Thursday, October 30, 2008

Lunch Time Birding

Where I work we have two long hedge rows around the car parks there is also a couple of fields and a nice country lane to do my birding at lunch time

Yesterday I had Buzzard, Carrion Crow, Collared Dove, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Fieldfare, Blackbird, Goldcrest, and by the main car park a Firecrest

Monday, October 27, 2008

Wolf Watching in N W Spain

I spent a short break in NW Spain in the search of Iberian Wolf the company that I used was Oliva Rama Holidays (see my links ) run by Jules Sykes I had been on a short break with Jules before and found him friendly and very enthusiastic about showing you the birds and Mammals I would like to thank the rest of the group Caroline, Andy, and Ken for making it a enjoyable trip

The flight from Heathrow was an hour late leaving then it took nearly half an hour to clear customs at Madrid so I was a hour and a half late meeting the rest of the group> we then had a 3 hour drive to our hotel in San Pedro on route we stopped for a snack where we had 2 Crossbills on top of a tree at the side of the car park other birds seen on route included Southern Grey Shrike Buzzard, Red Kite, Kestrel, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Jay, Hose Sparrow, Crested Lark. Spotless Starling As we were late arriving at San Pedro we decided to go straight to a Wolf watching site where we had Red Deer, Dartford Warbler but sadly no Wolf so it was on to the hotel
-------- where we would be staying for the next 4 night we booked in freshened up and had a very nice meal and a few drinks and then planned our next days program

Day 2
We got up early to make our first visit of the day in search of the Iberian Wolf we returned to the site we had visited the night before while waiting for the rest of the group to come down we had 2 Tawny Owls calling. but again no Wolf so back to the hotel then after breakfast it was of to the plains
on route we had Southern Grey Shrike, Sparrow hawk, Red Kite , Buzzard. Peregrine, Kestrel, Crested lark, Corn Bunting, Jackdaw, Red Legged Partridge Carrion Crow, Magpie, Jay, Spotless Starling we then drove around the fields looking for Great Bustard we stopped when Jules said he had something in a field at first we thought it might be a Bustard but it turned out to be our first Griffon Vulture sitting also while we where here we had Calandra Lark Crested Lark with lots of Corn Buntings we then continued to drive around some more then the call went up from Ken Black Bellied Sand Grouse so we stop and found them on the ground there where 7 of them as we drove on we saw a Black Shouldered Kite so we stopped and watched the Kite for a short time we then carried on driving around and made another stop and took a short walk down a track we had more Calandra Larks Crested Larks and quite a few Great Bustards we also had a Merlin and Lang’s Short Tailed Butterfly, Clouded Yellow more Corn Buntings then it was back on the bus as we were driving off we had 3 Rock Sparrows in with the Corn Buntings so it was off for lunch after we where now going to look for waders but first we needed to find some water as every where was dry this proved quite difficult we did find some water where we had 1 Grey Lay Goose 2 Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Shell duck, Teal, Black Headed Gull, Marsh Harrier, Swallowtail, and we found a Kestrel on a post after a short deliberation this turned out to be our first Lesser Kestrel we also had a Little Owl sitting in a stone feature on the way back to our base we had more Birds of Prey including 2 more Griffon Vultures flying, Red Kites, Buzzards, Common Kestrel, 2nd Marsh Harrier and a 2nd Little Owl so it was back for a hour rest and a well deserved beer. We then met at the bus at 6 o’clock where we had Black Redstart, we were now told that there was a change of plan we where going to the same Wolf site as before but would only be there a short time as we where going to be taken to another site . There was a young girl stopping at the hotel who had seen Wolf at this other site where there had been a carcass put out but when we got there. There was nothing left of it so it did not look promising while we where looking a car drove down the track that we where watching so that basically put a end to that we did not see Wolf so it was back to the hotel for another fine meal and wine followed by G&Ts / Brandy or what ever any one wanted we did the log then planned the next days program

