tsubameツバメ) and Red-rumped Swallows (Koshiaka-tsubameコシアカツバメ) were flying around and male Stonechats (Yoroppa(Europe)-nobitakiヨーロッパノビタキ) were singing on top of their singing posts.

Barn Swallow - resident

Stonechat - resident

We ended our 2-day birding trip with the Spanish Imperial Eagle.

We really enjoyed every moment of the two days with Vicent. If you have a day or even half a day in Andalucia to spare, we highly recommend to contact him.
Thanks Vicent!

Click here for Vicent's Doñana Wings

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Spain VI - the Strait of Gibraltar

On the second day, we headed for the Straits of Gibraltar to observe the raptor migration.

Africa is just 14km away!
The famous "Rock" of British Gibraltar was the other side of the bay from where we were standing.

Most of the raptors were flying over the sea from Africa individually and when they got to the European side, they used the thermals to lift themselves, circling up and up and eventually disappeared.

Short-toed Eagles (Chuhiwashiチュウヒワシ)

Some arrived on the Spanish side very very low, almost touching the water.
Vicent, our guide, told us some unfortunate eagles die from drowning because some gulls start mobbing when they've spotted a weak one.

Egyptian Vultures (Egiputo(Egypt)-hagewashiエジプトハゲワシ)

Short-toed Eagle and Black Kite (Tobiトビ)

Black Kite

raptors circling over the cliff

We saw Booted Eagles (Himekumatakaヒメクマタカ), a Pallid Harrier (Usuhaiiro-chuhiウスハイイロチュウヒ), a Common Buzzard (Nosuriノスリ), Eurasian Sparrowhawks (Haitakaハイタカ) and Griffon Vultures (Shiroeri-hagewashiシロエリハゲワシ) as well.

Non-raptor migrants - Black Storks (Nabekohナベコウ)

We saw a flock of White Wagtails and heard Yellow Wagtails.

Maybe not migrating but a pair of Ravens (Watarigarasuワタリガラス) were flying over the cliff.

And they were mobbed by Common Kestrels (Chogenboチョウゲンボウ), which didn't seem to be migrating either.

A Subalpine Warbler (Shirahige-mushikuiシラヒゲムシクイ), possibly arrived earlier in the day, was quietly hopping among the shrubs.

near Tarifa - beautiful harbour

A very exciting morning at the Strait.
Without Vicent, we wouldn't have had a clue of the birds' identification.

Click here for Vicent's Doñana Wings

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Spain V - Doñana National Park

Small birds were much harder to take photos of as the area was so open like this.

I managed to shoot some of them.

Crested Larks (Kammuri-hibariカンムリヒバリ) - resident

Spanish Sparrows (Supein(Spain)-suzumeスペインスズメ) - resident
Both are females, which very much resemble the female of the House Sparrow.
I failed to take photos of males, which have a chestnut-coloured crown and nape.

Corn Buntings (Hata-hoojiroハタホオジロ) - resident
They were singing every 30 meters or so and probably one of the most sighted birds during our 2 daytrips.

Common Snipes (Tashigiタシギ) - wintering

Western Yellow Wagtails Motacilla flava iberiae 
(no Japanese name ニシツメナガセキレイ?) - summer birds

White Wagtails Motacilla alba alba? (Haku-sekireiハクセキレイ) - resident

Common Sandpiper (Isoshigiイソシギ) - resident
& Corn Bunting & House Sparrow (Ie-suzumeイエスズメ)

Common Sandpipers & House Sparrows - resident

a common view of swampy areas
Little Egrets (Kosagiコサギ), Great Egrets (Daisagiダイサギ), Grey Herons (Aosagiアオサギ), Purple Herons (Murasakisagiムラサキサギ), Western Cattle Egrets (Nishi-amasagiニシアマサギ), Eurasian Spoonbills (Herasagiヘラサギ), Purple Swamphens (Seikeiセイケイ), Glossy Ibis, White Storks were the most common in those habitat. We heard a Great Bittern (Sankanogiサンカノゴイ) booming!

That was about it for the day 1 in Doñana National Park with Vicent.
We counted more than 90 species, which I think was great.

a deer was watching us watching birds:)

Click here for Vicent's Doñana Wings

Friday, 15 March 2019

Spain IV - Doñana National Park

Raptors in Doñana

Some colonies of Lesser Kestrels (Hime-chogenboヒメチョウゲンボウ) have been established in Doñana.
Each nest box has a number.  females (above, below)
A male Lesser Kestrel has gray upperwing coverts - hmm.. hard to see them though!

We saw Common Kestrels at the same spot too. Both Common and Lesser Kestrels are resident birds in Doñana.

Black Kite (tobiトビ)
Black Kites - summer birds in Doñana

Red Kites (Akatobiアカトビ) are resident. (no pic)

This Black-shouldered Kite (Kataguro-tobiカタグロトビ) didn't like something in the bush below, which we weren't able to see, and kept diving at it, making sharp calls at each dive.

Black-shouldered (or Black-winged) Kites - resident in Doñana

a pair of Little Owls (Kokimme-fukuroコキンメフクロウ)

Little Owls - resident in Doñana

Peregrine Falcon (Hayabusaハヤブサ)

 just coughing up a pellet!
Peregrine Falcon - resident in Doñana

Raptors we saw in Doñana - Black-shouldered Kite, Eurasian Griffon Vulture, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Western Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Montagu's Harrier, Black Kite, Red Kite, Common Buzzard

Click here for Vicent's Doñana Wings