Monday, December 29, 2008

SACRE in Winter

This it is the first year that I realise the route for the new program for the follow-up of birds of SEO BirdLife, the follow-up of common birds in winter. (More here)
The squares it’s the same that I realise in spring, VN 4040.
The route is simple, and I have chosen to realise it by two zones easy to walk and very pretty, the pastures of the Valley of Zamanzas and the footpath GR 99 throughout the river Ebro.
In this zone the river Ebro has very well conserved banks, where the alders abound, ashs, poplars…
A good number of birds and species, 29, but certainly throughout the years this will change.

Here you have the relation of species seen in two hours:

Mallard, Grey Heron, Griffon Vulture, Common Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Blackbird, European Robin, Wren, European Serin, Eurasian Bullfinch, Hawfinch, Common Chaffinch, Eurasian Siskin , Green Woodpecker, Blackcap, White Wagtail, Dipper, Spotless Starling, Red-billed Chough, Carrion Crow, Jay, Eurasian Nuthatch, Wood Pigeon.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Three news

The publication of the Atlas of breeding birds of León region, very good publication, very waited for being a province very extended and that owns a great variety of ecosystems.
The atlas of birds of Leon analyzes for the first time the maps of distribution, habitat, populations and state of conservation of the 192 species of birds that use the province of Leon during the breeding season.
This work gathers, the popular or vernacular names with which it is known the birds in all from Leon regions.
More than 50 expert ornithologists they have participated in this project, first in the work of field and soon in the analysis of the data and the edition of the book.

In Internet the Encyclopedia of the Birds of Spain can be consulted, very a well elaborated work, with all the species that can be found in Spain.

Also is possible to buy the Encyclopedia of the Birds of Spain in a single DVD, Published by the Foundation BBVA and SEO/BirdLife, with more than 4,000 pages, 1,600 photographies, 1,200 drawings, 370 archives of sound, 200 videos and 400 maps.

The last news on the birds of Burgos, new blog on birds of the river Arlanza valley, of the birder Alfonso Rodrigo, you will be able to find the up-to-date news of the birds of this impressive place.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Monitoring in Winter

The Spanish Society of Ornithology (SEO/BirdLife) have the documents for to launch a new project for monitoring of birds.

The census of winter birds.

During the winter censuses of wintering birds will be realised. With a monitoring of winter bird populations and their distributions aimed at better conservation and management of bird populations With this control, that is realised during several years, it will be possible to be determined that species are increasing or diminishing their populations, as well as to be determined arrival and leave dates of the birds and if changes in the distribution by the territory take place.

I will try to make the same grids that in the spring censuses, two squares very interesting in winter.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hot Spot of River Ebro

These days the water reservoir of the river Ebro is a hot spot for birdwatching.

It is not difficult to make a route in a day and to see near 50 species of birds.

Some of them considered Rare Birds in Spain and very rare others in the north of the Iberian peninsula.

Waders, Herons, Gulls, but mainly birds of the Anatidae family.

Remarkable birds:

Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris melanotos).

There has been a great arrival from these birds to many places of Spain (to see analysis in Rare Birds in Spain Blog). A bird registered in the water reservoir.

Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca). A bird, although the presence of this species can indicate that it is of captivity, have already been several the homologations of this species in the peninsula.

Smew (Mergellus albellus). Another species of doubtful origin, with many possibilities of natural origin.

Smew (Mergellus albellus) photo by Manuel Estébanez

Red-knobbed coot (Fulica cristata). It is not the first registry in the north of Spain, before has been observed some bird in Galicia. But very rare bird in the north of spain.

Red-knobbed coot (Fulica cristata) by Manuel Estébanez

Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea): Three spectacular birds. Birds of uncertain origin too.

Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea)

Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna): Four birds.

Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna) by Manuel Estébanez

Common Shelduck below and Ruddy Shelduck above

Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina). 450 birds recorded near the village of Cabañas de Virtus.

