Oct 142017
 
Beema Yellow Wagtail – Jubail

Whilst birdwatching the Jubail area at the end of September I came across a small group of Sykse’s Yellow Wagtail beema. The Yellow Wagtail is a common passage migrant through the whole of Arabia with many thousands passing through the Eastern Province alone. Birds are common in the spring migration period but less common in […]

Oct 132017
 
Pennington Marsh - 29th October

I had a few hours to spare after dropping Tobias at school and so had a quick wander around the marshes. Wandering along the Ancient Highway past Efford Lagoon there were now 42 Tufted Duck, my highest count yet, while 25 Swallow and three Sand Martin foraged overhead. I spent some time grilling a Common […]

Sep 242017
 
Pennington Marsh and Woodchat Shrike at Chipping Sodbury

Another beautiful sunny morning at Pennington Marsh and I decided to walk my normal circuit in reverse, first out past Fishtail and to Keyhaven and back past Butts and Jetty Lagoon and finally past Pennington Lagoon and Shoveler Pools. I had much of the morning to spare after dropping Tobias off so my birding was […]

Aug 312017
 
The Levante winds of Spring - Spain 2017

I lead a tour group from the the US Audubon Naturalist Society in April to southern Spain. We had a great time apart from the awful windy weather. The famous Levante wind just would not stop for almost the whole eight days. We did however have a great time, saw lots of birds and other […]

Jul 202017
 
Mongolia - 19th May (Day 12) - Sangiin Dalai Lake, and Hustai National Park (Part 2)

Arriving at Bayan Nuur from Sangiin Dalai Lake it was immediately apparent that this lake was teaming with birdlife even though it was blowing a gale. Almost the first birds we picked up were a pair of stunning White-naped Crane on the far hillside with another pair closer in the reeds, we saw nine in […]

Apr 252017
 
Foreign visitors to the Algarve

Yesterday we took our day off and replaced the steppes of Alentejo with the saltmarshes, beaches and lagoons of the Algarve. It was a long and brilliant day, packed with quality stuff.  We left very early to arrive at our first site, Salinas do Forte do Rato in Tavira in good time. It was pretty […]

Apr 142017
 
‘Superciliaris’ type Yellow Wagtail - Jubail

Whilst birding the Jubail area I came across a large group of wagtails including Yellow Wagtails, White Wagtails and Citrine Wagtails. In amongst the mainly Black-headed Yellow Wagtails I saw briefly a superciliaris type bird. I managed to get a single photo of it before it flew off and could see it had many features […]

Apr 072017
 
Eastern Black-headed Yellow Wagtail – Jubail

Whilst birding Jubail at the end of March I found ta number of Eastern Black-headed Yellow Wagtail melanogrisea feeding along a path and near the waters edge. This subspecies is not as common as Black-headed Wagtail feldegg in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia but arrive in early to mid-March similar to feldegg. Some individual […]

Feb 222017
 
The Vanishing: Europe’s farmland birds

The Head of Conservation for BirdLife Europe & Central Asia explains how intensive agriculture has made farmland birds one of the most threatened bird groups in Europe. Once upon a time, they were all around us – sights and sounds as familiar as the dusky skies their flocks danced in or the wind whistling through […]

Oct 152016
 
Flava Yellow Wagtail - Jubail

Whilst birding the Jubail area I found a few Yellow Wagtails with one bright example giving very close views. I am assigning this bird to flava but the Yellow Wagtail complex is as it name suggests – complex. The Yellow Wagtail is a common passage migrant with various subspecies occurring but they are much commoner […]

Sep 072016
 
Baird's Sandpiper at Reculver

We decided on a trip to Reculver this morning despite knowing we could encounter trouble with the M20 being closed. We set off at 5am and arrived at Reculver towers around 6.30am. With a pound in the pay and display we set off along the sea wall for the mile or so walk to Coldharbour […]

Aug 232016
 
6th and 13th August - Pennington Marsh

A free Saturday morning on 6th August and I couldn’t resist the pull of Pennington Marsh but a few beers the night before meant a slightly later start so I wasn’t in the car park at Lower Pennington Lane until 08:00 by which time the dog walking hordes had descended. I wandered a short way […]