Saturday, May 12, 2012

Scorchio

Every day is just sunny and 25 degrees, not like the UK weather we watch on Sky TV.

This week we spent time in the north of the island visiting a few tourist honey pots and such like. Of course wherever you go in Menorca there are birds pretty much exclusive to this part of the Mediterranean and although they are never easy to find, the Mediterranean birds in the gentle Menorca landscape make the island a great place for a visit. 

First stop today was Punta Nati with a stop en route to see if the roadside Cattle Egret colony still prospers. Of course it’s still there but impossible to see or count the active nests in the thick pines without disturbing the birds which by early May are feeding young. 

Cattle Egret

The open skies up here were full of raptors, probably many of them migrating north, with Kestrels, Booted Eagles and Marsh Harriers the most common ones, but a smattering of Hobby and Red-footed Falcon. Around the lighthouse flit Blue Rock Thrushes, Skylarks, Thekla Larks and more Tawny Pipits. 

Thekla Lark

When the weather is a bit cool and windy the quiet north of the island can seem a wild, even inhospitable place, the eerie calls of Stone Curlews echoing that impression, but seeing one of these grey, camouflaged and shy birds amongst the rocky landscape is a different matter to finding Blue Rock Thrushes which perch up obligingly.

 Blue Rock Thrush

I'd better hit the trail back towards the hotel, an evening swim and then dinner before more birding tomorrow. It's a hard life but someone has to do it.

Late news. A couple of good finds this week were Whiskered Tern and then Bittern, the latter very rare in Menorca, so it was quite a surprise to see one walk across the road and disappear into the reeds at Tirant. Getting some good photographs too this week of Bee Eater, Short-toed Lark, Thekla Lark and Woodchat plus a Scops Owl so close I only got the top half in the shot.
 

9 comments:

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Hope Thassos is as kind to us as Menorca is being to you...although it looks like we might have a week of Mediterranean rain to enjoy/endure.

Cheers

D

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Phil they are wonderful and the Cattle Egret is so delightful looking and that blue sky, wow, amazinginly blue. I would love to visit this area once in my lifetime~

Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok said...

Love the first photo of the Cattle Egret against deep blue sky. I began to agree with the split of Eastern and Western Cattle Egrets now, since yours look so much different from ours in Asia.

news said...

Hi Phil; Hard life indeed carry on enjoying all the best JWB.

Carole M. said...

brilliant bird photographs, loved the lark!

Friend of HK said...

Good catch!

eileeninmd said...

WOW, these are beautiful birds! Awesome photos, Phil.

Fjällripan said...

Beuaitufl birds and nature, thanks for sharing :)

Christian said...

Cracking Cattle Egret photograph Phil.

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