Louise and I have recently returned from a six week trip to the UK, the
Algarve in Portugal, and Donana, Extramadura and Monfrague in Spain. We
didn't bird for the entire trip, but did spend a lot of time in the field in
between visiting friends and the like.
Our itinerary was England (Norfolk, the Midlands and Devon) for the first
two weeks, a week in Aberdeen and environs, then a week and a half in
Portugal and Spain, and the last week and a half in Devon/Cornwall and
We had magnificent weather and a very successful time birding. In the UK, we
recorded 171 species, of which 19 were UK ticks for me, and 4 of those were
lifers, being Eurasian Dotterel (stunning bird in full breeding plumage),
Ptarmigan, Eurasian Nightjar and Rosy Starling - the latter twitched in a
suburban garden in Newquay, Cornwall. Other notable species in the UK were
Garganey, American Black Duck, Great Egret (twitched at Stithians Lake in
Cornwall), Northern Goshawk, Golden Eagle, Ring-billed Gull, Ring Ouzel,
Wood Lark, Tree Pipit and Cirl Bunting.
In Portugal and Spain, we recorded 158 species of which 16 were life birds
for me. Donana and Extramadura are magical places and there were inumerable
highlights - too many to record here. Some notable birds were White-headed
Duck, Glossy Ibis, Black Stork (on nest), Spanish Imperial Eagle (on nest
with two young), Bonelli's Eagle, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Great Bustard,
Red-necked Nightjar, Black Wheatear, Olivaceous Warbler, Orphean Warbler,
Hawfinch and Rock Bunting.
Total species count for the trip was 253.
If anyone would like a full trip report when I've got around to writing it,
please let me know.
ps I spoke with Murray Lord on the phone in the UK after his return from
Scandinavia, and he asks me to pass on his regards to all his friends on
birding-aus. He's taking a break from birds after 6 months continuous
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