Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Day Of Reckoning

It’s all very well clearing off on two weeks holiday in May, but that fortnight also appears to be the time of maximum growth in the garden at home, when the grass grows an inch an hour, the trees sprout in wild abandon and the hedges reach heights previously undreamt of. So when the BBC’s forecast of an “unseasonal gale” materialised this morning I realised a day of reckoning had arrived and instead of going birding, I should trim our now monstrous hedgerow in the relative shelter of the back garden.

However, so as not to deprive blog readers of a fix of photos I’m posting more pictures from Menorca while I settle down to watch the Barcelona GP and dream of Spain.

Spotted Flycatchers were much scarcer this year, the reason probably as simple as them moving north a little earlier than we arrived. The one below I snapped in the hotel garden. I’d very much like to see a few nearer to home this year but this is another species as scarce as hen’s teeth around here nowadays.

Spotted Flycatcher

The ever present Hoopoe had a nest just up the road and whilst feeding itself in the hotel grounds would occasionally fly off with the largest items of prey, presumably to present to the female sat tight on eggs. Otherwise Hoopoes aren’t particularly easy to get close to in Menorca and are generally very shy with just the calls giving away their presence, followed by sight of a colourful, floppy winged bird flying off into the distance.


The other shy bird is the Woodchat Shrike, the picture below representing as close as they will allow a person to get.

Woodchat Shrike

Not so the smart looking Tawny Pipits, so pale and immaculate, much more approachable in the variety of farm and coastal habitats they exploit where their sandy shades merge into the often dry tones of the Menorcan landscape.

Tawny Pipit

Here’s a few raptors; Red Kite, not at all numerous in Menorca but fairly common, Booted Eagle which vies with Kestrel for the title of commonest raptor, and then Red-footed Falcon, a regular visitor to the island.

Red Kite

Booted Eagle


Red-footed Falcon

Red-footed Falcon

Yes, the hedge got a haircut but just in case anyone thinks I was just stretching the truth a little, or looking for sympathy, here’s the proof. Me, I’d rather be birding.

I’d Rather Be Birding

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