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Monday, 27 April 2015

Majorca 2015

Just a few shots of my recent visit to Majorca I have just selected a few at random and most are just as taken , spent most of my time at Son Real, Abufera, Boquer Valley area as much looking for flowers especially Orchids of which I found 8 species but considering there are 60 its just over 10% ,but hey I can always go back !
We based ourselves at Can Picafort its heavily patronised by the Germans so you would be better to brush up on your German as Spanish , the reserve at  Albufera ia walkable from here but you would only want to do it once  as is the deck at San Bosc and Son Real , buses where a bit hit and miss this early in the season but very reasonably priced a trip to the reserve is 1.55 Euro , I like to walk so we walked to Son Real twice ,the reserve once , Son Bosc  3 times and around the reserve path once .
Some reasonable numbers of waders around despite it apparently being quiet , Spotted Redshanks , Wood Sandpipers, Ruff, Common Sandpipers , Little Ringed Plovers , and Kentish Plovers  ,  Greenshanks  with a couple of Little Stints , Temminck's  Stints  , and Collared Pratincoles  and large numbers of Black Winged Stilt . Reading what had passed over the Island while  I was there was rather impressive though I had made the decision not to hire a car and chase all over the place  after birds  
Audouin's Gull 
 Orchids, some are in huge numbers these we only found a couple of plants
Several Tortoise  where encountered , I did not even know they had them  1
 Climbers up the edge of Boquer Valley I did see much here and still have to find Balearic Warbler

Little Egrets although fantastic don't have the magic they once had, with frequent sightings around my home now a sight I never thought I would see   !!!
 Absolute carpets of flowers another reason to go earlier this year , this is White Star of Bethlehem  which grows like daisy do in England
 This is about 4 "  long only found the one
 First Encounter with the Golden Eagle , various stories of it's origin
An Epic bus trip to Port Soller , which held hundreds of Yellow Legged  Gulls , but the vast number of cyclists on the way up the steep mountain roads  meant the journey seemed to take forever , and it's no easier coming back down as they are going some pace and in packs , another reason I did not fancy driving 

 Cuber Dam
Most of the Flowers I came across  I as yet have no idea as to their names , but I can still enjoy them

 A few Marbled Ducks around the first week but only one on the second
Saw plenty of Bee-Eaters  but they where always distant , I love there bubbly call as they fly over
 Only found about 5 species of |Butterffly dispite it being to us very warm , and dragonflies only noticed in the last couple of days
 Audouin's  Gulls seen only along the coast a very smart Gull with a distinct call

Many of the |Bee Orchids seem very similar so I took lots of photos to help ID
 You just can't capture the sheer mass of Flowers I have never seen a meadow like this in the UK . the Cattle Egret just to give it some scale
 Encounter 2 with the Golden Eagle I did get a couple of shots of Marsh Harrier mobbing it showing the huge size differance

A lot of the Orchids had gone over in the strong sunlight so finding some fresher blooms was harder
 This Bee on a Mirror Bee Orchid  which once you got your eye in was found in the thousands
 I don't really have the photographic gear for Botany , one guy had screens , flash and tripod set up , this one looks stunning when you get down to it's level

 Several sightings of Tortoise encountered one only a couple of inches long amazing

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Shaftoe Crags - Bolam

Not having been to Shaftoe Crags  for some time we had a drive up parked at the end of the lane and braved the fierce wind  as we headed on a circular walk around to the rock outcrops, a hard surface had been laid for part of the way since our last visit i thought it over the top till I twigged it comprised of  concrete railway sleepers placed face down ,but even so it must have taken some time and effort  to lay these.   Several   Buzzards encountered but little in the way of small birds and no sign of  expected Wheatear  we did see 2 grey Squirrel in a small wood  

 Thats one solid road of  railway sleepers
 I think this large stone is called The Tailor and his man
 Some of the as yet unused sleepers
 I have seen anything on this small pond
 the stone has some severe weather wear as presumably water runs over the edge

 This looks like a Lizards head

 Steps cut into the rock lead to a small cave presume it was used during quarrying

 More steps lead to the cave
 Some parts are very wert as you would expect from an area like this

 Its a nice area to visit we did a circular walk
 which goes back through this gap

 Called in at Bolam on the way back these two Roe seemed unconcerned by us
 picked out 2 Scaup on the choppy water so I got some shots just to check they where not Lesse Scaup