The Birdman of Alcossebre – April 2016 Bird News. A good month for birds, with something new every day.

86 species were seen in the Alcossebre area in April 2016.

Two species were the first seen this year Mallard and Whimbrel.

23 species were the first seen this spring. Common Quail, Purple Heron, Squacco Heron, Little Ringed Plover, Common Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Turtle Dove, Red-necked Nightjar, Common Swift, European Bee eater, European Roller, Golden oriole, Melodious Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Spectacled Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher, Common Nightingale, Whinchat, Blue-headed Wagtail and Ortolan Bunting.

I had the company of Gordon Cox from Hertfordshire, Barbara and Derek Plummer from Northamtonshire, and Paul Harvey from Cumbria.
A big thanks to Paul for help building my sewage reservoir.

The month unfolded as follows.-
1st April. One White Stork, one Marsh Harrier, seven Black Kites, one Alpine Swift and five Sand Martins flew NE. 12 Black-headed Gulls flew south.
2nd April. Two Woodchat Shrikes were overnight arrivals.

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3rd April. 20 Black-winged Stilts and 24 Barn Swallows flew NE and one Grey Heron flew south. Overnight arrivals included two Stone Curlews, two Red-rumped Swallows and eight Blackcaps.

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On the 4th and 5th April heavy rain moved in stopping migration.
6th April. One Marsh Harrier, three Common Swifts flew NE. Overnight arrivals included a Quail and two Blue-headed Wagtails.
7th April. One Great Cormorant, six Pallid Swifts, 25 Barn Swallows and nine House Martins flew NE. Overnight arrivals included one Woodchat Shrike, two Common Nightingales – the first this spring, five Blackcaps and four Willow Warblers.
9th April. 19 Great Cormorants, three Bee eaters and four Pallid Swifts flew NE.
Overnight arrivals included One Purple Heron (first this spring), two Common Sandpipers (first this spring), five Woodchat Shrikes, 18 Blackcaps, three Common Nightingales and the first Common Whitethroat of spring.
10th April. Six Glossy Ibis and one Grey Heron flew south. Overnight arrivals included One Turtle Dove – first of spring, and one each of Northern Wheatear, Common Whitethroat and Subalpine Warbler.

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11th April. The only passage was 46 Barn Swallows. Overnight arrivals included Squacco Heron, Little Ringed Plover – both spring firsts, nine Woodchat Shrikes, three Willow Warblers, two Subalpine Warblers, two Common Redstart, one Whinchat, eight Northern Wheatears and one Black-eared Wheatear.

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12th April. Three Marsh Harriers flew NE. Overnight arrivals included another five Woodchat Shikes – up to 14 birds now, five Turtle Doves and three Common Redstarts.
13th April. One Red-rumped Swallow and two Sand Martins flew NE.
A Whimbrel and two Common Whitethroats were overnight arrivals.

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14th April. The Whimbrel from yesterday was joined by another. Two Red-legged Partridge were the first since 23rd February.
15th April. No passage birds today. Two Black-winged Stilts and one Whinchat were overnight arrivals.

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16th April. 15 Great Cormorants and four Grey Herons flew NE. Overnight arrivals included one Black-crowned Night Heron, one Squacco Heron and two Common Whitethroats.

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17th April. Four Great Cormorants and one Marsh Harrier flew NE, Three Cattle Egrets flew south. 10 Turtle Doves and the first Spotted Flycatcher arrived overnight.

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18th April. No passage birds or overnight arrivals.
19th April. No passage birds. Overnight arrivals included five Northern Wheatear, two Common Redstart, one Blackcap, one Subalpine Warbler, and the first Pied Flycatcher of spring.

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20th April. A total of 53 Audouin´s Gulls flew east along the coast – no doubt Ebro Delta bound. No overnight arrivals.
21st April. Six Grey Herons and two Golden Orioles flew NE. Overnight arrivals included one Golden Oriole and one Red-necked Nightjar (both first of spring), one each Willow Warbler, Whinchat and Spotted Flycatcher.
22nd April. 12 Black-headed Gulls, 27 Yellow-legged Gulls, 50 Pallid and Common Swifts, 50 Barn Swallow, six Red-rumped Swallows and 26 House Martins all flew NE. Overnight arrivals included one Woodchat Shrike and one Willow Warbler.
23rd April. 75 each Pallid and Common Swifts, 40 Barn Swallows, 18 House Martins and 15 Sand Martins flew NE. Overnight arrivals included Roller and Garden Warbler, both spring firsts, two Pied Flycatchers and one Blackcap.

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24th April. 60 Bee eaters. 00s of Pallid and Common Swifts, 100 Barn Swallows, 40 House Martins and two Red-rumped Swallows flew NE.
Overnight arrivals included one Black-crowned Night heron, one Squacco Heron, one Reed Warbler and one Ortolan Bunting – both spring firsts

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25th April. 28 Glossy Ibis, 100 each Pallid and Common Swifts, 60 Barn Swallows and 40 House Martins flew NE. Overnight arrivals included one each Wood Sandpiper, Common Greenshank – both spring firsts, two Stone Curlew, four Woodchat Shrikes, one each, Garden Warbler, Northern Wheatear, Common Redstart and Pied Flycatcher.
26th April. No passage birds. 12 Black-winged Stilts, one each Whinchat and Spotted Flycatcher arrived overnight.

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27th April. Seven Black-headed Gulls, 11 Audouin´s Gulls and 19 Yellow-legged Gulls flew east along the coast. Overnight arrivals included Two Common Nightingales and the first Melodious Warbler of spring.

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28th April. Overnight rain grounded a number of migrants. One Roller, 15 Bee eaters, two Pied Flycatchers, one Spotted Flycatcher, one Common Redstart, one Reed warbler, one Common Whitethroat, one Subalpine Warbler and one Melodious Warbler.
29th April. 13 Glossy Ibis and 20 Little Egrets flew NE. Overnight arrivals included one Woodchat Shrike, one Whinchat, five Common Whitethroats, a late Chiffchaff, two Willow Warblers, three Spotted Flycatchers and five Pied Flycatchers.

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30th April. 24 Glossy Ibis and one Little Egret flew NE. Overnight arrivals included one Whinchat, one Common Whitethroat, three Willow Warblers, one Common Redstart and one Pied Flycatcher.

Alcossebre Weather in April 2016.
This April was colder, wetter and windier than normal.

The first week in April was mixed with only two days of fine sunny weather.
The other days were mainly cloudy with sunny spells. The 4th and 5th of April gave us more rain than we have had since last November!
Meanwhile the moderate to strong winds kept temperatures down.

The second week in April was much better with four fine sunny days, and three days of sunny/cloudy spells. Again moderate winds kept temperatures down.

