Posts Tagged ‘Spotted Flycatcher’


A family holiday spent at the Sahara Beach Hotel in Skanes, Monastir, Tunisia. It was our fifth visit to the area so I already knew where to go birding. Managed to do some birding every day, but mainly in the morning, usually around 6-15am as it became very warm around 9-30am. The area around this hotel is dominated by very large salt lagoons and lots of breeding birds, including Yellow legged Gull, Slender billed Gull, Little, Common and Gull billed Tern’s and good numbers of Collared Pratincole. Waders in the shape of Black winged Stilt, Avocet, Little Ringed and Kentish Plover. Lots of Greater Flamingo directly behind the Monastir Airport, along with Spoonbill and Stone Curlew in small numbers. At the local dump near Sahline, up to 180 White Storks were present but the spectacle of uncountable numbers of Yellow legged Gull will stay with me for a long while! In the hotel area’s Hoopoe, Serin, Crested Lark, Bee-Eater, Blackbird, Sardinian Warbler, Olivaceous Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Spanish Sparrow were seen in varying numbers. Around the salt lagoons various bushes and mixed habitat held up to 8 Great Grey Shrikes of the algeriencis form that allow close attention to photograph! Also in those area’ s are small numbers of Zitting Cisticola(Fan Tailed Warbler), Greenfinch, Linnet, Short Toed Lark and the abundant Rock/ Feral Dove. Smaller numbers of Collared, Laughing and Turtle Doves also.Large flocks of Spotless Starling are great to watch as they dig for food on the ground and squabble just like “our” one’s. There are lots of Swift and with a bit of luck a few Pallid Swift can be found as they chase their prey close to the ground. Small numbers of House and Sand Martins were seen, but not many Barn Swallow’s (think there is a sad decline this year in their numbers) On the journey from Enfidha Airport to our hotel a single Carrion Crow was seen flying around a small village, a bit unusual that? A single Barbary Partridge was seen one early morning in the scrub around the salt lagoons and in the evening a single Hobby was out hunting and then a flock of 5 Shelduck flew past. A few Kestrel’s and Sparrowhawk’s were seen again in small numbers. Our our return home and near the airport at Enfidha a Booted Eagle was seen hunting and great end to a very localised birding / family holiday.

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With Bob K making a shed and trying to earn “browny” points the other four members of the A Team headed for the hills of Yorkshire. The weather over the last couple of weeks had been like traditional summers were, hot! The plan was to search the hills for Ring Ouzel a species that has eluded us all up to now this year. So on a warm Sunday at 6am we set of, it was a bit misty in places as we passed through the Settle area. We reached an area around Buttertubs Pass and began the search and after we had sifted through lots of juvenile Wheatear and Meadow Pipit there on the opposite hillside was a male Ring Ouzel perched out on a rock surveying his area,what a gem, bird of the pennines! After a call at an area well known for having Black Grouse in springtime we made our way towards Wykeham Forest which is around 8 miles west of Scarborough. We did’nt see the grouse by the way but there were lots of the Red one’s. We called in at a place that had Marbled White butterflies present , but, finding the entrance fee to be £7.00 we decided against it, we are from Lancashire by the way, were do they dream these prices up? At Wykeham the search for Turtle Doves began. We visited the area a couple of times last year and between us only saw one bird. Well as soon as we got out of the car one bird began “purring”, I had almost forgotten what the sound was it is so long since I have heard it. Then two birds landed in a tall tree and began being friendly. As we searched for more Turtle Doves, Tree Pipit and Yellowhammer were seen. Probably the same two Turtle Doves were seen again in flight whilst the single bird was still calling. So at least 3 birds were present. At the raptor watch point Common Buzzard, Kestrel, Raven, Spotted Flycatcher and high flying Goshawks were seen, but not the hard to find Honey Buzzards. The first test match between England and Australia was coming to a nail biting conclusion and as we all listened to a ball by ball commentary the end, when it came, was greeted with happiness amongst the 15 or so people there! After about 1 1/2 hours we decided to head for home and arrived home at a decent hour. We all managed at least three new birds for our year list. Very warm trip!
Dave O.


In a 3 hour “vigil” at Clough Bottom in which there was heavy showers, light rain and mist then, warm sunshine the following birds were seen:- 9 Greylag Geese (landed on res at 3-20pm and flew off in the direction of Burnley at 4-00pm) 1 Mallard, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 LBB Gull, 4 Wood Pigeon, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 5 Swallow, 2 Grey Wagtail, 10 Wren, 18 Dunnock, 1 Robin, 2 Song Thrush, 4 Blackbird, 14 Willow Warbler,3  Blackcap, 8 GOLDCREST – smile (finally caught up with them at Clough Bottom this year!),  3 Spotted Flycatcher, 12 Coal Tit, 24 Blue Tit, 40+ Great Tit, 1 Treecreeper, 2 Jay, 4 Magpie,6 Carrion Crow, 32 Chaffinch, 4 Goldfinch, 5 Crossbill (2 Juv`s).

Clough Bottom

Clough Bottom

Regards,
Dave Ousey.