Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Yellow-browed Warbler!!

Finally... YES!
After years of 'fidelity' to my dear local patch, l'Aiguamoll de la Bòbila, I could observe a rarity there.
Yesterday night, Jordi Comellas send me an email with Phylloscopus warblers photos, asking me if anyone wasn't a collybita. I though 'Sure that all of them are collybita, but I will see just in case'. When I saw the Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus) in one of his photos, my heart stopped beating.

Today I went there at the morning, before going to classes, and I could see the dreamt Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus) just there, in la Bòbila. It was extremely exhilarating!!!
I have never seen an inornatus before, so... Anything could be better?

A testimonial photo...

Before the long and great observation, I heard ¿another? individual. Perhaps there was another bird, but I couldn't assure it.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Crazy Crane day

Today was a very cold and windy day. It snowed in the Pyrenees and the winter temperatures dominated all day.
Because of this situation, thousands of Common Cranes (Grus grus) apeared in migration around Catalunya, specially all along the coastline.

I take some information from www.ornitho.cat about the "Crane invasion":

- +10.800 observations in a single day!
- Look at the map: in yellow the sightings of 28-10 and in red, the 29-10 observations:
All information --> Source: www.ornitho.cat

At the morning I was in l'Aiguamoll de la Bòbila another time. I saw 9 Common Teals (Anas crecca), a female Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata), a Redwing (Turdus iliacus), +40 Reed Buntings (Emberiza schoeniclus) and +70 Common Linnets (Carduelis cannabina) as the most interesting birds.

Later, I went woth Jordi Comellas to La Corbatera, where we didn't saw anything special. Just when we were talking about the Crane's 'invasion', we saw a group of 39 birds flying, in migration. We could take some photos.
Eurasian Cranes (Grus grus)
Later, we visited a sunflower land in order to look for some Fringillidae. We saw +100 Common Linnets (Carduelis cannabina), lots of Chaffinches (Fringilla coelebs), Goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis), Serins (Serinus serinus), 2 Bramblings (Fringilla montifringilla) and also some White Wagtails (Motacilla alba). It's a good place to expect a Lesser Redpoll (Carduelis cabaret), or maybe a Common Redpoll (Carduelis flammea)...

Ringing in Besòs mouth

Yesterday morning I went to Sant Adrià de Besòs, between Barcelona and Badalona, with Xavi Larruy, Quique Carballal, Albert Petit, Santiago Bateman, Javi Oliver and another birders. Xavi organized a public ringing session in the Besòs river. This is a very important stopover for migrating birds, and lots them are 'obliged' to pass for the Besòs river, because it is the only 'non urban place' in kilometers around.

We caught 142 birds, a good number. We basically caught Blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla) and Robins (Erithacus rubecula). Also some House and Tree Sparrows (Passer domesticus and P.montanus) and Cetti's Warblers (Cettia cetti), 3 Song Thrushes (Turdus philomelos), 5 Grey wagtails (Motacilla cinerea), 2 hite Wagtails (Motacilla alba), 5 Kingfishers (Alcedo atthis), 2 Reed warblers (Acrocephalus scirpaceus), a Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica)...

Besòs river is an special place for migrating birds. Is the only place in kilometers around where they can stop and eat something. It's a fantastic stopover place for lots of birds. Between the Giant Canes (Arundo donax), the French Tamariscs (Tamarix gallica) and other vegetation in the river, there are lots of birds of birds in almost every bush. Xavi had found a Yellow-browed warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus) the day before, but we didn't see it.

You can see some photos and a short video in the great Quique Carballal's blog, here. (text in Catalan)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Reed Warbler to say goodbye

This evening in l'Aiguamoll de la Bòbila, I saw a Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) between some Reed Buntings (Emberiza schoeniclus). A nice scene, not easy to see here. Probably, I won't see anymore scirpaceus this year. The bird was doing some calls, saying 'goodbye, have a nice winter!'.