The third week in April went back to mixed weather, with sunny/cloudy spells.
There was some light rain on the 20th. Winds moderated to light or gentle.

The fourth week in April was a mixture of sunshine and showers. There was some rain on the 22nd/23rd and 27th/28th.

Average day temperature was 22C (72F).
Average night temperature was 12C (53F).
Highest day temperature was 26C (78F) on the 17th.
Highest night temperature was 17C (62F) on the 17th.
Lowest day temperature was 16C (60F) on the 5th.
Lowest night temperature was 8C (46F) on the 2nd.
Total rainfall was 2.8 inches (71mm) over eight days.
The heaviest rain fell on the 5th April with 1.6 inches (41mm).

Winter birds slowly disappear, and summer birds arrive daily, with some surprise birds.

82 species were seen in the Alcossebre area in March, 2016.

There were first year records for Common Shelduck, Great Egret, Glossy Ibis, Hen Harrier and Barn Owl.

There were first spring records for Black-crowned Night Heron, White Stork, Osprey, Black Kite, Short-toed Eagle, Montagu´s Harrier, Common Crane, Black-winged Stilt, Scops Owl, Pallid Swift, Alpine Swift, Woodchat Shrike, Sand Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, House Martin, Willow Warbler, Subalpine Warbler,Common Redstart, Northern Wheatear, Black-eared Wheatear, and Ring Ouzel.
Before the month summary a couple of bird stories.
Neighbours Mike and Sarah told me they has seen a special bird while out driving in their car. What was that I asked? They said a Barn Owl!
I said wow, I´ve only seen one in 15 years study here, well done.
Then blow me the next morning when I was out on my bird count walk I saw the same bird in Rural Capycorp – see photo. I then met a German camper, who I pass most mornings. He said “Birdman I have a photo of¨a special bird” he then showed me a photo of – wait for it – a Barn Owl, how is that for a coicidence?
Needless to say it had moved on by the next day.

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The second story, I was sitting in my conservatory having some lunch. I heard a thump and looked towards the sound, there was a small warbler fluttering against the glass doors. This has happened before, and normally it´s one of the local Sardinian Warbler´s , but it wasn´t it was a passage Subalpine Warbler! I took a photo and released it outside unharmed. See photo.

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The month unfolded like this:-
1st March. Five Great Cormorants, nine Crag Martins and the first spring House Martin flew NE.
2nd March. Eight Great Cormorants, one Barn Swallow flew NE and one Northern Lapwing flew south.
3rd March. One Marsh Harrier, one House Martin and two Crag Martins flew NE.
4th March. A total of 530 Great Cormorants, six Little Egrets, two Glossy Ibis – flying company with Great Cormorants, and the first record this year.

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5th March. One Grey Heron flew NE and five Crag Martins flew south.
6th March. Only two Crag Martins passed through heading NE
7th March. 18 Crag Martins and two House Martins flew NE, and there was an increase in Chiffchaff, Robin and Song Thrush numbers.
8th March. No passage birds.
9th March. One Marsh Harrier, 16 Crag Martins, three House Martins and one Barn Swallow flew NE.
10th March. Strong winds ruled out any passage birds.
11th March. 42 White Storks – the first this spring flew NE.
12th March. Two Grey Heron, one Little Egret, 14 Crag Martins, two Sand Martins – the first this spring, and three Barn Swallows flew NE.
13th March. 33 Great Cormorants, 30 Glossy Ibis, two Crag Martins, four House Martins and Barn Swallows flew NE.
14th March and 15th March were no go´s with torrential rain!
This resulted in a back up of migrants keen to fly north.
16th March. A Common Shelduck flew south -a first this year. 16 Common Cranes – a first this spring, 52 Great Cormorants, two Grey Herons,one Sand Martin, three House Martins, 15 Barn Swallows all flew NE
A Barn owl in Rural Capycorp was only my second record in 15 years! A Subalpine Warbler was the first this spring.
17th March. 155 Great Cormorants, one Black Kite, three Alpine Swifts, 36 Barn Swallows, one Red-rumped Swallow, 13 Crag Martins all flew NE.

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One Willow Warbler was a first for spring as was Black Kite, Alpine Swift and Red-rumped Swallow.
18th March. Eight Grey Herons, one Hen Harrier – first this year, 11 Barn Swallows and five House Martins flew NE.
A Black-eared Wheatear was the first this spring.
19th March. 38 Great Cormorants, two Great Egrets – first this year, three Marsh Harriers, 142 Black-headed Gulls, 10 Barn Swallows all flew NE. The last Grey Wagtail of the winter seen.

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Inland two male Montagu´s Harriers were a spring first.
20th March. 37 Great Cormorants, 4 Glossy Ibis, two Montagu´s Harriers, six Marsh Harriers and three Mediterranean Gulls all flew NE.
21st March. 19 Great Cormorants, two Grey Herons, three Black-winged Stilts – a spring first, one Marsh Harrier, one Red-rumped Swallow, 25 barn Swallows, two Sand Martins, six House Martins and six Crag Martins all flew NE. A Woodchat Shrike and Scops Owl were spring firsts.

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22nd March. Five Glossy Ibis, seven Black-winged Stilts and 13 Yellow- legged Gulls all flew south. A Northern Wheatear was a spring first.
23rd March. 12 Alpine Swifts and two Pallid Swifts – first this spring flew NE.
24th March. Strong winds held back migration today.
25th March. 32 Great Cormorants and small numbers of Barn Swallows flying NE all day. Big increase in Sandwich Tern numbers – 90 birds, and Corn Buntings 13 birds. The last of the winter Black Redstart seen.

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25th March. 32 Great Cormorants and small numbers of Barn Swallows flying NE all day. Big increase in Sandwich Tern numbers – 90 birds, and Corn Buntings 13 birds.
26th March. The first Osprey of spring flew NE.
27th March. 49 Great Cormorants, one Marsh Harrier, 21 Barn Swallows flew NE. Overnight arrivals were one Woodchat Shrike, two Northern Wheatears, one Common Redstart – a first this spring, and six Song Thrushes.

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28th March. Seven Northern Gannets and 41 barn Swallows flew NE. Overnight arrivals one Green Sandpiper a first this spring, male Common Redstart.
29th March. a Ring Ouzel was only the third record here in 15 years! The last of the winter Robin´s seen.

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30th March. Only one Grey Heron and five Great Cormorants flew NE today.
Two Black-crowned Night Herons on a thermal above my Casa were the first this spring.
31st March. 27 Great Cormorants flew NE. A Woodchat Shrike arrived overnight and Corn Buntings increased to 30 birds.

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Alcossebre Weather in March 2016.

