Sunday, August 31, 2008

Danube Delta Photos

Here are a few snapshots of habitats from last week's tour around the Danube Delta in Romania...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Day trip to Kiskunsag

I took a birder from the UK around the famlands and grasslands of the northern Kiskunsag yesterday. His main "targets" were Great Bustard and Saker Falcon, and we succeeded in seeing both: around 20 Bustards and 2 Sakers. There were plenty of Rollers around, though the Red-footed Falcons had left their breeding areas. Red-backed Shrikes were everywhere! At the fish-ponds we saw Ferruginous Ducks and all kinds of herons, a Short-toed Eagle, numerous Marsh Harriers and a juvenile Montagu's Harrier. It was a hot day in late August and yet this area turned up the goodies one again!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hungarian birding next February

I am putting together another "Hungary in Late Winter" birding trip. I did this earlier this year and it was a great success. Next year it will run from February 19 – 22, 2009. That's from Thursday to Sunday: 4 days - 3 nights. We will visit Lake Tata, nearby fishponds and woods, and the grasslands of the Kiskunsag National Park. The main focus of this tour will be to search for wintering and migrating geese. We hope to see flocks of Greater White-fronted Goose, some of the endangered Lesser White-fronted Goose, both Tundra and Taiga Bean Geese and perhaps a few Red-breasted Geese, too. In addition there are also some special resident birds like Great Bustard, Saker Falcon, White-tailed Eagle, eight species of woodpecker including Syrian, Grey-headed and Black, and other winter visitors such as Rough-legged Buzzard and Great Grey Shrike. In most years Wallcreeper winters in stone quarries hereabouts and if this is the case we will visit the best site: on last year's trip we succeeded in seeing this fantastic bird! If you are interested in joining this trip... drop me a line.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Back from the Birdwatching Fair

I am back from the Birdwatching Fair in the UK. I met and/or bumped into lots of you and even had the odd Osprey Bitter (or whatever that warm, flat, ale was called) with some of you. I spent an hour or so each day on the Bradt stand signing my new book and guess what... they sold out of the stock they brought. Bradt were very happy! So thanks to everyone who bought it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Off to the British Birdwatching Fair

Perhaps I will bump into some of you at the BBW at Rutland Water. This is the world's first and largest international birdwatching event. I will be there all 3 days (Friday to Sunday). I will not have a fixed place, no stand, just going around, but you can catch up with me from time to time on the BRADT stand in Marquee 2 Stand 26. I will be signing my new book there several times over the weekend. See you soon.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Quiz woodpeckers!

Most regular readers of this blog will know that I have another blog entitled WOODPECKERS OF EUROPE and that I often post on it "quiz woodpecker" photos. Interest in this has tailed off recently... are they boring ? or too hard ? Come on, have a go, the birders amongst you can improve your woody ID skills! There are only 10 woodpecker species in Europe, so it should not be too difficult to get close... here is a recent sample on the left. Take a look... here is the link:

Thursday, August 7, 2008

More pics from Slovenia

Here are a few more photos from my recent trip to the Julian Alps in Slovenia...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Green in Garden

So the Syrians have disappeared again... seems like it was just a brief visit to the garden the other day. But a Green Woodpecker came in yesterday, there was no mistaking its loud laughing call, the so-called "yaffle". Otherwise not much doing on the garden-bird front here... it is summer, hot and still.