I saw also a Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe), a Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) and a Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus)... some transaharian birds just to the side of 52 Skylarks (Alauda arvensis), a Coal Tit (Periparus ater), Chaffinches, Reed Buntings... and also the first Cirl Bunting (Emberiza cirlus) of the season.

The Great Egret (Casmerodius albus) is still there, and today, in the Cattle Egret's roost, there were 112 birds. I saw a nice Barn Owl (Tyto alba) and I come back home.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


This morning I saw the first Skylark (Alauda arvensis) in my local patch. I was with Joan Manubens, a great friend who usually comes with me there.
We didn't see anything special or 'new'. At least 1 Great Egret (Casmerodius albus) is still there, and the 3 Common Redstarts (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) too.
Suddenly, a Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis) appeared in a hood distance to saw it very well. I tried to do some photos 'phonescoping' (do photos a mobile phone through the telescope). You can see the results below!
Later, we found the Redstarts and I also took some photos!
Phonescoping is a practic method to take great photos! (and very useful if I find some rarities!).

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Autumn days

Rain, wind, cloudy skies...
Autumn has started in my local patch. There are lots of Common Finches (Fringilla coelebs) everywhere, some Reed Buntings (Emberiza schoeniclus), a few Common Chiffchafs (Phylloscopus collybita), Meadow Pipits (Anthus pratensis), Serins (Serinus serinus), Goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis), European Robins (Erithacus rubecula)...
I will wait for the first Skylarks (Alauda arvensis) and I will continue watching the Corn Buntings (Emberiza calandra) roosting on the reedbeds.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Red Deer's bellows

This weekend I stayed in Boumort, a National Hunting Reserve in the Pre-pyrenees. It's a great place to see a lot of biodiversity because there are a lot of different habitats in a little space. You can start seeing some Mediterranean animals in the middle of a big oak wook and, half an hour later, you can walk around a Mountain Pine's forest (Pinus uncinata).

I went in Boumort with David Solans, a great photographer. We arrived there on Thursday night. Just before arrive to Refugi Cuberes, the place where I slept and ate, we saw a Badger (Meles meles), a Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes), a Beech Marten (Martes foina) and a big Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) male, all in the middle of the track.

The Red Deer's bellows starts, genereally, in half September and last to half October. Then, this weekend was in the end of the heat period, so we didn't hear lots of Deers.

Autumn weather in the Pyrenees means lots of rain and cold... but also lots of mushrooms and alpine birds that move into low altitudes.

Lactarius sanguifluus
Refugi Cuberes is situated in a valley (see the photo bellow). You only can arrive there after an hour by track.

Friday was a terribly autumn day, All day raining... Only at midday I could see some birds from the Refuge. I saw 2 Sparrowhawks (Accipiter nisus), a Red Kite (Milvus milvus) and a Eurasian Hobby (Falco subbuteo) migrating, and 2 Bearded Vultures (Gypaetus barbatus), 2 Black Vultures (Aegypius monachus) and a Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). Not bad!
At the evening I was 'chasing' a Deer that was bellowing near the Refuge. I could see it just after the sun went down... but it was an enormous male!

On saturday morning, I went to see some Vultures. From Refugi Cuberes, I saw a fantastic Red Deer male. I could take a photo 'phonescoping'...!

I found a good place to see the Vultures soaring up. I saw 2 Bearded Vultures (Gypaetus barbatus), a Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), a migrating Short-toed Snake-eagle (Circaetus gallicus) and a Red Kite (Milvus milvus), both migrating.

On the afternoon, I went to the Mountain Pine forest. It's a place that I really love. During all the route that I did, I saw a Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatus), some Citril Finches (Serinus citrinella) lots of Tits (specially Long-tailed, Coal and Crested), lots of Goldcrests (Regulus regulus) and some migrating birds, like Skylarks (Alauda arvensis), Common Linnets (Carduelis cannabina), Meadow Pipits (Anthus pratensis), Grey Wagtails (Motacilla cinerea), Mistle Thrushes (Turdus viscivorus), some Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica) and a Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe).