A disappointing month weather wise, with more rain since last November! Moderate/strong NE winds also kept average temperatures well down.

The first week in March was mainly fine and sunny, but gentle /moderate winds reduced temperatures . Some light rain on the 7th.

The second week in March was mixed with three days fine and sunny, the other four days overcast. There was torrential rain on the 14th with 1.4 inches (36 mm).

The third week in March was poor with overcast and dull days being the norm. There was rain on four days, with torrential rain overnight and through the day on the 15th – 1.7 inches (43mm).

The weather picked up on the fourth week in March, with mainly fine and sunny days, and the temperature reached average or above 20C 68F.

The last three days were bright with sunny/cloudy days and gentle winds.

Average day temperature was 19C (66F).
Average night temperature was 10C (50F).
Highest day temperature was 24C (75F) on the 2nd and 29th.
Lowest day temperature was 12C (53F) on the 14th.
Highest night temperature was 14C (57F) on the 24th.
Lowest night temperature was 6C (42F) on the 16th.
Total rainfall was 4.8 inches ( 122 mm) over seven days.
Monthly average is 4.8 inches.
Heaviest rain was on the 15th with 1.7 inches (43 mm).

Numbers of birds down but some interesting sightings.

56 species were seen in the Alcossebre area in February 2016.
No new species were seen in February.

Two Black-necked Grebes were only my second record in 15 years.
A Carrion Crow was the 4th record here.
Two Red-legged Partridge were the first this year.
The first of the spring migrants arrived, a Great Spotted Cuckoo on the 17th February

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, and Barn Swallow on the 24th February.
Wintering Booted Eagle and Siskins were notable.

Notable absentee´s were Little Owl, Southern Grey Shrike, Blue Rock Thrush, Cetti´s Warbler and Rock Bunting.

A selected list of species with comments follows:-
Northern Gannet up to three birds seen were above average numbers.
Great Cormorant numbers were well down for this month. 8 birds max. compared to 266 last February.
One or two Little Egrets were usual February numbers.

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Cattle Egret numbers were up, with a max. of 10 birds.
Single Northern Sparrowhawks and up to two Common Buzzards were normal for February.
A wintering Booted Eagle was the first to winter since 2003.
Up to four Common Kestrels were normal February numbers.
A maximum of 140 Mediterranean Gulls was the highest total for over ten years.

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Sandwich Tern numbers were well down for February with only a maximum of 20 birds.
Great Spotted Cuckoo was the first spring migrant to arrive on the 17th February, and by the end of the month two pairs were present.
Common Kingfisher were seen a few times during the month, not always seen this month.
Hoopoe numbers were slightly above average with a maximum of six birds seen daily. They have been quite vocal this month.

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A Carrion Crow seen in the rural farmlands on the 3rd February was only the 4th record here.
Resident Crested Larks numbers were well down at six birds maximum.
In contrast wintering Skylarks numbers were well up at 150 birds maximum, the best total since 2007.
Wintering Crag Martin numbers were well down at 28 birds maximum.
The first Barn Swallow of spring arrived on the 24th February, more birds arrived on the 27th and 28th.

 

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A Wren was the first February record since 2009.
Common Chiffchaff´s numbers were well down at 5 birds maximum.
Resident Zitting Cisticola´s were well up with six birds maximum.

 

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Up to seven Blackcap´s were normal February numbers.
There were still two wintering Dartford Warbler´s in the coastal scrubland.
Up to 15 resident Sardinian Warbler´s were good numbers for February.

 

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Both wintering Robin (max.9 birds) and Black Redstarts (max. 28 birds) were surviving in good numbers.
Wintering Common Stonechat´s numbers were below average at 8 birds maximum.
Wintering Song Thrush numbers peaked at 18 birds on the 26th February, above average numbers.
Although single wintering Grey Wagtail were normal, resident White Wagtail numbers were down at 16 birds max – last two years the max. was 21 and 38 birds.

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Wintering Meadow Pipit numbers were well up at 37 birds maximum.
Although resident Cirl Bunting (2 birds)and wintering Reed Bunting (4 birds)
were normal February numbers, resident Corn Bunting numbers were very low indeed with one bird max. compared to the last three February´s 30, 38 and 70 birds!

 

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Up to 20 wintering Siskin´s were the best numbers since 2007.

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Alcossebre Weather in February 2016.

A much milder and sunny month than we are used to.

The first week in February was mainly fine and sunny, with above average temperatures. Winds were gentle ,apart from moderate to strong winds on the 3rd and 4th.

The second week in February was mixed with sunny/cloudy spells.
The first rain of the month fell on the 11th, and some light rain on the 14th.
Temperatures were still above average.

The third week in February had six days of fine and sunny weather.
Although the night temperature dropped to more normal February figures.
There was a moderate to strong wind on the 16th.
The 18th had overcast and dull conditions with some light rain.

The fourth week in February returned to more mixed weather with a bit of everything, even snow on the hills!
Most days were sunny with some cloudy spells.
Rain moved in overnight on the 28th and continued through out the day.
The last two days were dominated by moderate to strong northerly winds.

Average day temperature was 18C (64F).
Average night temperature was 10C (50F).
Highest day temperature 22C (72F) on the 10th and 12th.
Highest night temperature 16C (60F) on the 10th.
Lowest day temperature 13C (55F) on the 18th and 27th.
Lowest night temperature 5C ( 41F) on the 17th and 20th.

Total rainfall for the month was 0.9 inches (23mm) over 4 days.

It was 3C above the February average by both day and night.
It was also a lot drier at 0.9 – February average is 2.7 inches.

The continuing mild weather here is good news for resident birds and winter visitors.

The continuing mild weather here is good news for resident birds and winter visitors. See weather report.
Highlights this month include 150 Balearic Shearwaters, five Stone Curlews, 110 Mediterannean Gulls, a Razorbill and 38 Siskins.
For the first time in 15 years study no Southern Grey Shrike, Blue Rock Thush or Rock Buntings are wintering. No doubt staying on their breeding grounds.
Most of the wintering birds are in reduced numbers, with a few exceptions.
A summary of the months birds follows:-
Seabirds.
150 Balearic Shearwaters flew south on the 23rd January.
One to three Northern Gannets were seen throughout the month.
101 Great Cormorants were seen this month, most flying past.
Herons and Egrets.
Only two Grey Herons were seen this month.
One to three Little Egrets were seen, either along the coast or at Torre pond.
Up to 12 Cattle Egrets were seen inland, either following sheep/goats or tractors.
Birds of Prey.
Only three species of bird of prey were seen this month.
There were two wintering Common Buzzards.
Single Northern Sparrowhawks were seen.
Up to five Common Kestrels were wintering, male and female´s holding separate

IMG_5806territories.
Wading Birds.
The two normal wintering wading birds were seen. Up to six Northern Lapwing and five Stone Curlew.
Gulls and Terns.
Of the five species of Gull seen this month, Mediterranean Gull was the most numereous with a max. of 110 seen on the 16th January.

