Monday, 21 August 2017

Spring Gulls, Rutland Water

3cy Caspian Gull

A very interesting 2cy Common Gull with a strange wing pattern. The wing coverts were extremely dark but it was the mirror on p10 and the internal markings to the other primaries that I haven't seen before. The fruity light made judging the shade of grey difficult but it was certainly darker than the normal.

3cy Herring x Glaucous Gull. This could easily be put down as a Glaucous/Iceland if seen in fading light or at distance. It looked quite convincing when it was zipping about at 400m range.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Langue de Barbarie NP, Northern Senegal, Nov-Dec 2016

Adult female Osprey. A Swedish metal ringed bird.

  Barbary Falcon mobbing an adult male Osprey

 Adult? Barbary Falcon. Smaller and less rakish compared to Lanner and with a peachy wash to belly with fine spots and streaks to flanks. 

Rusty nape area which bleeds along eye line towards the moustache..

Compared to Lanner has broader barring towards end of the tail creating a tail band better seen when the tail is closed.

Same bird as above. Regarding it's age I was slightly confused by the browness off the upperwings? The outer primaries are quite worn which I'm not sure is significant or not. The flanks were perhaps slightly more marked than some adults but I haven't seen enough Barbary Falcons. 

Danish and Norwegian LBBG's.



Discarded Mackerel and LBBG. We were told it is likely that a fishing boat capsized in the night during heavy seas. Many boats are small and the fisherman have minimal lights and often no life vests.

Discarded fish on the beach. I regularly found several piles of dead or dying fish/crabs/shrimps. It is where a fisherman had emptied his nets during the night, only taking what he wanted. I would then spend 60 minutes putting whatever I could back in to the sea. We are just a wasteful species with no care or thought about anything and never will have.  

Another dead fish from a pile.

Adult male Peregrine sitting with Ospreys

2CY male Peregrine. A few juvenile outer secondaries, primaries, tail feathers and upperwing coverts.

2CY female Peregrine. A huge beast.

Hard work for very little reward.

Nile Monitor being watched by many of the vermin feral cats.

Large hunting Wasp dragging its paralyzed Locust back to it's chamber.

Senegal Batis, female

Greater Blue-eared Starling.

White-rumped Seedeater

Sudan Golden Sparrow, female

Vieillot's Barbet

Weaver doings it's business.

Utterly confusing in non breeding plumage and the Helm field guide may as well just show one illustration that fits all.

Little Weaver. Very small.

White-rumped Seedeater. They always look like they have just woken up. Permanently on African time.

Little Bee-eaters


Abyssinian Roller

Common Redstart

Grey-backed Camaroptera

Laughing Dove sunning.

Long-tailed Nightjar

A villager was cutting the bush down that several nightjars were using as roosting cover. His machete is hanging down between his legs as the nightjar weighs up the situation.

White Pelican looking for free fish

Cockle pickers.

Osprey and locals.

Juvenile Osprey among a sea of plastic on a beach. As I said before we are a wasteful species and always will be.

Makes for a pretty picture though.

Swedish female Osprey. Just a metal ring on her right leg. She was incredibly confiding.


Slender African Beauty Snake

Mobbed by starlings and a bulbul

Italian ringed Oystercatcher

Spur-winged Goose


Ringed Plover

Slender-billed Gulls chasing a Sandwich Tern

A Hawker species. I had thought it was a Vagrant Emperor at the time but I'm not sure about the eyes.

Adult Booted Eagle. A few winter in the coastal belt of the park.

A Ringed Plover caught up in a discarded fishing net. It was released unharmed.

Western Reef Heron

Jumping fish. The slightest noise sent them jumping through the water.

LBBG and Sanderlings

Whimbrel. Juvenile outer primaries and most secondaries.

Eurasian Curlew. Beautiful white underwings.

Gulls and Herons finding a discarded pile of fish and crabs first thing in the morning.

Juvenile Barbary Falcon eyeing up an adult male Osprey.

Rutland male Osprey 06(09) on his favourite tree trunk.

Scottish adult male Osprey HZ on his favourite sand bar. Just next door to male 06.

Pink-backed pelican and male Osprey

40 Ospreys were often sitting together on the beach.

German Osprey and feral dogs

Crabs and discarded fishing nets.

What initially appeared to be an innocent group hug was actually them eating another member of their group.

Black-headed Heron

Adult Grey Heron

Immature Grey heron

Lesser Crested Tern

Lesser crested Tern with Royal and Sandwich

Sand blasted on the beach.

Caspian Tern chasing an adult male Osprey

Osprey chasing an immature Egyptian Vulture. First time I have seen this vulture in Senegal.

Rainbow Bug

Adult Great Spotted Cuckoo

Juvenile Great Spotted Cuckoo

Egrets and Spoonbills

Slender-billed Gulls

Many European Spoonbills winter in Northern Senegal. The red rings are actually stained white rings from Spain.


Common Sandpiper

Audouin's Gull with Grey-headed Gull

A local villager emptied her kitchen waste on to the shore and it immediately attracted the refuse collectors. Grey-headed Gull, Sanderlings, Common Sandpiper, Ringed Plover, Little Stint, Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-winged Stilts and a Speckled Pigeon all came for a look.


Coastal scrub home to wintering Wrynecks, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Orphean Warbler, Whitethroat and resident species such as Senegal Batis and Blue-naped Mousebirds.

 German adult male Osprey

Adult male

Adult male

Adult male

German juvenile male

Juvenile female

Adult female with a beard

Adult male

Striped Ground Squirrel

German Juvenile male Osprey with an Atlantic Flying Fish

Slender-billed Gulls

Little Crake caught by a feral cat and released with a bad limp.

Jumping Spider fixated with itself in the mirror.

Saint Louis.

Adult female Osprey getting stuck on discarded fishing nets. These are lethal.

Another Osprey trailing fishing net


Black-crowned Tchagra