Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Barred Warbler (Sylvia nisoria), Eastern Austria

The Barred Warbler is the biggest of the Sylvia warblers
The Barred Warbler is the largest of the sylvia warblers and has a well documented breeding relationship with Red-backed Shrikes. Keeping their eyes and ears open for predators and sounding the alarm when there's  danger.  In Spain I've watched this similar relationship with breeding Woodchat Shrikes with Rufous Bush Robins. Shrikes have fantastic sight and are continually on the lookout for predatory birds like Sparrowhawks.

 In eastern Austria the Barred Warbler is just about at its western range in central Europe, although there are breeding population in north-eastern Bavaria, Germany. These birds also breed further north  northwards towards the Baltic coast and on into Southern Scandinavia.
Here in Eastern Austria there is always the chance to hear them....
...but it's not that easy to photograph them, well for me anyhow!
Although the weather was pouring with rain I came across a singing young male....
...and managed to get some better photos this time, of what's been quite an elusive warbler for me!
Another young bird

Monday, 4 May 2015

Highlights from this year's Spring Tour on The Strait of Gibraltar - April 2015

Short-toed Eagle
Here's a quick photo summary of some of the birds we watched down in Andalucia on one of my spring birdwatching tours. Each spring we offer such small tour group holidays to go out in the field and see what bird species are arriving from Africa. The close proximity of the two continents makes this one of the best places to watch concentrated avian migration and it really is a spectacular setting all throughout Cadiz province in southern Andalucia, Spain to learn about birds and bird behaviour.
Photographers are very welcome to join such tours. 
More details of both the spring and autumn migration tours as well as other European destinations can be found at andalucianguides.com/tours

Booted Eagle, light or commoner form 
Booted Eagle

Cattle Egret 
Greater Flamingoes
Eurasian Spoonbill
Pallid Harrier, a rare sighting 

Yellow Wagtails feeding with Retinto cattle
 A Zitting Cisticola watches insects
Eurasian Sparrowhawk
Squacco Heron

Subalpine Warbler, male
Tawny Pipit feeding
White Storks arriving in Europe. Morocco is in the background

Purple Swamphen
Black-eared Wheatear
Bonelli's Eagle (centre) flanked by two Griffon Vultures
A Booted Eagle attempts to get airborne with a rabbit
The same Booted Eagle as above
Little Swift at Chipiona 
Lesser Kestrel at the colony at the rear of Hotel El Palomar de La Breña, Barbate

Gull-billed Tern
Griffon Vulture on the Río Guadalquivir near Trebujena 
(Greater) Short-toed Lark
Montagu's Harrier, male
Northern Bald Ibis at Barbate
Our only migrating woodpecker, the Wryneck
A quite large looking female Woodchat Shrike