61 species were seen in the Alcossebre area in November 2014.
Peregrine Falcon finally made it on to the Alcossebre list – a fine male flying along the coast on the 29th November.
That gives a total of 226 species seen here in the 13 years of study.
Of the 61 species seen this month 12 species show an increase in numbers compared to the 13 year average.
Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Sandwich Tern, Wood Pigeon, Meadow Pipit, Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Cetti´s warbler, Common Magpie, Goldfinch and Corn Bunting.
On the downside 29 species show a marked decrease.
Little Egret, Common Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Northern Lapwing, Mediterranean Gull, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Collared Dove, Little Owl, Hoopoe, Skylark, Crag Martin, White wagtail, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Zitting Cisticola, Dartford Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Common Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Linnet, Serin, Cirl Bunting, Rock Bunting and Reed Bunting.
One of the main factors influencing this decrease is the continuing mild weather, with less species forced away from their breeding areas. It will be interesting to see if December brings an influx of birds, driven here by colder weather?
Balearic Shearwaters appeared for the first time since January, on the 15th November, and built up to a maximum of 110 birds.
A total of 596 Great Cormorants passed through this month.
Cattle Egrets peaked at 50 birds this month.
As well as the Peregrine Falcon mentioned above, four other birds of prey were seen. Single Northern Sparrowhawks, Booted Eagle and Common Buzzard. Up to four Common Kestrels held winter territories.
Only two species of wader were seen. Two Northern Lapwing on the 11th, and a single Whimbrel frequenting the rocky coastline from the 22nd to the 27th.
Five species of gull were seen this month. Three species already mentioned are well down in numbers – Mediterranean Gulls (3 birds), Black-headed Gulls (8 birds) and Lesser Black-back Gulls (5 birds). Again the milder weather affects these birds. More people walking along the coast, disturbing the gulls from their coastal roosts.
Both Audouin´s Gulls (80 birds) and Yellow-legged Gulls (70 birds) seem to cope better with this type of disturbance.
The only winter tern species we have here is the Sandwich Tern, which is in above average numbers with up to 60 birds seen daily.
Wood Pigeon numbers are at a 13 year high – 105 birds max. – despite the attention of the hunters.
Collared Dove numbers are down – 40 birds max. – even though the hunters do not shoot them.
Little Owl numbers are at a 13 year low, with only a single bird seen all month.
Hoopoe numbers are low, with only a maximum of four birds seen.
Two Ravens flew over the bowls club on the 2nd November, only my 6th record here.
The two lark species seen this month provide a contrast.
The resident Crested Lark is in above average numbers with a maximum of 18 birds seen.
Wintering Common Skylark numbers are way below average numbers with a maximum of 47 birds counted.
Up to 10 wintering Crag Martins were seen – more easily seen in centre of Alcossebre than in the rural farmland.
Two late Barn Swallows flew south, on the 3rd and 17th November.
Six species of warbler were seen, most struggling to reach decent numbers.
The only warbler out of the six to be in good numbers (for here) was the Cetti´s Warbler with three birds holding a winter territory.
The rest, Common Chiffchaff (12 birds), Zitting Cisticola (5 birds), Blackcap (7 birds), Dartford Warbler (1 bird) and Sardinian Warbler (12 birds) were all below the 13 year average.
Passage Eurasian Robins peaked at 21 birds on the 1st November. Thereafter a maximum of eight wintering birds were seen daily.
Wintering Black Redstart numbers were at a 13 year high with a maximum of 29 birds counted.
A maximum of 14 Common Stonechats was also well above average numbers.
The same could not be said for wintering Song Thrush numbers, with only a maximum of 12 birds counted.
Resident Common Blackbird numbers don’t seem to be increased by winter birds, only two pairs noted.
While only single wintering Grey Wagtails were seen, up to 30 White Wagtails were seen. Resident birds swelled by winter birds.
Meadow Pipits, like the Black Redstarts, were at a 13 year high in numbers, with up to a 100 birds counted.
Of the four species of bunting seen in November, only Corn Bunting were in above average numbers – max. of 20 birds. Only single Cirl Bunting and Rock Buntings were noted.
The first wintering Reed Buntings arrived on the 3rd November, thereafter one or two birds seen.
Five species of finch were seen this month.
Only Common Chaffinch (40 birds) and Goldfinch (80 birds) were in good numbers.
The other three species were well below in numbers Greenfinch (9 birds), Linnet (9 birds) and Serin (12 birds).
Alcossebre weather in November 2014.
A mixed month for weather, with some weeks feeling like summer, and some feeling like winter!
The first week was mainly fine and sunny. There was a blip on the 4th November, with some rain and moderate/strong winds through the night.
The second week was mixed, with only two days fine and sunny. Five days had variable amounts of cloud. There were two days with light showers of rain, with some heavier rain on the 11th November.
The third week was the best of the month. With six days of fine and sunny weather. Even on the 21st November, with an overcast start that cleared to sunny spells. Winds were in a settled mode too, with gentle NE winds in the morning and gentle SE in the afternoon.
The fourth week was more like winter, with six days of overcast and dull conditions. We had three days of light rain.
The last two days of the month gave us more rain than the rest of the month put together. There was moderate to strong NE winds on the 30th.
Average day temperature was 20C (68F).
Average night temperature was 12C (53F).
Highest day temperature was 24C (75F) on the 1st, 2nd and 7th.
Lowest day temperature was 12C (53F) on the 11th.
Highest night temperature was 18C (64F) on the 2nd and 24th.
Lowest night temperature was 8C (F) on the 18th and 19th.
Total rainfall was 4.7 inches (120mm) over nine days.