Sunday 2 September 2012

Off to Espana!

Well sitting on the bus to Heathrow as I type this blog. My time in the UK has again come to an end, with time on the MS Island Sky flying by. After the excitement of the snowy owl on St Kilda, we then had a couple of stops in Ireland (Glenveagh National Park, Inismor, Aran Islands, Ring of Kerry), before an afternoon on the beautiful Tresco, and then a day in the Channel Islands. It all seemed to fly by, and although not a lot of bird action, there were a few nice things along the way.

My good friend Bob Flood on the Isles of Scilly alerted me to a pectoral sandpiper at the Abbey Pool on Tresco, so I managed a bit of time there and scored that, along with a couple of ruff and some nice black-tailed godwit. There were also dunlin, little egret, and a couple of greenshank as well, so a nice selections of waders. My first pectoral sandpiper for the UK. Unfortunately didn’t manage to catch up with Bob this time as he was out leading a pelagic, hopefully next time. Finishing the cruise in Portsmouth I trained back up to the Forest of Dean, spending a couple of nights with Mum and Dad. Hadn’t been there for more than an hur or so when the scolding calls of the local barn swallows alerted me to a hobby flying over the house. The barn swallows were also nesting in the garage, with four chicks taking their first flight whilst I was there. No wonder the hobby was about!

So now about to fly out for Spain. Heading straight to see a friend, Roger Tidman, who has a place an hour and a half north of Madrid…only problem is I arrive in Bilbao at 2035hrs…so four hours drive ahead of me when I get there…on the wrong side of the road. Should be fun! Looking forward to some Spanish wine and food, and spending some time birding and photographing with Roger.

PS made it to Roger's in record time and just had an awesome morning photographing at a pool! HAWFINCH!

Water droplets on Lady's Mantle leaf'

The Lady's Mantle leaf sowing the water droplets…the Magic Plant

Mountain ash in berry

Bumblebee visiting a scabious flower

Scabious flower just prior to opening properly

Almost blackberry season

The lake beside Glenveagh Castle

Two ruff on the Abbey Pool, Tresco

Pectoral sandpiper with a ruff behind, on the Abbey Pool

Black-tailed godwit feeding in deep water

Two black-tailed godwit in flight over the pool

Four black-tailed godwit in flight showing upper and underwing

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