Sunday, May 15, 2011

Back To Normal

Following a couple of weeks of relaxation and a bit of Med birding today was “goodbye” sunny Menorca of 24⁰ at 11am then “hello” rainy Manchester, 12⁰ at 2pm; from the sublime to the ridiculous.

After sorting through the pile of doorstep mail an early task was switching on the computer, paying online a few urgent bills like my BT Internet, checking emails and then downloading the many photographs I took in Menorca, most not as good as I hoped, for but some passable after a little help from Dr Photoshop.

So until I can get back to normal and catch up with fellow bloggers and followers, here’s a small selection from the last two weeks.

The Bee Eaters are always there, in the same spot, but for such a gregarious species, it is so reluctant to be captured by camera. We saw or heard Bee Eaters every day we went out, small groups mostly, often feeding high overhead in the clear sunny days.

Bee Eater

Menorca had enjoyed an early and hot spring, the wild orchids of April completely finished by early May with seemingly many birds feeding young. We saw many Thekla Larks taking food to young, found Sardinian Warbler nests, watched the House Martins at Galdana collecting mud from the only pool of water, and then in the evenings watched the local pair of Scops Owls mating on several nights.

Sardinian Warbler

Sardinian Warbler

House Martin

Thekla Lark

The Thekla picture didn’t turn out too bad considering I accidentally left the ISO at 3200 after trying for Scops pictures the night before, but my limited skills with Dr Photoshop don’t extend to completely eliminating the obligatory red-eye of close-up owls. Having said that, the owls themselves were absolutely stunning this year, so obliging, regular and predictable that we planned our evenings about their regular 2100 hours timetable and sound show that lasted until 4am.

Scops Owl

So it’s an early night for me too with no photography of nocturnal owls, no wandering the isle of Menorca for bird exotica and instead very much back to the regular UK birds soon; but watch this space for Red-footed Falcon, Audouin’s Gull, Egyptian Vulture, Red Kite etc eventually.

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