Monday, October 31, 2011

Andaman Islands

So now I am preparing for my up-coming trip to the Andaman Islands. Yes, right there in the middle of the Indian Ocean, or is it the Bay of Bengal ? Or the Andaman Sea ? Anyway, it's a long way off ! My main target ? Correct... Andaman Woodpecker.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Corn Bunting

Just back from two day trips in Hungary with two folks from California. The autumn weather was not the best, but some great birds did show. This Corn Bunting was one of many that posed nicely in the gloom.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Basque country

Most of the area I visited in northern Spain was Basque country. Now there is a language... and I thought Hungarian was tough !!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Back from Spain

That was a great trip. A few days in the Western Pyrenees, Navarre and the Basque country. In the company of some excellent local birders I explored the various montane habitats and heard and saw my two main target birds: Iberian Green Woodpecker and lilfordi White-backed Woodpecker. It was very interesting to compare the habitats of the White-backed to those in Central and Eastern Europe. Lots of other birds around, too, like Alpine and Common Choughs, Citril Finch and Griffon Vultures (see photo) which are common.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

French Pyrenees

Yesterday we drove over into the French side of the Western Pyrenees. Very different there from the Spanish side. Damper, lusher, more influenced by Atlantic and Northern climates. We searched in particular for the lilfordi race of White-backed Woodpecker and finally heard 2 and saw one.  

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Here in the Pyrennes

I am in the Western Pyrennes in Spain right now. Wonderful montane landscapes here... gorges and craggy cliffs galore, pastures and mature pine and beech forests. The weather is unseasonally hot, around 30c at times. Birds of note seen so far include Citril Finch, Alpine Chough, Griffon Vulture and, particularly pleasing, Iberian Green Woodpecker!  .

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Western Pyrennees

I am off to Spain, to the Basque country, in the western Pyrenees to be more precise. Amongst other things, I hope to find some lifordi race White-backed Woodpeckers and sharpei race Green Woodpeckers. Watch this space.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Jay in the garden

One of our garden birds, Eurasian Jay. Being quite common and a corvid (which many folks, even birders, just don't seem to like), it is often ignored. But it is a stunning bird.