April 2007. Lithuania, Belarus and Poland, good days in all.
Written by Jos   

White storks back at Labanoras

With Red-breasted Geese in Lithuania on the first weekend and Azure Tits in Belarus on the second, April certainly kicked off in style! Add on that, no less than five White-backed Woodpeckers, returning Penduline Tits, a photographed Black Woodpecker and the White Storks  back to my house, then all the ingredients were there for a classic month of birding. In addition, in both the Vilnius and Labanoras gardens, Hawfinches were regular and Great and Middle Spotted Woodpeckers continued to visit the feeders. As the month progressed, the kettle just kept bubbling ... Lithuania's second breeding Mediterranean Gull, several Caspian Terns and incoming migrants, including Lesser Spotted Eagles and Black-necked Grebes. And, for the grand finale of the month, Collared Flycatchers in Poland. 


Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 June 2007 )
March 2007. Baltic Spring, butterflies and ice...
Written by Jos   

White-tailed Eagle

February was cold, March wasn't! The difference, in fact, was little short of spectaular - in the space of just five days, the temperature rose a massive 40 degrees from the low of minus 32 at the end of February to a very respectable plus eight in the first days of March. And that set the scene for the whole month, very mild throughout and lots of migrants - no spectacular rares, but new species almost every day. Cranes, Bitterns, White Storks, Black Storks, they all returned during the month, along with incoming passerines, oodles of waterfowl and, as well as White-tailed Eagles, a few Rough-legged Buzzards and Hen Harriers. Plus, just to end the month, days and days of sun, temperatures rising and plenty of butterflies!

Last Updated ( Thursday, 29 March 2007 )
Part Two: Western Sahara, plus coast revisited.
Written by Jos   

Moussier's Redstart, femaleRarely visited and little known, this arid portion of the world does not feature on the itinerary of many birders. The reasons are not difficult to understand - as well as the simmering military conflict and the almost total lack of birding information, there is also the issue of distances ...they are vast, everywhere is very far from everywhere else!  

For the adventurous birder though, the attraction is clear -  Dakhla in particular, and the southern deserts in general, offer the possibility of birds more typical of the Afrotropics. Royal Tern is near guaranteed and Black-crowned Finchlark have been recorded, reasons enough to see me travelling the 1400 km south to the Tropic of Cancer, about as far south as you can go without actually entering Mauritania.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 03 May 2007 )
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