46 species were seen in the Alcossebre area in July 2014.
No new species were added to the Alcoseebre list which stands at 223 species.
Movements/passage in July.
Three Mallard east over the sea on the 1st were the first this year!
One Great Cormorant east on the 5th.
10 Black-headed Gulls south west on the 8th.
39 Black-headed Gulls south west on the 9th, also 280 Common and Pallid Swifts per hour north west, with one Alpine Swift.
The first Woodchat Shrike since the first of June, on the 12th.
32 Glossy Ibis south west on the 15th.
Two Grey Herons east on the 18th.
One juvenile Northern Gannet and three Black-headed Gulls south west on the 19th.
10 Black-headed Gulls and 18 Sandwich Terns south west , and 300 Common and Pallid Swifts per hour north west, again with one Alpine Swift. All on the 20th.
372 Common and Pallid Swifts per hour north west on the 21st.
A dark phase Eleonora´s Falcon arrived on the 22nd.
One Great Cormorant and Grey Heron east. Three Cattle Egrets were the first this month, and the first juvenile Woodchat Shrike was seen. All on the 23rd.
Five Grey Herons south west over the sea on the 27th, and the first young Red-rumped Swallows seen.
One Curlew south west inland was the first this year on the 28th.
24 Sandwich Terns south west on the 31st.
As in every year some breeding birds have a good year and others had a poor year. Some species still give cause for concern.
We added one species to the breeding list this year - Scops Owl.
Three species did not breed this year, Turtle Dove, Reed Warbler and Linnet.
A total of 33 species bred or attempted to breed.
The full list with comments follows :-
Short-toed Eagle. One pair held territory this year, so far no sign of young birds.
Eurasian Kestrel. They have had a good season with four pairs holding territory.
Common Moorhen. Normally this species has three places where they breed.
This year two of the places have undergone changes. Torre estate pond was drained and given a good clean out. by the time it was refilled it was too late for the Moorhens to breed. The sewage pond was also lost, because the sewage works was de commissioned, and the pond dried out.
The only place left was Capycorp lagoon which also nearly dried out.
So as a result, for the first time in 13 years, no breeding Moorhens.
Common Woodpigeon. Considering there were no breeding pairs of Wood Pigeon 13 years ago, the species has increased dramatically.
At least 18 pairs bred or attempted to breed this year.
Eurasian Collared Dove. This is another species that has had a good breeding season. With some 16 pairs bred or attempted to breed.
Great Spotted Cuckoo. Although there was only one pair of this species this spring, they managed to lay their eggs in at least three Magpie nests.
Three Great Spotted Cuckoo young hatched out. One succumbed, after wandering into another Magpies territory, and got severely attacked.
Little Owl. This species had a better breeding season that I thought, after poor winter numbers. Five pairs held territory.
Scops Owl. This species is a new addition to the breeding list of Alcossebre.
No less than three pairs were holding territory.
Unfortunately one pairs breeding area – a large suburban garden – got bulldozed, as the owners were putting the property up for sale.
I don’t know if the other two pairs were successful.
Red-necked Nightjar. This is another species that is difficult to assess their their breeding results, being nocturnal. Three displaying males were noted.
European Bee eater. this species is much easier to monitor! Two pairs nested in the dry river beds. One pair fledged two young, but the other pair failed.
Eurasian Hoopoe. This species usually does well here, and this year was no exception, with at least 11 pairs holding territory.
Woodchat Shrike. This is a species that is in decline here. This year one pair raised one young. In past years there have been three or four pairs.
Eurasian Golden Oriole. This species is on the increase here. Nine pairs held territory this year, with a good number of juvenile birds seen.
Eurasian Magpie. Apart from the three pairs that raised Great Spotted Cuckoo young, a further seven pairs raised normal young.
Crested Lark. This is the only breeding lark here. Seven or eight pairs nested in their favoured Artichoke fields.
Barn Swallow. Some 28 pairs of this species nested, an average year. The first birds to fledge were seen on the 28th May.
Red-rumped Swallow. This species first nested here in 2010. This year two pairs nested. A pair were seen mud gathering for their nest on the 26th May. By the 27th July they had fledged four young. The other pair failed to rear any.
House Martin. This species are more successful when they build their nests on public buildings. If they build on private property they are likely to get their nests knocked down, because of their droppings.
About pairs nested successfully.
Great Tit. this is the only species of tit that breed here. This year nine pairs bred. The first young were seen on the 28th May.
Common Nightingale. Some nine pairs of Nightingale were seen to hold territories, below average numbers. The first birds were heard on the 14th April.
Melodious Warbler. This species had their poorest breeding season in 13 years study. The first bird was heard on the 29th April. Out of seven pairs holding territory, Only two pairs were heard alarm calling, a sure sign they have fledged young.
Zitting Cisticola. One of the species giving cause for concern. Only seven pairs holding territory. In 2008 there were 18 pairs holding territory.
A reduction in their main breeding habitat – grassland with low growing shrubs -
due to more farmland coming under cultivation, may well be the cause.
Sardinian Warbler. As this species is less specialised in habitat preference – a frequent garden nester – it is more successful.
This year at least 15 pairs held territory.
Spotted Flycatcher. This species had an average breeding season, with three pairs nesting. Like the Sardinian Warbler a frequent garden nester.
Eurasian Blackbird. This species is not a common nesting bird here, being more frequent in the main part of Alcossebre, rather than the rural parts.
This year three pairs held territory, an average breeding year.
White Wagtail. The only species of wagtail that breeds in this area, and even at that not common. One pair bred, and brought their two young to my garden to feed.
Spotless Starling. This species breeds here in good numbers, most farms and large houses have a breeding pair. i estimated about 30 breeding pairs this year.
Corn Bunting. This species breeds some years and not in others. This year was one of the non breeding years, with just one adult seen.
European Greenfinch. About nine pairs nested this year, like all the breeding finches, this a poor total.
European Goldfinch. About 14 pairs bred this year, another poor total.
European Serin. The commonest breeding finch here, but with only 18 pairs breeding, it represents another poor total.
If the finches were in poor breeding numbers, the two breeding Sparrows – House and Tree – were in much better numbers. The two pairs of Tree Sparrows breeding in my garden had time to raise two broods each.
Alcossebre Weather in July 2014.
July was the usual hot and mainly dry month, with higher than average day temperatures.
Average day temperature was 33C (91F).
Average night temperature was 22C (72F).
Highest day temperature was 36C (96F) on the 16th.
Lowest day temperature was 27C (80F) on the 3rd.
Highest night temperature was 25C (77F) on the 20th.
Lowest night temperature was 18C (64F) on the 4th.
Total rainfall was 0.5 inches (13mm) over five days.
It was 3C higher by day and 1C higher by night than the average for July.
Rainfall was just under the average for July.
Winds were mainly light and gentle. With moderate to strong winds on 10 days.