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The max. for the other species were 2 Black-headed Gulls, 24 Audoiun´s Gulls, 25 Yellow-legged Gulls and only 2 Lesser-black Back Gulls.
The only tern seen in winter here is the Sandwich Tern, maximum of 16 noted.
Razorbills and Auks.
The first Razorbill since the 6th December 2006 was seen on the 23rd January.
Pigeons and Doves.
Both Wood Pigeons (126 max.) and Collared Doves (70 max.) are surviving through winter in good numbers.
Owls.
The only resident owl here is Little Owl, and it continues to struggle.
Only single birds seen or heard this month.
Kingfisher.
There were three records of Common Kingfisher this month. Two along the coast and one at the Torre pond.
Larks.
Two species of Lark seen. Resident Crested Larks (max. 6 birds ) out numbered by wintering Skylarks (max. 58 birds).
Martins and Swallows.
The only wintering member of this group are Crag Martins, normally can reach over a hundred birds, this January max. 28 birds.
Warblers.
Although there are two Cetti´s Warbler wintering they were only heard twice.
One at the sewage pond and one at Capycorp lagoon.
Wintering Common Chiffchaff´s are well down in numbers with only a max. of 10 birds seen.
Resident Zitting Cisticola´s were surviving in good numbers with a max. of 7 seen.

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Wintering Blackcap´s were also well down in numbers with a max. of 8 birds noted.
Single wintering Dartford Warblers were seen along the coastal scrubland.
Resident Sardinian Warbler´s were surviving in good numbers, max. 16 birds.
Robins and Chats.
Wintering Robin numbers were well down at 9 max. Last years max. was 22 birds.

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Black Redstart numbers were near average at 22 birds max.
Common Stonechat winter numbers were also a bit down on previous years at 12 birds max. last two years 18/19 birds.
Thrushes.
Wintering Song Thrush numbers were half of usual at 12 birds max.
Wagtails and Pipits.
Wintering Grey Wagtails, max. 2 birds were outnumbered by resident White Wagtails with 30 birds max.

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Wintering Meadow Pipit numbers at 44 birds were average numbers.
Buntings.
Three species of Bunting were seen, none in big numbers. 6 Corn Buntings, 3 Cirl Buntings and 4 Reed Bunting, all well below normal numbers.

Bunting

Bunting

Finches.
Six species of Finch were seen in January.
Wintering Common Chaffinch (max.47 birds), Siskin (max.38 birds) and Linnet (max.60 birds) were surviving in good numbers.
Resident Greenfinch (max.12 birds), Goldfinch (max.62 birds) and Linnet (max.20 birds) numbers were not being swelled by immigrant birds, and were lower.

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Both House and Tree Sparrows could be seen in flocks of up to a hundred birds in the rural farmlands.

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Alcossebre Weather for January 2016.

January had above average temperatures and very little rain.

The first week in January saw more cloud than sunshine, but it was very mild with light/gentle winds.
The second week in January was mixed, with three fine/sunny days and four days with sunny/cloudy spells. A strong northerly wind blew for two days.
The third week in Janauary had mainly fine/sunny conditions.although a moderate/strong wind for the first two days dropped temperatures down.
The fourth week in January fell into a pattern of cloudy/misty mornings, clearing to fine and sunny afternoons. the winds were light throughout.
The last three days had more sunshine than cloud, with little or no wind.

The average day temperature was 17C (62F).
The average night temperature was 9C (48F).
The warmest day was 21c (70F) on the 7th and 31st.
The warmest night was 16C (60F) on the 11th.
The coldest day was 12C (53F) on the 17th.
The coldest night was 5C (41F) on the 6th.
The total rainfall was trace over four days.
Average rainfall for January is 3.8 inches.

Continuing mild weather means that winter birds stay on their home patch.

A number of wintering birds to Alcossebre are missing this winter due to the continuing mild weather e.g. Blue Rock Thrush and Rock Bunting.
That said there were 59 species seen this month.
There were first year records for Dunnock and Siskin.

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Balearic Shearwaters were passing through at their highest numbers this year.

A list of the more note worthy species follows.
Balearic Shearwaters. A total of 3363 birds passed through this month.
With over a thousand birds on the 12th and 13th December, quite a sight!
One to three Northern Gannets were seen during the month.
A total of 434 Great Cormorants passed through, with with 83 birds on the 4th.
Up to eight birds could be seen daily on the local Moor´s rock.
There were 11 sightings of Grey Heron this month, with one bird frequenting Torre estate pond from the 15th to the 21st December.
There were the usual one or two Little Egrets seen along the coast this month.
Catlle Egrets peaked at 17 birds on the 3rd December in the local farmlands, most usually following the tractors as they ploughed the fields.
Only four species of bird of prey were seen this month.
Three Marsh Harriers passed through on the 2nd December, Ebro delta bound.
Single Northern Sparrowhawks were seen, mainly chasing the finch flocks.
Two Eurasian Buzzards were holding winter territories, most often seen on the electric pylons.

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The commonest bird of prey were Common Kestrels, with up to five birds seen daily.

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Northern Lapwing was the only species of wader seen, still in low numbers, with nine birds maximum.
Meditteranean Gulls (20 max.) outnumbered Black-headed Gulls (15 max) this month.

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Both Audoiun´s Gulls and Yellow-legged Gulls were in low numbers, mainly because they were not being able to roost on the beaches, with the mild weather encouraging people onto the same.
The same comment applies to the Sandwich Tern. With only 30 birds max. counted, normally December numbers are up to 200.
One Arctic Skua was seen chasing Sandwich Terns on the 3rd December.
Both Common Woodpigeon (max.87 birds) and Collared Doves (max.107 birds) were in above average numbers.
A single record of Little Owl was the poorest count in 15 years!

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A single Common Kingfisher was seen at Torre pond on the 15th December,
was good, not normally seen in December.
Hoopoe´s were in good numbers, with up to nine birds seen daily.

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A single Southern Grey Shrike was seen on the 21st December, low numbers for December.
27 Common Magpies were counted going into the juvenile camp roost site on the 13th December.
Resident Crested Larks (7 birds max.) were well outnumbered by wintering Common Skylark at a maximum of 155 birds the best total since 2007!
Crag Martins on the other hand were way below usual December numbers, with only 12 birds maximum seen.
Only there were two Cetti´s Warbler´s wintering they were keeping very quiet, usually their explosive call is heard regularly.
Wintering Common Chiffchaff (10 birds) and Blackcap (11 birds) numbers were well down on average December numbers.