Later, I prepared my hide for photograph some Deers. I didn't be lucky enough... I did'nt see any deer. Although, I saw a 1cy Eurasian Hobby (Falco subbuteo) and a dark form of Eleonora's falcon (Falco eleonorae) migrating and 2 Bearded Vultures (Gypaetus barbatus).

Sunday was the 'migration day'. During the morning, I counted lots of migrating birds while I was sitting in a grassland. In 2 hours, I saw: 8 Barn Swallows, 33 Meadow Pipits, 9 Grey Wagtails, 29 White Wagtails, 7 Song Thrushes, 15 Mistle Thrushes, minimum 480 Chaffinches, 1 Brambling, 2 Serins, 4 Goldfinches, 36 Eurasian Siskins and 20 Linnets.
This is the best place to see migration birds.
In August, I used to see some raptors here too.
The weekend passed very quickly. Just before the lunchtime, I visited Cuberes, a little village that was inhabited during the Spanish Civil War. The houses are in very bad conditions, but I went inside. All walls are full of inscriptions...

Later, when I left the biggest house, I saw some Common Crosbills (Loxia curvirostra).
Probably 1cy male. Look at the yellowish feathers
between the typically male redish feathers.
Some ad males can show this yellowish feathers too...

I will come back again... very soon.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

First migration night

At 21:30 I was in the street in Santpedor, my hometown. The night was pitch black and started to rain. I heart 10 Song Thrushes (Turdus philomelos) migrating in only 5 minutes hearing them.

I will continue hearing night migration next days...

Last year I counted 272 Song Thrushes and 1 Eurasian Stone-Curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus) in only 5 days. Let's see this year...

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fox and some presaharian arrivals

This afternoon I saw some new presaharians in l'Aiguamoll de la Bòbila. Despite I saw 2 Northern Wheatears (Oenanthe oenanthe) and a Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus), everything starts to seem a typical winter day.

The Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) is already a common migrant. I saw 4 birds today. Grey Wagtails (Motacilla cinerea) are flying around and the European Stonechats (Saxicola rubicola) are arrived...

Today I saw the first Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis), the first Robin (Erithacus rubecula) and also the first Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus).

One of the Great Egrets (Casmerodius albus) that I found on Thursday was still there. He was feeding near the Cattle Egret's roost. Today there was 142 there, not bad numbers.

While I was counting the Bubulcus, a Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) has appeared just in front of me! I have been watching it for 10 minutes...
Can you find the fox?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Bad weather

This weekend I went to Ebre Delta. On Saturday, I was the whole day in a lecture about bird monitoring schemes, dedicated specially to the SOCC, the Catalan Common Bird Census. It was a great journey, but the weather didn't go with us... it was a rainy day.

On Sunday morning I went to see some birds around the Delta with Marta Queralt. Despite the clouds disappeared, it was a windy day. We started looking for a 1w Citrine wagtail that was found on Saturday but we only saw lots Yellow wagtails (Motacilla flava). We went to El Serrallo ricefields then.

There, we saw a good wader concentration: 4 Marsh Sandpipers (Tringa stagnatilis), 2 Collared Pratincoles (Glareola pratincola), 1 Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus), 3 Black-tailed Godwits (Limosa limosa), +50 Common Ringed Plovers (Charadrius hiaticula), +20 Dunlins (Calidris alpina), +15 Little Stints (Calidris minuta) 24 Red Knots (Calidris canutus), 4 Curlew Sandpipers (Calidris ferruginea), 2 Ruffs (Philomachus pugnax), 2 Ruddy Turstones (Arenaria interpres), Greenshanks, Northern Lapwings...

Later, we went to Finca DACSA, a big grassland that is in the middle of ricefields, with Montse Raurell and Carles Durà. It's a good place to see birds, but the problem is that you can't go inside because is a private estate. From the road, we looked the grassland, and we found a juvenile Buff-breasted Sandpiper (Tryngites subruficollis).

Photo took by Marta Queralt López

Despite the bad weather, it was a great shorebird-morning!