The Birdman of Alcossebre – September 2014 Bird News.
A good month for migrants, and the bird of the year turns up.
72 species were seen in the Alcossebre area in September 2014.
Two new species were added to the Alcossebre list - Dotterel and Little Stint.
There were first year records for Common Teal, Black Kite, Hobby, Green Sandpiper, Caspian Tern and Western Bonelli´s Warbler.
There were first autumn records for Osprey, Common Buzzard,Curlew, Cetti´s Warbler, Blackcap, Spectacled Warbler, Black Redstart, Stonechat and Tawny Pipit.
I had the company of Paul Harvey from Cumbria on the day the Dotterel turned up, and the company of Barbara and Derek Plummer from Wellingborough when Derek spotted an Eleonora´s Falcon.
Highlights of the month.
A Little Grebe was present throughout the month on Torre de Capycorp pond.
A total of 98 Grey Herons passed through this month.
Three species of Egret were seen.
Eight Great Egrets passed through on the 3rd and one on the 6th.
Only two Little Egrets were seen, on the 13th.
Resident Cattle Egrets were seen throughout – maximum 15 birds.
Eight species of birds of prey were seen.
An Osprey on the 18th was the first this autumn.
Two Black Kites were seen on the 14th and the 24th.
One or two Short-toed Eagles were seen up to the 7th.
Single passage Northern Sparrowhawks were seen on the 10th,14th,25th & 30th.
The first Common Buzzard of autumn was seen on the 30th Sepember.
One Booted Eagle was seen on the 10th.
One to four Common Kestrels were seen throughout the month.
A Hobby on the 24th was the first this year.
Single Eleonora´s Falcons were seen on the 7th and 16th.
The fine male Dotterel turned up in the magic field on the 5th September.
Why is it called the magic field? Because for what ever reason it keeps turning up rare birds! This was a first record for Alcossebre, and indeed the first I had seen in Spain.
One to three Common Sandpipers were seen through out the month.
A Green Sandpiper on the 6th, was the first record this year.
A Common Curlew was the first this autumn on the 18th.
A Little Stint on the 26th at Capycorp lagoon was my first record here.
Only four species of gull were seen this month. Black-headed Gulls peaked at 110 birds on the 24th, flying in one flock catching flying ants!
Numbers of both Audouin´s Gulls (max. 7 birds) and Yellow-legged Gulls (max. 13 birds) were on the low side for this time of the year.
Two Caspian Terns flying south on the 3rd were the first seen this year.
Sandwich Terns were seen through out, with a maximum of seven birds, very low numbers.
Wood Pigeon ( 70 birds max.) and Collared Doves (26 birds max.) were seen daily, but there was only two Turtle Dove seen, on the 11th and 30th.
Up to three Little Owls were seen daily.
A Pallid Swift on the 5th was the only swift species seen this month.
Single Kingfishers were seen on Torre pond on three occasions.
Up to 30 Bee-eaters were seen up to the last on 7th September.
Up to nine Hoopoe´s were seen on a daily basis, good numbers for this month.
A juvenile Woodchat Shrike was seen up to the 13th September.
The last Golden Oriole was seen on the 8th September.
Common Magpies peaked at 18 birds on the 18th.
Resident Crested Larks peaked at 19 birds on the 23rd.
A total of 42 Sand Martins passed through this month, in contrast to 1,524 Barn Swallows, they peaked at 295 birds per hour south on the 18th September.
Small numbers of Red-rumped Swallows passed through – 23 birds, with a peak of eight birds on the 1st.
A total of 220 House Martins passed through, with a peak of 54 on the 3rd.
Eight species of warbler were seen this month.
The first Cetti´s Warbler announced it´s precence at Capycorp lagoon on the
Passage Willow Warbler numbers have been low this month, total of 13 birds. With a peak of three birds on the 8th September.
A Western Bonellí´s Warbler on the 13th, was the first this year.
Resident Zitting Cisticola´s peaked at four birds on the 11th.
The first autumn Blackcaps arrived on the 24th September, with three birds seen.
A female Spectacled Warbler on the 26th was the first this autumn, joined by a second female on the 30th.
It has been a good autumn for numbers of passage Subalpine Warblers, with a total of 23 birds seen.
Resident Sardinian Warblers peaked at nine birds on the 16th.
A total of 17 Spotted Flycatchers passed through this month, in contrast to only 10 Pied Flycatchers – normally Pied out number Spotted in the autumn.
The first Black Redstart of autumn arrived on the 21st September.
Only two passage Common Redstarts were seen.
A total of 40 Northern Wheatears passed through, with a peak of eight birds on the 25th September.
In contrast, only four Whinchats were seen.
The first Stonechat of autumn arrived on the 26th September.
There was a small passage of Blue-headed Wagtails from the 19th to the end of the month, total of 12 birds.
A total of 39 White Wagtails passed through, with a peak of five birds on the 21st.
The magic field had two Tawny Pipits on the 10th and 11th September. The first this autumn.
Alcossebre Weather in September 2014.
The first 20 days in September were mainly fine sunny and dry, with above average temperatures.
The last 10 days in September were very mixed with four thunderstorms and torrential rain. We had more rain in the four days than we have had all year!
Average day temperature was 29C (84F).
Average night temperature was 21C (70F).
Highest day temperature was 34C (93F) on the 11th.
Lowest day temperature was 24C (75F) on the 22nd,23rd and 28th.
Highest night temperature was 26C (78F) on the 3rd.
Lowest night temperature was 16C (60F) on the 26th.
Total rainfall was 11.8 inches (302 mm) over eight days.
The wettest day was the 22nd, with 3.8 inches of rain.
The average rainfall for September is 5.7 inches, so double the average.
It was 2C above the average daytime temperature and 3C above the avearge nightime temperature.