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Resident Zitting Cisticola´s (9 birds) and Sardinian Warbler (21 birds) numbers were good.
Only single wintering Dartford Warbler´s were seen in the coastal scrubland.
Although wintering Robin numbers were low – 9 birds, Black Redstart 21 birds, and Common Stonechat numbers 13, were average for December.
Apart from an influx of 22 birds on the 8th December, Song Thrush numbers were low, with an average of three birds seen daily.
The first Dunnock of the year appeared on the 10th December, and was still at the same place on the 26th.
The Wren that appeared at the sewage pond last month, has not been seen since.
The easiest place to see wintering Grey Wagtail was in my garden, with a regular bird chasing off the Sparrows!
Resident White Wagtails peaked at 19 birds on the 30th December.
Up to 40 Meadow Pipits were wintering in the rural farmlands.

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As mentioned earlier, as yet there were no wintering Rock Buntings.
There were three Cirl Buntings, two Reed Buntings and up to eight Corn Buntings wintering, all low numbers

IMG_8670Finch numbers were on the increase with up to 60 Common Chaffinches, 16 Greenfinches, 120 Goldfinches, 50 Linnets and 40 Serin´s

Best of all was a wintering party of 30 Siskins, the best total since 2007!
Alcossebre Weather in December 2015.

A very dry month with mainly fine and sunny days.
On 10 days it started off with some cloud and mist, but it usually cleared away.
Only four and a half days were overcast.
We a little rain on three days, but well below the December average.

The average day temperature was 17C (62F).
The average night temperature was 10C (50F).
The highest day temperature was 21C (70F) on the 5th December.
The highest night temperature was 14C (57F) on the 20th December.
The coolest day temperature was 16C (60F) on the 12th/22nd/23rd and 25th.
The coolest night temperature was 7C (44F) on the 3rd December.

Total rainfall was 0.2 inches (8mm) over three days.
Winds were light to gentle throughout the month.

The Birdman of Alcossebre – November Bird News.

The mild weather continues so less winter birds..

64 species seen in the Alcossebre area in November.

Three species were first of the year records. Common Greenshank, Southern Grey Shrike and Woodlark.

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Their were three first autumn records for Balearic Shearwaters, Hen Harrier and Reed Bunting.

Their were last records for Barn Swallow, Willow Warbler.

The list of species seen with comments follows:-
Balearic Shearwater. 72 flying south on the 21st, were the first this autumn.
Northern Gannet. Apart from the odd single bird seen, nine birds flying south on the 21st, were notable.
Great Cormorants were seen daily, up to six birds drying their wings on Moor´s Rock. The biggest flock seen flying south were 178 on the 6th November.
Grey Heron. Only a single bird seen this month, one flying east on the 17th.
In contrast, both Cattle Egrets and Little Egrets seen almost daily.
Three Little Egrets at the Torre pond on the 27th was the most seen this month.

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A maximum of 57 Cattle Egrets were seen in the Rural farmland on the 17th .
Six birds of prey were seen this month.
A female Marsh Harrier flew south on the 9th November.
A Male Hen Harrier on the 3rd November, was the first this autumn.
Up to two Common Buzzards were wintering, then on the 17th three late birds passed through in company with two Booted Eagles!
Two Booted Eagles passed through on the 17th November in company with three Common Buzzards.
Single wintering Northern Sparrowhawks were seen throughout the month.
Up to four Common Kestrels were holding onto their winter territories.

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The only place that Common Moorhens were to be seen was the Torre estate pond where a maximum of 10 were wintering.
One or two Stone Curlews were seen this month.
There were two sightings of Northern Lapwing seen this month, Two on the 4th, and 3 birds on the 30th.
A Common Greenshank at Capy Corp lagoon on the 4th November, was unexpected and turned out to be the first record this year!
Gull and Tern numbers continue to be on the low side. Mainly due to the mild weather disturbing the birds off the beaches and roosting places.
Maximum numbers were:- 27 Black-headed Gulls, 20 Audouin´s Gulls, 15 Yellow-legged Gulls, one Lesser Black-back Gull, and 22 Sandwich Terns.
Wood Pigeons were dodging the hunter´s bullets with up to 98 birds maximum.
Collared Dove numbers were also quite high with a max. of 83 birds seen.
Only single Little Owls were seen (or heard) this month.

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There were two sightings of Common Kingfisher, one at the coast – Capycorb beach, and one at Torre estate pond.
Up to 12 Hoopoe´s were seen on a daily basis – good numbers for November.
The first Southern Grey Shrike of the year was seen in the Rural farmland on the 15th November.
A maximum of 11 resident Crested Larks were out numbered by wintering Common Skylark´s – max. 67 birds.
Five Woodlark´s on the 5th November were the first seen this year, they were gone by the next day.
Up to 20 wintering Crag Martin´s were seen in the rural farmlands, although up to 200 were seen coming into roost in apartments in Alcossebre town centre.
The last Barn Swallows passed through on the 5th November.
There were three or four wintering Cetti´s Warblers. one at Capycorp lagoon, one at Torre estate and up to two at the sewage pond.
The only Winter Wren was seen at at the sewage pond.
The last passage Willow Warbler was seen on the 9th November.
Meantime wintering Common Chiffchaffs were peaking at 31 birds on the 17th.
Up to seven resident Zitting Cisticolas were noted daily.

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Wintering Blackcap numbers were still very low – max. 10 birds – mild weather?
One or two Dartford Warblers were wintering in the coastal scubland.
Resident Sardinian Warblers were surviving in good numbers – max. 18 birds.

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Wintering Robins, Black Redstart and Stonechat peaked at 22, 27 and 12 birds.

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Compare that with only two resident Common Blackbirds seen.
Wintering Song Thrush numbers were low, max. 8 birds, will colder weather bring in more?
One or two wintering Grey Wagtails were seen.
White Wagtails outnumbered them by a maximum 18 birds.
Wintering Meadow Pipits peaked at 29 birds on the 11th November.
Single Cirl Buntings were seen, and the first of winter Reed Bunting was seen on the 15th November.
Only two Corn Buntings was low numbers for November.
Finch numbers were also low for November. Common Chaffinch – 36 birds, Greenfinch – 8 birds, Goldfinch 50 birds, Linnet – 43 birds, Serin – 34 birds.
Alcossebre Weather in November, 2015.

After getting the months rainfall on the first two days, the rest of November was dry and sunny, with above average temperatures by day and night.

The average day temperature was 21C (70F).
The average night temperature was 13C (55F)
Highest day temperature was on the 20th at 27C (80F).
Highest night temperature was on the 2nd and 21st at 20C (68F)
The coldest day was 13C (55F) on the 23rd.
The coldest night was 8C (46F) on the 30th.

