Who am I?

My photo
An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to the see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!


Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Day nine

Out before 08.00 hrs, this morning, making the most of the cooler conditions following the overnight rain. I felt that this would result in a few grounded migrants if I made the effort to take a look. It was a strange experience walking through the olive groves which were almost devoid of any birdlife save a few Blackbirds, Chaffinches, Blue and Great Tits. I was struggling to understand how such, seemingly, perfect conditions hadn't resulted is some type of fall? I continued on my way, walking my favoured route, before ending up in an area of open rough scrub and scattered agricultural areas. Immediately I found three juvenile Red - backed Shrikes perched along a single field boundary and a trickle of Red - rumped Swallows passed overhead. All of a sudden there were Spotted Flycatchers perched out in the open where there'd been nothing previously. Sardinian Warblers rattled off their scolding "churr" from atop fence lines and spiky, gorse-like, bushes whilst Crested Larks engaged in energetic chases above the scrub.

A Common Buzzard "mewed" from behind me and I was confronted by a large raptor flying very low towards me. Bloody hell - Honey Buzzard! Over far too quickly, I did my best to rattle off a few shots, using whatever settings were on the camera! More Red - backed Shrikes, Cirl Buntings and pockets of mixed hirundines as I wandered back towards Saoulas, it is a good to be alive day.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Day eight

It's now mid-day and pissing down! Bev and I managed to sleep through a 4.6 earth tremor which occurred at 07.00 hrs (local time) - many of the other guests fearing for their safety. The morning wasn't too bad and allowed me to get out for a short stroll to look for grounded migrants around the olive groves. A definite increase in the Cirl Bunting numbers, with plenty of Wood and Willow Warblers flitting around in the olives. A Red - rumped Swallow gave me chance for some decent images as it preened on the overhead wires. Bird of the morning, however, was not so obliging - a European Roller flying straight through, much too quick for anything other than brief binocular views.

A Little Owl perched briefly on a rooftop directly opposite the poolside bar, yesterday evening and I managed to add Hooded Crow to the list on my walk back this morning. Lots of insect photos to go through with a couple of nice butterflies included.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Day seven

So the first week over already, why doesn't time at work pass as quickly? I had a fantastic morning, strolling west along the coastal strip, checking a couple of olive groves as I went. I was out early, conditions much cooler than recently, it was far easier and much more bearable as a result.
The first olive grove revealed a small fall of Common Redstart and large numbers of Blackbirds, so something had occurred overnight.

I had photographed the moon rising over the eastern flank of Mount Ainos, before we had gone to bed last, thus it must have been the build up of clouds this morning that resulted in the avian arrival. My walk took me past the Fig Trees in a rather flash garden, no Golden O's this morning, but a number of Sub-alps feeding on the over-ripe fruits. My second Grey Wagtail of the trip called loudly as it passed overhead and a Common Buzzard spiralled lazily over the adjacent farmland. I made it as far as the area where I'd discovered the Tawny Pipits earlier and almost immediately flushed a Crested Lark, further exploration revealed another two, plus a pair of Stonechat (eastern race?), a Whinchat, three Red - backed Shrike and a soaring Sparrowhawk.

I could hear a Pheasant in the distance, but it doesn't sit comfortably on the list because I am fairly confident it was housed withing a compound of a small holding. A Firecrest, in some dense roadside vegetation was a nice surprise on my return walk and several Cirl Buntings were singing from the wires, but remained skittish and unapproachable.

Day six

A bit of a write off, I wasn't feeling too pucker and our internet connection went down the pan! Spent quite a bit of my day attempting to keep out of the sun and the toilet! A few bits and bobs, but basically very quiet - just a small Mantis sp. to point the camera at and a couple of Humming-bird Hawks feeding on some pool side Jasmine.

After a short spell in the fridge I photographed this insect on a glass-topped table, hence the reflection.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Day five

It will not take too long to recount my efforts of today. I was still suffering the consequences of my over indulgence during the previous evening whilst awaiting the arrival of Steve. A short stroll along the lower road was to see me in the Olive grove where I first explored on the original holiday. Three Golden Orioles were the undoubted highlight, but there were plenty of other birds to look at and I also need to record the Grey Wagtail that flew over Saoulas yesterday evening, as it was new for the trip!

My efforts with the camera were pitiful, an Icterine Warbler being about the only subject worthy of note.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Day four

It got very messy last night, Leon, Pauline, Bev and I spent a very amusing evening in Sammi's music bar drinking far too much (I didn't think it was possible?) and some in our midst making a spectacle of themselves on the karaoke - really; how old? As a consequence, I didn't get out of bed until after 10.00 hrs, without any plans or enthusiasm, I managed a quick couple of hours, the camera fitted with my 70 - 210 mm macro lens.

A pyralid that I've only ever seen on Gran Canaria previously - Spoladea recurvalis
I struggled, no point in saying it any other way - I'm starting to pay for my over exertions of earlier in the week, plus my body is making a statement about a Mythos overdose!

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Day three

If I'd experienced birding like this on the UK East coast it would be a day that went down in the avian history as one of those "once in a lifetime" days. It didn't and it won't, although I have experienced a fantastic morning's birding. If it were about numbers, I would struggle, but the sheer diversity and unexpected  encounters made up for the mass spectacle.
I'd left Saoulas before 08.30 hrs, headed along my regular circuit; it seemed very quiet first off. It wasn't until I'd reached the first accessible Olive grove that things started to pick up. None of the Tree Pipits of yesterday, just a lone Yellow Wagtail and my first Golden Oriole of the trip. Plenty of Wood Warblers were flitting about in the dappled light within the canopy foliage - my photographic attempts being pitiful! A Cirl Bunting was singing, near by, and I watched a couple of Turtle Doves fly over (Sadly there is still a bit of shooting going on locally and I would imagine that these birds are the targets?)

A loose flock of seven birds in an open area of scrub on the southern coastal strip
I'd thought that it would be a "butterfly" day but the birds dictated otherwise. My totals revealing 6 Golden Oriole, 7 Tawny Pipit, 2 Eastern Orphean, 2 Icterine, numerous Wood, Sub - alps, Sards and Cetti's Warblers. Common Whitethroat, Blackcap, Spotted Flycatchers and Common Buzzards ensuring that there was always something to look at. I don't have a scooby where I ended up, but I'd managed to add Wryneck, Bee-eater, Woodchat and Red-backed Shrike to my list plus a single Northern Wheatear and several Whinchat. I got back to the complex just over four hours after I'd left - it was a fantastic morning - torrential rain in the afternoon, for a brief period; how I love this place!