short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

Monday, 4 August 2014

Majorca, Great knot , Owls at sunset, & Nightjars!!

 So since my last blog update I've very busy ! A 2 week holiday to Majorca and a couple of trips out birding in july.

 Ill start with our family trip to Majorca, a beautiful place with Great beaches, superb weather and a selection of really great hotel resorts . Where we stayed was plush indeed and had some rather smart resident birds too.
 A regular to the lawns around our pool was a Hoopoe, one of many seen over the the couple of weeks
  I watched two particular birds over my 2 week stay, one pair which were feeding young which by the end of the stay I saw fledge and follow the parents to the lawns outside our balcony- wonderful stuff ! And the the other pair were regulars along the tennis court edges. While the little ones slept in the buggy I was there with the bins in hand to watch these super little birds munch away on the abundance of ants there! 

Hoopoe in flight

  Also seen around resort was ;
Turtle Doves,
Red legged partridge- resort scrub
Spotted flycatcher -every where

Spotted flycatcher

Green and gold finches- along the track to beaches and resort
House martins,swallows &Swifts
Linnets, Serin ,&Cirl buntings- in the pines and trees along beach area/ woods
Stonechats & Sardinen warbler &Balearic warbler - scrub on track to beach and along beach area
 Booted eagle,, 3x Eleanor's falcons -,both seen over resort area
Turtle dove, Wood pigeon ,Blackcap- farmland
Shag and Audouins Gull and a tern sp? -at  Sea & beach

Audouins gull


  At Punta da amer wood mainly pines-
3x  firecrest , 2x Turtle Doves & amazing views of 5x Nightingales- 2 were giving the best views I've ever and possibly ever will have of this super songsters!

singing Nightingale

Other bits of note was some nice views of Swallowtail butterflies ,along with some beautifully unidentified butterflies and a Hermans tortoise

hermans tortise

All in all a very nice holiday with wonderful wildlife too!
    Now a round up of Julys sighting-
 Just a couple of trips out, firstly a trip up to breydon water for the Great knot . I was among around 50+ birders and watched as it made its way a long the mud feeding among some godwits and redshank. I watched as it took to the air twice only to return closer both times.This was a lifer and took me up to 260 for the uk list . After that I decided to check out the little owls around caister area on my way home. It wasn't long before i picked up 3 along a fence and in the field behind a hunting Barn owl. Cracking sunset too and as I carried on my way another Barn owl flew across the road. A great end to a super few hours birding!

barn owl

little owl

sunset at caister

  And finally it was time for our annual trip to the coast for the Nightjars. This year due to holidays and busy schedule me & Yorkie couldn't get there in June so we meet up end of july. Before we got there we decided to pull over as the sun was setting and watch the pre roost take place of 8+ Marsh harriers Coming in and seeing if they can grab one last snack before sleep. A smart Barn owl was also seen along with 4x Little Egrets. It was then that we noticed a huge amount of Grey lag coming across, heading to roost . We decided it was time to head for "what we came for " ,the Nightjars before the light had completely gone.
It wasnt long before we were patiently waiting  for there presence when we noticed a Kestrel hovering over head and some skylarks singing.

 As we enjoyed a cold beer a late  Yellowhammer sung in the background as a Nightjar appeared! It came right over us and settled in a tree before quickly circling us and returning to perch. This yearly treat has a special place in my heart . Always great to see & a great way to spend a couple of hours out with a mate & a beer!
 As we returned to the car a young Tawny owl came over calling before it sounded out a horrible scream/ screech, we werent sure if it had hit something or it was so horrified at dropping its meal possibly!
As I said a great way to spend a summers evening and I wish that ( and the other nightjars) a safe return back to its wintering ground.
Happy birding ,