Total rainfall for the month was 3.3 inches (84 mm).
Over three days.
Heaviest rain fell on the 2nd with 2.5 inches (64 mm).

Goodbye summer birds, hello winter birds.

70 species were seen in the Alcossebre area this month.
No new species were added to the list.

Two species were new for the year, Peregrine Falcon and Wren.

14 species were the first seen this autumn. Eurasian Hobby, Black-crowned Night Heron, Stone Curlew, Skylark, Crag Martin, Chiffchaff, Reed Warbler, Dartford Warbler, Robin, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Song Thrush, Grey Wagtail and Chaffinch.

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Species notes follow.
One or two Northern Gannets were seen off shore.
A total of 618 Great Cormorants passed through this month, with 250 birds flying south on the 20th October.
16 Grey Herons passed through this month, mainly single birds.
15 Little Egrets flew east over the sea on the 18th October, no doubt heading for the Ebro Delta.
Cattle Egrets were seen daily in the rural farmlands, with a peak of 76 birds on the 22nd October.

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Five Black-crowned Night Herons flew out of the Torre estate on the 11th October, having probably roosted there overnight.
Six birds of prey were seen this month.
A Marsh Harrier flew east on the 8th October.
Single Northern Sparrowhawks were seen throughout the month.
One Common Buzzard had taken up a winter territory.

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Up to four Common Kestrels were seen daily.
A Peregrine Falcon flying east on the 20th October was the first this year.
A Eurasian Hobby flew south on the 6th October.
Up to 12 Common Moorhens were seen at the Torre estate pond, the only place they are frequenting.
The first Stone Curlew was seen on the 22nd October in the rural farmland.
A single Northern Lapwing was seen on the 10th, and three birds on the 21st October, in the rural farmlands.
Only four Gull species seen this month, and all in low numbers. Maximum of 12 Black-headed Gulls, 18 Audouin´s Gulls, 24 Yellow-legged Gulls and single Lesser Black-back Gulls.
The only Tern species seen was Sandwich Tern – maximum of 30 birds seen
Two Stock Doves on the 6th October were only the second record this month.
Wood Pigeons peaked at 105 birds and Collared Doves peaked at 115 birds.

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The last Turtle Dove was seen on the 2nd October.
One or two Little Owls were noted this month, still very low numbers.
Single Common Kingfisher´s were seen throughout the month, either at the Torre estate pond or at the coast.
Up to eight Hoopoe´s were seen daily.
A maximum of 23 Common Magpie´s were seen daily.
The first Skylark arrived on the 12th October and built up to 106 birds by the month, easily out numbering the resident Crested Larks at 14 birds maximum.
Five Crag Martin´s on the 11th were the first this autumn, and by the month end there were up to 120 birds roosting in Alcossebre town apartments.
A total of 688 Barn Swallow´s flew south up to the last on the 28th October.
Eight House Martin´s on the 4th October, were the last seen.
The last Sand Martin´s were three birds on the 10th October.
There were two Cetti´s Warbler holding winter territorie´s, one at Capycorp lagoon and one the sewage pond.
A Wren on the 18th October at the sewage pond was the first seen this year.
One to two passage Willow Warbler´s were seen up to the 29th October.
The first wintering Common Chiffchaff´s arrived on the 8th, and by the month end had peaked at eight birds.
Two passage Reed Warbler´s were seen at the sewage pond, on the 4th October.
Up to five resident Zitting Cisticola´s were seen daily.

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A maximum of 10 wintering Blackcap´s were seen.
The first winter Dartford Warbler arrived on the 23rd October, joined by another on the 29th, both in the coastal scrubland.
The last passage Subalpine Warbler was seen on the 8th October.
Up to 12 resident Sardinian Warbler´s were seen daily.
The last passage Spotted Flycatcher was seen on the 7th October, and the last Pied Flycatcher on the 8th October.

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The first wintering Robin was seen on the 9th October, and by the month end there were 17 birds.

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The first wintering Black Redstart arrived on the 10th October, and by the month there were 20 birds.
The last passage Common Redstart was seen on the 10th October.
The last passage Northern Wheatear was seen on the 16th October.
The first wintering Common Stonechat was seen on the 2nd October, and by the month end there were 11 birds.

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The first wintering Song Thrush arrived on the 8th October, numbers were low with only a maximum of 6 birds seen, very low numbers.
The last passage Blue-headed Wagtail was seen on the 6th October, the same date that the first wintering Grey Wagtail arrived.
The resident White Wagtail´s number´s were added to by passage birds with a peak of 14 birds on the 29th October.
Wintering Meadow Pipit´s peaked at 27 birds on the 26th October.
Corn Bunting numbers were low with only two birds seen in the rural farmland.
The first wintering Common Chaffinch arrived on the 13th October, but numbers were slow to build up, with only 13 birds noted.

Alcossebre Weather for October 2015.

October was a mixed and mild month.

There were only nine days with fine and sunny weather.
11 days were overcast, eight of them with rain.
The other 11 days were cloudy with sunny spells.

The average day temperature was 23C (73F).
The average night temperature was 16C (60F).
The warmest day was the 5th at 32C (89F).
The coldest day´s were the 13th,14th,20th and 26th at 20C (68F).
The warmest night was the 6th at 22C (73F).
The coldest night was the 16th at 10C (50F).

Total rainfall for the month was 2.4 inches (61mm), over 8 days.
The heaviest rain fell on the 14th with 1.4 inches (36mm).

A trickle of migrants, with some exceptions.

66 species were seen in the Alcossebre area in September 2015.
No new species were added to the list, which remains at 226 species.

I had the company of Gordon Cox from Middlesex on the 19th September and Derek and Barbara Plummer from Northampton on the 20th September.

There were first of the year records for Shag, Northern Sparrowhawk, Eurasian Hobby, Arctic Skua, Wryneck and Greater Whitethroat.

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There were first autumn records for Purple Heron, Osprey, Black Kite, Eurasian Marsh Harrier, Eurasian Buzzard, Sand Martin, Cetti´s Warbler, Blackcap, Common Redstart, Whinchat, Blue-headed Wagtail and Meadow Pipit.

A list of species with comments follows:-
Great Cormorant. With the tourist season ending, one to four Cormorants were roosting on the Moor´s Rock again. Apart from that a total of 51 birds passed through.
A Shag fishing off Capycorp lagoon on the 9th September, was the first seen this year.
Herons and Egrets. One to two Grey Herons passed through this month, and one Purple Heron.
Apart from the odd Little Egret fishing at Torre de Capycorp pond there were two passage flocks, on the 6th and 16th, total of 16 birds.
Cattle Egret numbers in the Rural farmland were at the highest in 14 years, with a maximum of 63 birds seen on the 26th September.

