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Thursday, 28 July 2016

Mallorca April 2016 Part 2

13th April 2016

Common Sandpipers in good numbers this one of three looking over from a roadside bridge

 Lesser Emperor on the sea shore and odd place for a Dragonfly
 Frogs are heard everywhere but not many seen these where in a gully on the track up to the visitor centre

14th Audouins Gull being vocal on the beach , also saw Kentish Plover , Dunlin, Ringed Plover , Mallard  and Little Egret as well as Swift, House Martins , Collared Dove all from the balcony

15th S Albufera Black tailed Skimmer make an appearance
 This is a very small Turtle only given away by the mud dried on its back
 great views of a Squacco Heron one late afternoon more photos to follow
 Good numbers of Spotted Redshanks this one with Greenshank

16th April

 More suspected Pine Marten scat
 Orchids going over rapidly in the Spring heat
 still sorting through some of the Orchids so as yet not sure of there names

 Cattle Egret in a field of colour , you could see one in the UK ,but doubt you will find it in  a meadow like this

A Couple of Red Kite seen but always distant , also at this time a raptor going over high , the photos where very poor but I did think it could have been possibly a Pallid Harrier

17th April 2016 Son Real
Hermann's Tortoise

 early morning seems best to find these although we did see lots of tracks
 Crossbills coming down to the pools for a drink

 Crossbills where very showy at the pool , luckily they sat in the trees on the edge where the light was better before dropping down to drink, there where other birds down , Serins, Linnets , Willow Warblers etc: but the shade too heavy to get any reasonable shots.

Marsh Harrier in the open fields , also here , Hoopoes , Crested Larks , and typical just as we sat down to have a drink and something to eat a mystery raptor passed over
Not too many Butterflies around lots of  very small ones which are hard to photograph

 Red Veined Darter on the long walk back to a shower and Beer (or two)

18th April 2016 

Got a hire car and headed for the Arta Mountains area its a park area has a carpark visitor centre toilets etc: not far out of Arta 

 Woodcaht Shrikes are fairly common using bare branches to perch on they are easy to see but always keep distant
 We decided to do one of the walks that gives views of Alcudia Bay and Formentor  its a bit of a slog especially carrying two cameras bins , food and water
 Views are suberb, you just can't capture it all in a photo,
 Looking out to sea

 I found lots of suspected Pine Marten scat , this is the classic shape with a Euro for size
 This is some sort of animal operated water pump , saw a few in various state of repair
 If you go check out the map in the car park it has the various routes on some are strenuous
Cirl Buntings around the car park 

Pied Flycatcher several around the car park area , probably the best place to be for Spring migration 
 back at the car we decided to drive the very narrow road to Betlam
There are lots of walks in the area , you can even walk here from the coast , although it's a steep climb , not sure what this was nearby

ended the day at the platform for a sunset and watch the Egrets going to roost 

 Some stunning sunset views from thye platform on the edge of the sewage works

Yellow Legged Gulls in some odd behaviour , why does the adult not just fly away

Early evening this Stone Curlew right beside the hide a couple of photographers must have taken hundreds of shots as it just sat there , putting there cameras in machine gun mode seems the norm now , as I also saw a couple take 40 plus shots each of a frog !!

Caspian Tern............. Big Waters

27th July I have just returned from an intensive trip to Bulgaria in search of Butterflies , so I just wanted to get out for a quiet walk around ,not having been to Big Waters for some time I headed there to check for Dragonflies . Typical of out British Summers by the time I got there it had mostly clouded over  all I got was Common Blue, Large Red , and Blue Tail Damsels so I just headed to the hides for a quick look . only newly fledged Blue and Great Tits on the feeders , looked out from the hide perhaps I would be lucky and see an otter problem was though I only had my compact 7 x 21 bins ,great for Butterflies and Dragonflies no good for distance there where several terns hawking the far end then one started mobbing a larger bird what the hell its another tern it flew low back and forth then high and came towards me still a long way off surely a Caspian Tern I thought , tried to pick it out in the camera but could not find it this was frustrating I thought it was going to fly off as an unconfirmed till it rose higher and headed off SW between the hides and I managed to pick it up in the camera and get a few shots to confirm using my SX50.
I put the word out but neglected to add a tag but I'm sure the word was spread although I stayed another hour and no one turned up on the off chance the bird returned so I guess everyone saw the last bird but me as I missed the last Caspian Tern not once but twice got to Big Waters to find it had just left and raced down to Blyth to find it had just been pushed off by the tide ,never to be seen again .