Sunday 15 August 2010

Steppes and wetlands around Lleida (Spain), August 14

I am working again in Spain, based at the university of Lleida, but had some time over the weekend for birding. I visited some steppe habitat at Candasnos to the NW of Lleida and also a wetland (Estany d' Ivars) to the east. This post shows some birds and dragonflies from these two places.

On a number of occasions in the past I had looked for sandgrouse at this pool, but this weekend I was rewarded with several flocks of Black-bellied coming in to drink.

Difficult capturing these bee-eaters in flight, but these are my best efforts.

Female Spectacled Warbler

Purple Heron

Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), male

Pair in tendem

Female S.fonscolombii

Southern Emperor (Anax parthenope)

Another male S.fonscolombii

Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum)

Monday 2 August 2010

1 cy Yellow-legged Gulls Larus michahellis: a sample of July birds from NE Spain

This post shows a sample of 1 cy michahellis, all photographed on the beach at Roses (a small resort near Girona, Catalonia, NE Spain) on the same day. They nicely illustrate variation in the plumage and structure of michahellis at this time (25 July, 2010). In another month when wear and moult have set in, these birds will be very easy to identify; but on this date many are, in my opinion, rather difficult to seperate from some Herring and some Lesser Black-backed Gulls. The post which follows shows the same sample of birds in flight.

In some ways this bird is a little reminiscent of cachinnans (it is rather gangly and has very simply patterned greater covs)

Note how weak-billed some young 1 cys can be.

Very simple fringes on all feathers, including gtr covs.

A bird with extensively pale feather patterns