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Birds of Prey. It was a disappointing month in terms of numbers for passage birds of prey.
A single Osprey flew along the coast on the 12th September.
A single Black Kite flew south on the 13th.
There was only one record of Short-toed Eagle , normally there are half a dozen records in September.
There were first autumn records for Eurasian Marsh Harrier and Eurasian Buzzard on the 27th September.
A Hobby seen on the 20th September was the first record this year.
At least the resident Eurasian Kestrel was in good numbers with up to six birds seen daily.

 

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The only species of wader seen this month was Northern Lapwing, with one bird seen on the 26th and four birds on the 29th September.
Sandwich Tern numbers were at there lowest in September since 2005. With only a maximum of 14 birds seen.
An Arctic Skua chasing Sandwich Terns on the 3rd September was the first this year.
Wood Pigeon (90 Birds) and Collared Dove´s (85 birds) numbers were continuing at a high level .
After a successful breeding season European Turtle Dove´s were seen in their highest September numbers, with up to 13 birds counted.

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Little Owl numbers were still very low with only one to two birds seen.
The last Common Swift´s were seen flying south on the 17th, and the last Pallid Swift´s on the 25th September.
Single Common Kingfisher´s were seen at Torre de Capycorp pond and Capycorp lagoon.
There were four passage flocks of Eurasian Bee eaters totalling 134 birds, the last on the 20th September.
A maximum of five resident Hoopoe´s were seen this month.

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A Wryneck seen briefly in the Rural farmlands on the 27th September, was the first since 19th February, 2009!
The last juvenile Woodchat Shrike was seen on the 11th September.
The last Golden Oriole was seen on the 10th September.
September is the peak month for passage Swallows and Martins here.
The month totals were 63 Sand Martins, 1020 House Martins, 3900 Barn Swallows and 85 Red-rumped Swallows. This was the highest number of the latter recorded to date.

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The first Cetti´s Warbler of autumn arrived at Capycorp lagoon on the 16th September.
It was the best September for Willow Warbler passage since 2010, with up to 11 birds seen daily.
The last summering Melodious Warbler was seen on the 21st September.
Up tp seven resident Zitting Cisticola´s were counted.
The first Blackcap of autumn was seen on the 14th September.

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A Greater Whitethroat on the 1st September, was the first record this year.
There was a good passage of Subalpine Warbler´s, with up to five birds daily. Mainly juvenile or female birds.
The last summering Common Nightingale was seen at the sewage pond on the 10th September.
16 Spotted Flycatcher´s and 36 Pied Flycatcher´s passed through this month
The first Common Redstart and Whinchat of autumn turned up on the 17th September.

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Only five Northern Wheatear´s passed through this month, quite low numbers.
The first passage Blue-headed Wagtails appeared in the rural farmland on the 28th September – seven birds.

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A Meadow Pipit on the 21st , was only the second September record.

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Alcossebre Weather in September 2015.
September is usually a mixed month for weather here, and this year was no exception.
The first two weeks were a mixture of sunshine and showers, with some heavy rain thrown in.
There was a dry spell from the 13th to the 26th September.
We had several days of thunderstroms with torrential rain from the 27th to the end of the month.
The average day temperature was 27C (80F).
The average night temperature was 19C (66F).
The highest day temperature was 33C (91F) on the 16th September.
The lowest day temperature was 20C (68F) on the 29th September.
The highest night temperature was 23C (73F) on the 4th and 17th September.
The lowest night temperature was 15C (59F) on the 25th and 29th September.
Total rainfall for the month was 5 inches (128mm) over 10 days.
Heavist rainfall was on the 28th with over 2 inches of rain.
Winds were mainly from the north east in the morning and east or south east in the afternoon. Wind strengths were mainly light or gentle over 20 days, and moderate to strong over 10 days.

More autumn migrants arrive.

55 species were seen in the Alcossebre area in August 2015.
The star bird of the month was a Grey Plover on the 19th August, only the second record here in 15 years!

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There were first of the year records for Red-backed Shrike and Black-eared Wheatear.

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There were first of the autumn records for Willow Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Pied Flycatcher, Northern Wheatear and Common Starling.

The months list of birds were as follows :-

Three sightings of Greater Flamingos. eight flew east on the 12th, one flew east on the 24th , unsually inland, 18 birds flew south- west on the 29th.
Very few Great Cormorants seen – one on the 13th and three south-west on the 21st.
There were two flocks of Grey Herons through, 14 birds south west on the 15th,
and 18 birds south west on the 24th August.
Three species of Egret seen this month.
One Great Egret flew east over the sea on the 2nd August.
One or two Little Egrets were seen at Torre pond on and off all month, and four flew east on the 19th August.
Cattle Egrets were seen most days in the rural farmlands – max. 26 birds.
34 birds flew south west over the sea on the 24th August.
A Squacco Heron was at Torre pond from the 5th to the 9th August.

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One or two Short-toed Eagles were seen on electric pylons during the month.
Up to three local Common Kestrels noted. No migrants yet.
One to two Common Moorhens seen at Torre pond.
The bird of the month was a Grey Plover that arrived in the rural farmlands on the 19th August – only the second record here in 15 years!
The only other wader was a Little Ringed Plover on the 9th August at Capycorb
lagoon.
Gull numbers were very low this month, which isn´t surprising given the number of people on the beaches/coast, so no place to rest and preen.
Most Black-headed Gulls were passage birds. A total of 42 birds passed through this month.
The most Audouin´s Gulls seen were 13 birds on the 3rd August.
The only other gull seen this month was Yellow-legged Gull with a max. of five birds on the 30th August.
Sandwich Tern numbers were well down for the same reasons as the gulls.
A maximum of seven birds seen on the 5th August.
If ever there was an illustration of the impact of hunting/shooting on birds it´s the data for Wood Pigeon this month. The shooting season begins on the 14th August. Up to then Wood Pigeon numbers were averaging 30 birds per day,
since then the daily average is two birds!

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It´s strange, but they don´t seem to target Collared Doves to the same extent.
Up to 54 birds were seen throughout the month.
Up to three Turtle Doves were seen throughout the month low numbers for this species. Another species shot here.
Only one species of owl seen, the resident Little Owl, one or two seen sporadically.
The last big Swift movement was seen on the 9th August, when 480 birds, a mix of Pallid and Common Swifts, flew north west ahead of thunderstorm.
A Common Kingfisher at Torre pond on the 30th and 31st August, was the first since the 12th January !
After the local bred Bee eaters had moved on there was an almost daily passage of other birds. By the end of the month a total 224 birds had past through.
Hoopoe´s peaked at 16 birds on the 27th August, the best total since 2007.

