Sunday, April 30, 2006

Sing at night

When we thought on the songs is at night logical to think about the Olws, but also there are other species of birds that in spring sing at night.
But famous bird singing nocturnal is the Rufous Nightingale, but it is possible to listen to other singers.
The last night at four in the night a Cetti´s Warbler was singing, but with differences on its typical song, song four times and only in one of them the song finalized, in the other three occasions only sang the first part of the song.
The birds are not too many that to sing at night and some of them it is easier to listen to them only at dawn or at dusk. This is a list of the birds that commonly can to listen in the north of Spain at sunset.

Cetti´s Warbler
Rufous Nightingale
Wood Lark
Great Reed Warbler
Reed Warbler
Grasshopper Warbler

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Birding Site of the Month: The River Ebro Canyons (West)

Ever since Ebro river enters the province of Burgos until it leaves, this it has formed by means of the erosive action on the limestone materials of mountains, a series of canyons that practically include all the passage of river by the province.
Beginning by located more to the west, form on moors “Las Loras” ones, these they are influenced by the proximity of the Bay of Biscay very, are narrow, winding canyons, of vertical walls or lateral of very hard pending, main decks by oaks, evergreenoaks and beeches trees.
The abundance of vertical walls, has made possible the main fire position of bird of prey and others related to this type of habitat, also running of river by the bottom of the canyons, have given rise to the forests of the river and to its characteristic birds.

Main resident species , present throughout the year.

Griffon Vulture
Northern Goshawk
Eurasian Sparrowhawk
Hen Harrier
Golden Eagle
Bonelli´s Eagle
Peregrine Falcon
Eagle Owl
Common Kingfisher
Lesser Spotted woodpecker
Yellow-billed Chough
Red-billed Chough

Main summer species , present mostly in breeding period, spring and summer.

Egyptian Vulture
Short-toed Eagle
European Nightjar
Alpine Swift
Common RedstartCrag Martin

Main winter species, present only between autumn and spring.

Great Cormorant
Grey Heron

Rarities, species recorded in the area one o two times in the year

Alpine Accentor

Image by Google Earth

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Monday, April 24, 2006

The SACRE Program

One of the most interesting programs on birds, this being carried out in these dates in all Spain, is the follow-up of reproductive common birds of Spain (Seguimiento de aves communes reproductoras de España – SACRE), with the obtained data, the evolution of a great amount of species of which it is considered like common and of which is followed until the moment haven´t evidence certainty of the evolution of it’s populations.

More information about the program in:

The activity is from but the interesting thing, and the number of detected species can get to be really high, in an average of four hours, and one small variety of habitats I have been able to detect 51 different species!! , like for example the Common, Iberian Chiffchaff and Western Bonelli´s Warbler, or four woodpeckers of the seven that there are in all Spain, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted woodpecker, Lesser spotted woodpecker and Wryneck.

Also I have been able to observe the unusual presence of a pair of Black-winged Stilt, accompanied by eight Common Sandpiper, in the only lagoon that is within the route.

Also he is peculiar to see like not yet have arrived all the species that to spend the winter in Africa, Common Swift, Golden Oriole....them which will be detected in the second route of this season.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Trip by Las Merindades

A small trip by the region of the Las Merindades, in the north of Burgos province.
We began between valleys and mountains seeing Griffon Vultures, Egyptian Vulture, Crag Martin, Raven, White Stork, Carrion Crow, Eurasian Jay, Common Buzzard, ....
Along the river Ebro, Great Cormorant, Grey Heron, Black-Kite, Green Finch, Common Chiffchaff, Blackcap, European Nuthatch, Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Short-toed Treecreeper , Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Cetti´s Warbler ......,and in the plains, Common Kestrel, groups of Spotless Starling, Gold Finch, Barn Swallow, House Martin ....

