Sunday 19 April 2020

Birding updates form here, there and everywhere!

Sunday 19 April

Lots to report today from all parts of Europe; Steve Powell's update from his home in Frigiliana, Birgit Fastrup just a mile or so away near the golf course, my little contribution now that the Mediterranean Gulls have decided to roost on the beach right in front of us.  Then I have a gorgeous photo from Sweden showing how friend Hans is coping with his lock down plus the latest from the UK, including some lovely photos of a Yellowhammer taken by our dear friend, Mick Richardson who has been back in Blighty now for almost a year but hopes to return here as soon as the lock down is lifted.  Very much looking forward to some birding with Mick when he gets back, hopefully before we make our summer pilgrimage back to the UK.  It all links in very nicely with new summer migrants arrivals, both here and in the UK.  So, where to start?
Steve Powell

Now that his returning House Martins are once more settled into their summer homes below the roof of his terrace, not only did Steve have the pleasure of rescuing a Common Swift from the pool last week, aiding its recovery and the successful release back into the wild but sent me a message last as follows:   Just had a Golden Orioles in the pine trees below our terrace, and Bee-eaters are flying around the house.  Nice.   I'm sure he got much pleasure from the sighting and also able to wind me up at the same time!

The recovering Common Swift Apus apus before successful release (PHOTO: Steve Powel)

Meanwhile, another close neighbour who lives near the golf course was able to send me the following message an hour or so ago.

Hola Bob!

Today I got a nice garden observation: pruning my pergola climbers, what did I suddenly spotted over my head: a fine specimen of Booted Eagle! That saved my day after the noisy bunch of sparrows making trouble in the hedge!

Camera of course not within reach!

Time to travel to the north of Europe where my friend Hans Borjesson sent me a photo of his scope overlooking the immediate countryside in Sweden.  Oh for the joys of actually being able to get out of the house.

What a view! (PHOTO: Hans Borjesson)
As for me, my view of the beach is decidedly restricted as can be seen from the photograph taken from the bedroom terrace.  On the other hand I did slip out down to the patio whilst all was quiet and noticed that the local Mediterranean Gulls had decided to use the immediate area on the beach in front for their daily roost.  So not all bad news then.

View inland from our home in Algarrobo Costa
View to the sea  from same balcony

The beach with roosting Mediterranean Gulls Larus melanocephalus
Close up of Mediterranean Gulls Larus melanocephalus
Meanwhile, back in the UK I was so pleased to see out dear friend, Mick Richardson is getting back to birding and posted a couple of great shots of the Yellowhammer he came across.

Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella (PHOTO: Mick Richardson)
Something else we do not see in Andalucia; Bluebell woods(PHOTO: Mick Richardson)
Which brings me to the new arrivals both here and back in the UK.  The Pallid and Common Swifts are back in the nearby apartment blocks, not to mention we also have both local Barn Swallows and House Martins and my weekly walks to the supermarket produced a Whitethroat last Friday morning.  As above , we can also add Bee-eaters, Golden Oriole and I also had a Woodchat Shrike a couple of weeks ago.  And what with Derek reporting a male Crossbill from his terrace only to be trumped by Ricky's sighting of a Roller from his garden, it's time to head off to the UK.

In the UK birding is still going on during exercise periods but birders are concerned which side of the line they are actually on, and don't want to " dirty their own nests" and hence are reluctant to put information as to their movement into the public domain.  However, in summary, this is some of the exercise period birding.

7.5 miles walk in 3 hours with birds logged being Mute Swan, Canada Goose, etc ,which  includes  Raven ,a year tick for the exerciser, and also male Mandarin Duck, Oystercatcher, Wood Lark and Grey Partridge along with many Blackcaps and Chiffchaff and with first Whitethroat and Barn Swallows for the year.

So, as can be seen from the above, the birding world continues unabated and suggests that there is lots more to come.  We just have to be patient and soon will be back out and about again.  As Captain Tom would say, "There will be sunshine tomorrow."  Stay safe, stay well and stay happy and positive.

Check out the accompanying website at for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information

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