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A juvenile Red-backed Shrike on the 21st August was the first record this year.
In contrast up to three juvenile Woodchat Shrikes were seen throughout the month.

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Golden Orioles continue to exceed expections, up to 12 birds seen this month.
Photo opportunities still very difficult.
Barn Swallow numbers continue to build up with local birds added in numbers by passage birds. maximum count was 80 birds on the 30th.
Red-rumped Swallows joined the Barn Swallows form time to time with a mximum of six birds noted.
Like the Barn Swallows House Martin numbers increased throughout the month, peaking at 56 birds on the 31st August.
The first Willow Warbler of autumn turned up on the 23rd August.
Single Melodious Warblers were seen throughout the month.
The first Subalpine Warbler arrived on the 21st August.
Up to five Spotted Flycatchers were seen during the month, good numbers.

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The first Pied Flycatcher of autumn arrived on the 27th August.
Single Common Nightingales were seen throughout the month.
The first Northern Wheatear of autumn arrived on the 26th August.
A Black-eared Wheatear was the first this year on the 24th August.

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Finch numbers were low this month. 23 Greenfinches, 8 Goldfinch, 5 Linnets and 10 Serin.
Alcossebre weather for August 2015.

The August weather in Alcossebre was normal day and night temperatures, but some thunderstorms at the beginning and end of the month gave us higher than usual rainfall.

Average day temperature was 30C (86F).
Average night temperature was 22C (72F).
Highest day temperature was 35C (95F) on the 23rd.
Lowest day temperature was 26C (78F) on the 18th.
Highest night temperature was 27C (80F) on the 8th.
Lowest night temperature was 18C (64F) on the 16th.

Total rainfall was 4.7 inches (13mm) over days.
Heaviest rainfall was on the 1st with 4 inches (102 mm)
Average rainfall for August is 2.3 inches.

Winds were mainly light and gentle. With moderate to strong winds on 11 days.

A new breeding species and autumn migration begins.

52 species were seen in the Alcossebre area in July 2015.
No new species were added to the list.
Highlight of the month was a new breeding record – a pair of Little Ringed Plovers were seen with a chick at Capycorp lagoon.

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There were first of the year records for Glossy Ibis, Whimbrel and Dunlin, and first July record for Whiskered Terns.

I had the company of Barbara and Derek Plummer from Northampton on the
3rd and 7th July.

There was only one record each of Northern Gannet and Great Cormorant.
A total of 15 Grey Herons passed through this month, maximum five birds of the 30th July.
Only single Little Egrets were seen, and one record of Cattle Egret – 4 birds on the 1st.

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The first Glossy Ibis of the year flew east inland on the 12th July, thereafter flocks of 24, 40, 20 and 5 birds passed through.
The most recorded in one month here.
There was only two records of Short-toed Eagle this month a single on the 15th, and a pair seen by Paul Harvey on the 13th July.
Common Kestrels after their successful breeding season were showing in good numbers with up to seven birds seen daily.
A juvenile Eleonora´s Falcon turned up on a local pylon, no doubt from the Columbrettes Islands, the nearest breeding place. It stayed long enough for me to photograph it.

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The big news of the month was the Little Ringed Plovers breeding at Capycorp lagoon, a first for Alcossebre. Unfortunately because of the disturbance by holidaymakers neither the adults of chick were seen after the 14th July.
Single Common Sandpipers were seen on the 7th and 27th July, the first this autumn.
A Whimbrel on the 7th July was the first this year, followed by another on the 24th July.
Five Dunlin disturbed from Capycorp lagoon on the 31st July, were the first this year, and only my second record here.
Gull numbers were very low due to disturbance by tourists up and down the beaches. Most Black-headed Gulls seen were passage birds – a total of 71 birds for the month.
There were only two records of Mediterranean Gulls, one east on the 11th, and one at Capycorp lagoon 17th July.
10 Audouin´s Gulls were the most seen this month.
12 Yellow-legged Gulls seen on the 3rd July was the peak number this month.
Three Whiskered Terns flying east inland on the 2nd July were a first record for July.
Although Sandwich Terns were seen daily the most seen were 23 birds on the 15th July.
A family part of two adults and three juveniles Turtle Doves on the 22nd July confirmed breeding this year.
The last juvenile Great Spotted Cuckoo was seen on the 5th July, and by now most of the species will be on their way to central Africa.

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Little Owl numbers continue to be very low, with only one or two birds seen intermittently throughout the month.

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Single Red-necked Nightjars were seen at dusk most nights, harder to detect now that they have stopped churring.
Common and Pallid Swifts peaked in numbers during the thunderstorms we had at the end of the month. Hundreds flying to avoid the torrential rain.
Six Bee eaters were the maximum seen up to 17th July – local breeding birds. Thereafter small flocks passed the through. The biggest flock I saw was 25 birds, but an e mail from Paul Harvey recounts that he saw a flock in excess of 150 birds soaring above Marcolina!
After their successful breeding season Hoopoes obviously dispersed elsewhere because the most I saw was four birds.

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The first juvenile Woodchat Shrike showed up on the 17th July, with an adult seen on the 24th July.

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July is one of the best months to see Golden Oriole here, why? well the young males gather together to perfect their whistles. So if you don’t hear them you need a hearing aid!
Common Magpies continue to thrive, with up to 18 birds seen daily.
Crested Larks numbers are well down in numbers with five birds the most seen.
Barn Swallows and House Martin numbers are building up, with local birds being supplemented by birds from elsewhere.
Red-rumped Swallows bred somewhere in the area, as I saw a family party of two adults and five juveniles on the 13th July, and daily thereafter.

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Only three species of warbler was seen this month, the resident Zitting Cisticola and Sardinian Warbler, and the summer visitor Melodious Warbler.

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Two pairs of Spotted Flycatchers showed off their young this month.
A pair seen with young Tropicana camp site and Torre De Capycorp estate.

Alcossebre Weather in July 2015


After a hot and dry month with temperatures above the average by day and night ,we were heading for record low rainfall.
That was until the last two days of the month when we were struck by three successive thunderstorms, which ended up giving us record high rainfall!
A total of 11.2 inches fell over the two days.
The July average rainfall here is only 0.9 inches!

The average day temperature was 32C (89F).
The highest day temperature was 36C (96F) on the 7th and the 24th.
The lowest day temperature was 29C (84F) on the 30th.
The average night temperature was 24C (75F).
The highest night temperature was 27C (80F) on the 30th.
The lowest night temperature was 22C (72F) on the 1st, 2nd, 5th and 10th.
Total rainfall was 11.2 inches ( 284 mm) over two days.
Last Julys total was 0.4 inches (13mm)!