Thursday, 11 April 2019

Chiba Koen

I decided to cycle to the park as I thought the park would become much quieter after the cherry blossoms had gone, and I was right.

Two Dusky Thrushes (Tsugumiツグミ) were fueling up before their migration for the north.
One of them started to have a bath in a puddle.



A lone Brambling (Atoriアトリ) was foraging under pine trees with Black-faced Buntings (Aojiアオジ).


Some Tufted Ducks (Kinkurohajiroキンクロハジロ) were still seen on the pond and all the resident birds such as Great Tits, White-eyes, White Wagtails and Brown-eared Bulbuls were busy singing all over the park. Spring has sprung! 

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Azure-winged Magpies

Just after coming back from Europe, we heard a family of Azure-winged Magpies (Onagaオナガ) in our neighbour's garden.






I sent some of these pics to Vicent of Donana Wings and he said that the tail feathers of Azure-winged Magpies look longer than those of Iberian Magpies.
We think he's right.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Seville, Spain

Just thought that I'd put up some photos of beautiful Seville (and of some birds seen in the city centre).

la catedral de Sevilla


la giralde (the bell tower)

El Real Alcázar de Sevilla 



the Gardens of the Real Alcazar


a pair of Common Kestrels in the centre


a Rose-ringed (ring-necked) Parakeet (introduced) checking upon the kestrel

nesting Monk Parakeets (introduced)


Collared Doves (resident)

European Serins (resident)

Western Great Tits (resident)

Rose-ringed (ring-necked) Parakeets

Western Jackdaws (resident)

Muscovy Ducks (ornamental)

It was a great holiday and I totally fell in love with Seville:)

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.
resident

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