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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Blue Tit

Last of the Blue Tit Fledglings, Peterborough

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


The following pages are a photographic representation of a trip to the region of Catalonia in NE Spain focusing on two of the region's most emblematic species; the Lammergeier and the Little Bustard. We initially stayed in the village of Conques for easy access to the Pre Pyrenees where the Vulture species are more abundant transfering to the mediaeval village of Montsonis as a base for exploring the Plains of Lleida which is the easternmost limit of the Little Bustard.

Our visit coincided with a profusion of poppies making the plains a wonderful spectacle.

Although not a birding holiday per se , we managed 70 species including two Western Palearctic lifers.

Red Deer

Red Deer, Serra de Boumort, Catalonia Spring 2014


Fox, Serra de Boumort, Catalonia Spring 2014

Kites, Red and Black

Black Kite

Red Kite

Red Kite

Red Kite, Catalonia Spring 2014

Egyptian Vulture


Egyptian Vulture, Serra de Boumort, Catalonia Spring 2014
The Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus), also called the white scavenger vulture or pharaoh's chicken, is a small Old World vulture and the only member of the genus Neophron. It is widely distributed; the Egyptian vulture is found from southwestern Europe and northern Africa to India. The contrasting underwing pattern and wedge-shaped tail make it distinctive in flight as it soars in thermals during the warmer parts of the day. Egyptian vultures feed mainly on carrion but are opportunistic and will prey on small mammals, birds, and reptiles. They also feed on the eggs of other birds, breaking larger ones by tossing a large pebble onto them. The use of tools is rare in birds and apart from the use of a pebble as a hammer, Egyptian vultures also use twigs to roll up wool for use in their nest. Egyptian vultures that breed in the temperate regions migrate south in winter while tropical populations are relatively sedentary. Populations of this species have declined in the 20th century and some island populations are endangered by hunting, accidental poisoning, and collision with power lines.

Scene, Catalonia Spring 2014

The Pre Pyrenees, Catalonia Spring 2014

White Wagtail

White Wagtail, Catalonia Spring 2014


Raven, Catalonia Spring 2014


European Bee-eaters in the process of nest excavation,  Catalonia Spring 2014

Scenes, Catalonia Spring 2014

Views of the High Pyrenees from our lookout point on the Serra de Boumort National Park, Catalonia Spring 2014

Griffon Vulture

Grffon Vulture, Serra de Boumort, Catalonia Spring 2014

The Griffon Vulture is 93–122 cm (37–48 in) long with a 2.3–2.8 m (7.5–9.2 ft) wingspan. In the nominate race the males weigh 6.2 to 10.5 kg (14 to 23 lb) and females typically weigh 6.5 to 11.3 kg (14 to 25 lb), while in the Indian subspecies (G. f. fulvescens) the vultures average 7.1 kg (16 lb). Extreme adult weights have been reported from 4.5 to 15 kg (9.9 to 33.1 lb), the latter likely a weight attained in captivity.[2][3] Hatched naked, it is a typical Old World vulture in appearance, with a very white head, very broad wings and short tail feathers. It has a white neck ruff and yellow bill. The buff body and wing coverts contrast with the dark flight feathers.


A Short video of Griffon Vultures desending from the Mountain ridges to feed.