Showing posts from March, 2018

Finnish Focus On - Pallid Harrier

Cathal Forkan sent me a pic last week of a spectacular milestone for any birder, his first Male Pallid Harrier, sparking this post.

Pallid Harrier is one of my all time favorite birds. There isn't a plumage or age of them that I do not find stunning in some way.
My first grey type male was this 2nd cal autumn bird, which we found at Saltfjarden. 
On a drizzly afternoon in late August, I predicted the weather would down a few migrating raptors, and so we made our way out of the city after work on the off chance "Saltis" would hold some Harriers. We pulled up to the Gunnarsby side, and there floating over the Marsh, was this stunning silver ghost.

It transpired that there was also an immaculate, crisp juvenile in the same vicinity and we enjoyed these two birds, as well as a multitude of Marsh Harriers and a couple of nice, comparative Hen Harriers.

Juvenile Pallid Harrier - An extremely fresh individual. Note those perfect, covert tips, completely unworn.

This 2nd cal mal…

Building and Exploring

I haven't been birding too far of late. I've generally been exploring the various back roads near the house, searching for productive feeders and, of course, building up the new garden list.
During the week we added singing Pygmy Owl to the garden list, and this guy is now heard most mornings just 100 meters across the lake. After we recorded the bird online, we were contacted by another birder who had, amazingly, lived in our place during the 00s, providing us with a list of goodies to keep an eye and ear out for, including Eagle Owl on the other side of the lake.
I also managed to add both Rough Legged Buzzard and displaying Goshawk to the list, starting off the raptors well.
Today, the garden was graced by this lovely lady. 

Grey Headed Woodpecker - Female
I adore Grey Headed Woodpeckers. That lime green colour is stunning, providing welcome colour in Winter, and their charming whistling really feels exotic to an Irish birder. They have an amazingly harsh expression to them. Thi…

Tenerife - 2015

As part of my hard drive salvage a while back, had been meaning to post some shots of a Canaries trip in 2015. Superb birding in a beautiful setting.
Cory's Shearwaters - the baseline shearwater in the Canaries. Great birds though, and passing under a colony just before dawn, seeing and hearing them batting around above us and in front of headlights was a privilege.

Berthelots pipit

Southern Grey Shrike

Canary Islands Chiffchaff - that longer, slightly decurved bill, with it's downward hooked upper mandible tip, struck me as distinct from other chiffs.

Pino Gordo - the biggest tree in Europe

Canary Islands Chiffchaff

Flying Fish

The view from Punta de Teno

Berthelots Pipits

Canary Islands Chaffinch


El Teide

Blue Chaffinch