30 December 2010

Gibraltar - Winter Birds

We decided to pay a random visit to the Alameda Botanical Gardens one sunny afternoon in between all our Christmas and New Year luncheons, and luckily there weren't that many tourists about so we were able to capture some good shots of Chiffchaffs and a Redstart.
In flight
We then headed to Rosia, where we spotted some Gannets feeding just 10 metres away from the pier at the rocky 'beach' known locally as El Quarry. We then followed them all the way to Europa Point and we were able to get some fantastic shots by the lighthouse.

Hope you enjoy these photos! All the best for 2011!

And dive...!
In flight

Kestrel, Bonelli's & Sunrise

During recent outings, we took several photographs and we thought we'd add these now.

Here is a photo of a Kestrel, that we spotted:

Here is a shot of a Bonelli's Eagle (Juvenile). Unfortunately, its not really clear shot as it just crept up on us and we hadn't seen it from afar like we do most others, but it still proved to be perfect for identification purposes. 

And finally, here's a photo of a spectacular sunrise in La Janda... 

16 December 2010

Sierra de las Nieves

This is our second trip to Sierra de las Nieves! The first time we'd been we hadn't started the blog yet so we've decided to include some photos of our initial trip and those that are more recent.
Judging by the car thermostat, it was 1 degrees outside and we were freezing! We decided to brave it, wrapped up warm and ventured outside. In this particular location, you need to park the car and walk around or else you won't see a thing.
Great Tit
Here's a list of what we saw:
  • Wood Lark
  • Chaffinch
  • Sparrowhawk
  • Cold Tit
  • Blue Tit
  • Coal Tit
  • Great Tit
  • Crested Tit
  • Nuthatch
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker
  • Choughs
  • Jay
  • Blackbird
  • Short-toed Tree Creeper
  • Southern Grey Shrike
  • Chough
  • Crested Tit
  • Raven
  • Rock Bunting
  • Cirl Bunting
  • Wren
  • Nuthatch
We'd like to take this opportunity to wish all our followers a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2011!

09 December 2010

Return to La Janda

As the weather had been pretty awful recently we decided to stay close to home and pay another visit to La Janda. We checked the forecast on the Internet and realised it'd be a good day to go so we set off.
We arrived on the scene at 7:30am and we instantly spotted Cranes flying overhead and feeding in the fields. There were also Cattle Egrets flying about in large numbers, off on their way to some feeding grounds, and we also managed to spot other bird species such as Finches, Siskins, Green Finches, Stonechats, Purple Gallinule, Serins, Chiffchaff and White Wagtails. Further down the track we stopped once again and saw great numbers of Lapwings feeding in the fields. We were searching in several locations for Blue Throats, as we hadn't seen them yet this year. Unfortunately, we were out of luck as we didn't even get a glimpse of one.
Lapwing in flight

Purple Gallinule
What we did get was a good soak, as it started pouring down with rain and we had to stay in the car for a bit! After 15 minutes the sun came out, the wind calmed down and our day brightened up quite a bit. We saw a Kestrel dive bombing at what looked like a much larger bird that was perched on top of a telephone post. We approached and discovered that it was actually a Juvenile Bonelli's Eagle!
We continued through the back section and we saw a flock of birds fly over us and settle in another field nearby. We got a bit closer to figure out what they were and realised they were about 400+ Golden Plovers. As we were checking out the Golden Plovers through the scope, we noticed several other birds that were larger. We used the scope and discovered that these larger birds were in fact Little Bustards. It was a great relief to see them, as they are quite difficult to locate. We took the opportunity to watch them from a distance until they decided to move on.
Flock of Golden Plovers
Tractor ploughing the field
During the last stretch we also spotted some Meadow Pippets and several Marsh Harriers.
Meadow Pipit

Marsh Harrier

All in all, it was a wonderful day and we came back with big smiles!

Here's the list of what we saw:

    Reed Bunting
  • Reed Bunting
  • Goldfinch
  • Cattle Egret
  • Lapwing Kite
  • Spanish Sparrow
  • Little Owl
  • Reed Bunting
  • Barn Owl
  • Common Buzzard
  • Booted Eagle
  • Serin
  • Greenshank
  • Griffon Vulture
  • Grey Heron
  • Golden Plovers
  • Cranes
  • White Wagtail
  • Corn Bunting
  • Chiffchaff
  • Fantailed Warbler
  • Purple Gallinule
  • Moorhen
  • Fan-tailed Warbler
  • Grey Heron
  • Red-legged Partridge
  • Marsh Harrier
  • White Stork
  • Bonelli's Eagle & JV
  • Little Bustard
  • Black Redstart
  • Common Sandpiper
  • Comorant
  • Cranes