Day 3
Early start again and it was off to the site that the girl had taken us to last night to look for Wolf but again no luck so back for breakfast after which I had a short stroll around the village and found Siskin, Great Tit, Grey Wagtail, House Sparrow, Nuthatch, So now it was off to a Raptor watching site we stopped on route at a gouge

where we had Cormorant, Crag Martin, Red Rumped Swallow, Rock Bunting, and Woodlark calling. On the short walk out to the raptor site

we had Linnet, Cirl Bunting, Woodlark, the group was split up on the walk out I had a Immature Golden Eagle also Raven. At the Raptor site we had 3 Red Billed Chough, 3 Golden Eagles in front of us and our second Lesser Kestrel as well as a flock of 55 Griffon Vultures plus more we also had Hen Harrier, Sparrow Hawk, Peregrine, Buzzard., Iberian Green Woodpecker. Then we drove on heading to Portugal we stopped on the way to scan the fields and had a Tree Pipit on a bush at the side of the road we then continued to Portugal where we had lunch we stopped on the way back looking for Bonelli’s Eagle but no luck but did have another Golden Eagle and Sardinian Warbler, Blackcap, Hawfinch, Common Swift We then returned to our base and some of us went to have a look at another site Jules had been told about he had been told that there had been a carcass put out so we had a quick look only to get a look at the lay of the land we then found another Black Shoulder Kite (Got to say this was my bird of the trip ) then it was back to the Wolf site we had been to this morning and again no luck so by now every one was getting a little uneasy are we going to see Wolf. So it was back for another excellent meal and to decide what to do tomorrow. So over drinks and the log we decided tomorrow would be all out to try and find the elusive Iberian Wolf

So today we were going to try all the Iberian Wolf sites that we had we started early with the one that we had done on the first night but again no luck so after breakfast we headed to the site where we had been told that there was a carcass

on arrival we walked along the track and could hear voices then we came upon a group of Spanish walkers Jules spoke to them and they showed us where the carcass was we where standing watching the carcass when Ken said there is a Wolf walking in from the right it went pass the carcass and was out of sight for a while but it returned to feed on the carcass and did so for about 20 minutes a big sigh of relieve from every one we managed to show the Spanish group of walkers the Wolf through our scopes they where well pleased the Wolf was on edge all the time as we watched it at one point a Wild Bore walked in front of it after the Wolf had gone we watched 6 Red Kites feeding on the carcass we had 2 Crested Tits in the wood behind us and 6 Crossbill flying over Next it was off to see if we could locate the Black Shouldered Kite and we found 2 so we were well pleased we then returned to the hotel for lunch the biggest sandwich I have ever seen washed down with some wine after lunch we went for a short stroll around the village and found Rock Bunting. After a short break we then returned to the area that we had seen the Wolf after watching the area for a while where we had Hen Harrier, Red Kite, Buzzard, the 2 Black Shouldered Kites, Dartford Warbler. I saw a fox moving through the edge of the wood Then the same Wolf appeared which we had earlier we watched if for over half a hour before he disappeared we then went back to the very first site that we had been to after a short while Caroline said are those dogs over there but when we got on then there were 3 Wolfs moving through the edge of the bracken I managed to see 2 off them Another 1 was spotted but I did not see it we also had more Red deer and a Wild Bore so all in all a superb end to the day and what a way to end our trip

Day 5
Bit of a lay in today we decided that we would just have breakfast then get under way as we had a 3 hour trip back to Madrid airport from the motorway into Madrid we had a Black Vulture fly over I had No Problem with the flight coming back every thing was on time

Friday, October 24, 2008


Here are a few pictures they are stills taken from my video there will be more to follow when I do my write up

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

N W Spain Wolf watching

Im now back from my trip to Spain in the seach of Wolf I will be writing up my trip report soon and I hope to have a few pictures of the trip I did video the wolf but it was about 1km away so not the best video

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Start Of My Blog


This is the start of my blog
I will be posting my nature trips and my birding days and holidays