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The weather has changed

The weather has changed, and has lowered to something the temperature, but even so in the heat of apogee of the spring the birds do not stop in their songs. In a brief stroll, it is possible to find a great amount us of males who try to attract the attention of the females and to delimit their territories of breeding.
We can listen to the song of Black Redstart, Cetti's Warbler, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Blackcap, Iberian Chiffchaff, Greater and Blue Tit, Common Chafinch….., but the call of European Nuthatch is very characteristic a very strong call, high-pitched ; the showy song of the Tree Pipit, to which it accompanies once in a while with a flight that is tremendously showy.
Without doubt one of the sound more showy than we can listen at this time is the drum which they emit the woodpeckers when striking on hollow trunks, with it are able to call the attention of other males, indicating, mainly as it is his territory. The two more frequent species are the Great Spotted woodpecker and the Green Woodpecker, this morning I have been able to observe like a Great Spotted woodpecker, located at the top of black poplar, has been perforated on the trunk, until it has located a zone, possibly hollow, where the sound was greater, once found, has been for more than half an hour to drumming , emitting a sound that their same types know very well what means.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The spring continues arriving

Today, the Barn Swallows and House Martins have arrived to the Valley , but the Crag Martin
already take here more of a month.
But now only they missing the Common Swifts.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The song of Chiffchaff

Ever since the spring has begun, it is very easy to listen with assiduity the song of the Chiffchaff, the Common Chiffchaff and Iberian Chiffchaff.
The abundance of Iberian Chiffchaff bigger that Common Chiffchaff, although he is not strange hearing to sing Iberian Chiffchaff and to few meters some Common Chiffchaff.
On the songs, there are differences in some aspects, but with a little experience it is possible to differentiate the two species.
Song of Iberian Chiffchaff.
The song begins with a series of notes, hesitantly, monosyllabic and with a trill in the end.
This trill is the best difference with the song of the Common Chiffchaff .

Song of the Common Chiffchaff.
The song is slow, also monosyllabic , but without the trill in the end but long that the song of Iberian Chiffchaff.

The name of the Common Chiffchaff is one onomatopoeic of the song.

When they emit the typical song, the previous text is possible to apply, but this is not always possible because the songs can vary.
Iberian Chiffchaff sometimes it sings without emitting the last part (the trill). By that it is necessary to pay attention to the musicality. More happy: Iberian Chiffchaff, less happy: Common Chiffchaff.
These are more difficult, so that there are less differences.
Upward sound for Common Chiffchaff: "huitt---huitt"
Downward sound for Iberian Chiffchaff: "fiu.....fiu"
But is possible to find many variations of the calls, alert, contacts...

More information about the Iberian Chiffchaff HERE

More information about the calls here:

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The first Cuckoo

Today, I have been able to listen to the first Cuckoo of the season.

Birds in the first days of spring

We began our route, in the Valley of Zamanzas, between forest of beech trees and oaks, with the observation of Black Redstart, Chaffinch, and Pied Wagtail. In the direction of Campino village, we observed in the cliffs, groups of Red-billed Chough harassed by a Kestrel, as well as the Griffon Vultures located in the cornices.
In the Campino moore, the Skylarks sing untiring, and the movements of small groups of Yellowhammer (Avibase) are observed match and Linnet. The Jays and Magpie are observed the route throughout. The wind in the Ebro’s reservoid and the height of their waters, avoids that we observe more species, even so are let see, Buzzards, the first Black Kites of the season, White Storks, Bullfinch, Yellow-legged Gull, Great Crested Grebe.
In the elevated zone more of Sta. Gadea, a Crossbill between the pines is let observe to please, by the zone, Crag Martin, Stonechat and Black Redstart.
Within the mount forest Hijedo, it sings a Short-toed Treecreeper and we observed a Goldcrest.
Of return, within the river Ebro canyons, Griffon Vultures , Red-billed Chough and Egyptian Vulture.
Others birds observed during the route: Robin, Great and Blue Tit, Carrion Crow, Barn Swallow, Spotless Starling, Mallard, Great Spotled Woodpecker and three birds of Eurasian Collared Dove one with characteristic of albino bird.