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Oct 142014
 
Melanistic Montagu's Harrier and other Raptors

Here are some of the raptor photos we managed to see with my Swiss group from Arcatour last week. The wind direction swung around to give us moderate to strong Levante (easterlies) for five days and only died down on our last two days. Still, knowing what the migrating raptors do and where they will […]

Oct 022014
 
Rüppell's Vulture Sightings in Europe

After watching a huge flock of Griffon Vultures circling over the evergreen cork-oak canopy of the vast Alcornocales Parque Natural we eventually saw many birds descend down to the ground and out of sight. We could hear their hissing and squabbling and immediately knew that the birds were feeding at an animal carcass of some […]

Aug 052014
 
Hundreds of thousands of birds accidentally poisoned every year

Two thousand, three hundred and fifty five Red and Black kites, 2,146 Griffon Vultures, 638 Black Vultures, 348 Egyptian Vultures, 114 Spanish Imperial Eagles and 40 Bearded Vultures were found poisoned in Spain between 2000 and 2010, according to the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment. All these birds are threatened species and protected […]

Apr 182014
 
Europe approves vet drug that killed off almost all of Asia's vultures

When Europeans first arrived in North America, they exterminated three to five billion passenger pigeons (Ectopistes migratorius) in the short span of a century through a combination of habitat destruction and hunting. In 1914, the last living passenger pigeon perished at the Cincinnati Zoo. Despite the staggering scale of this extinction event, three species of […]

Oct 192013
 
Migrating Raptors on The Strait of Gibraltar

It’s been a busy six weeks with almost non-stop birding here on The Strait and across Europe. I thought I’d quickly post some of the raptor shots I have managed to edit so far on the blog to show at least some of the autumn delights… Black-winged Kites (old name is Black shouldered Kite) have […]

Aug 072013
 
La Janda News

Good news that aerial crop spraying is now limited to only a few specific controls for health and agriculture. Natural sprays are used against mosquito control in La Janda although to be honest the problem with such insects is the same in the pine forests. Most of the fertiliser spraying that takes place is showering […]

Apr 082013
 
Vultures in Spain

There are four different species of vultures breeding on the Iberian peninsula and probably the Lammergeier is the most impressive of them all. It’s also one of the birds on most raptor enthusiast’s wish list and not always an easy bird to see at close range. Like many people until I saw one at a […]

Feb 192013
 
Two important birds in one magical morning

Those who follow my blog will know that hooded wheatear  has been my nemesis bird. Along with two owls, Dunn’s lark and a very small number of others it has been one of a dwindling group of confirmed residents in Riyadh province which I hadn’t seen. male hooded wheatear I have spent many hours looking for it either as […]

Feb 092013
 
More Movement on The Strait

Across La Janda the Common Cranes are getting restless and have been flying around in the warm air getting onto thermals that have been rising across the flat landscape. Family groups have been calling noisily as they exercise their flight muscles and prepare for the long flight home. More cranes arrived this week from Morocco, […]

Feb 052013
 
Vultures so close to Riyadh

On Thursday, after visiting the Kararah lake area, our birding party doubled back away towards Riyadh on the Mecca road before turning off north west. This was on route 505 according to the map but route 902 according to the road sign. This is an occupational hazard in Saudi Arabia, road sign numbers and map […]

Nov 112012
 
The Arrival Of Wintering Cranes

The last week has been pretty good bird-wise. The weather, as predicted let loose an enormous amount of water in Cadiz province just as I was returning from Eastern Germany & Poland. My flight from Berlin to Barcelona was delayed while they found a slot around more autumnal storms that were creeping up from the […]

Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus (LC)

 

The Griffon Vulture or Eurasian Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) is a large Old World vulture in the bird of prey family Accipitridae. It breeds on crags in mountains in southern Europe, north Africa, and Asia, laying one egg. Griffon Vultures may form loose colonies. The population is mostly resident. Factsheet: Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus (LC)  

Sep 302012
 
Southern Spain Part 1 - Coto Doñana with Limosa Holidays

Day 1. Wednesday 12th September 2012 The flight from Heathrow was ahead of time and Stephen met the group at the new terminal building at Gibraltar airport. After walking across the border into Spain we loaded the minibus and headed overland through Jerez to Bonanza and the Algaida on the Guadalquivir River to have lunch […]