Historically this water reservoir has been a place chosen by thousands of Red-crested Pochard as to moult site.

Without justified cause, for years, the number of Red-crested Pochard has been littler, years with only possible to find four or six birds.

We hope starting from this year, they return in great flocks.

Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina) Part of the flock.

Thanks to Manuel Estébanez, you can find more photos of him here, here and here

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Illustrious Visitors

These days a family of Golden Eagles, a pair and the young bird of this year, are showing up by the environs of the Molino del Canto.

It is possible to be heard the young bird, to call to his parents, and to be followed to them in flight.

Also it is seen him persecute, as a game, to the Griffons Vultures.

Of the great Eagles, luckyly, the Golden Eagle in Spain is one of the birds that, at the moment, do not have great problems.

It is reproductive successful, and the problems, that years back they had, poisons, shots, electrocution…, have been diminished, although not disappeared.

The status in the province of Burgos is the one of sedentary reproducer, with a 51-56 pairs, a tendency to increase the population *.

*Data of the ornithological yearbook of Burgos

Golden Eagle in Burgos

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Birds in the North of Spain in Ornithomedia

I have had the pleasant surprise to see like one of the best ornithological Webs of Europe, Ornithomedia, has incorporated in the last article of the magazine dedicated to the identification of the Iberian Chiffchaff, a reference an article of my blog.

Distribution et identification du Pouillot ibérique

As a result of the publication of a note, “Distribution and identification of Iberian Chiffchaff” by Jose Luis Copete published in July 2008 for British Birds, Ornithomedia, makes a french version and in the section on the song they incorporate the simple article that I published in April of 2006, The song of Chiffchaff

The differentiation of the Iberian Chiffchaff and Common Chiffchaff is really very slight, but appreciable in good conditions of observation and clear by means of the song too.

In the article of Jose Luis Copete different aspects from the identification in hand are indicated, also is made a brief analysis of the propose subspecies for the Iberian Chiffchaff.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Post-nuptial migration.

The post-nuptial migration has begun with force in the north of Spain. Great amount of birds to cross towards the south, Willow Warbler and Pied Flycatcher abound in all the areas.

Herons, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Night Heron is possible to find in many wetlands and rivers of the north of Spain.

Like other years, the Lammergeier has been recorder in the north of Burgos, in this case to only 15 km of the inn Molino of Canto Inn, in the village of Hoz de Arreba.

The water reservoir of the Ebro, have an abundant records of waders, spoonbills, ducks….

In the cereal plains of the province of Burgos many raptors, principally falcons, the first Hooby, Common Kestrel, Lesser Kestrel and Peregrine Falcon and a record of Imperial Eagle.

And in the Bay of Biscay, great passage of seabirds, with numerous records of interesting species, like Wilson's Storm-petrel and the four European Skuas.

These records have been collected of different forums and blogs, thanks to their authors to maintain to us informed.

Special gratitude to Alfonso Rodrigo and his blog EXTREME BIRDING ESPAÑA, José Miguel Alonso Pumar and his blog Galician Birding, Manuel Estébanez and David Gonzalez Ortega. All records of Burgos you can find in the home page of Yearbook

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Last Alpine Swift

Although for days the most of the population of Swifts has been leaving us in the direction to Africa, this week still I have been able to observe a flock of 20 birds of Alpine Swift.
It is the first time that I observe this spectacular bird from the same inn.
The flock stayed flying over the inn during half hour, soon to disappear southwestern direction.
The breeding colony is only 6 km. from here.
With this record already they are the 81 species observed from the same inn. Look here.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Birds of April May and June.

Is already available On line the last report on the records of the birds of Burgos, that corresponds to the last three months, April May and June.

I believe that the most interesting records are:
Records of Herons and Waders, emphasizing the Great Bittern, Squacco Heron and the 15 different species of waders.
Record of Red-footed Falcon.
And different records of pre-breeding and postnuptial seasons.

Recent reports in the home page of the Yearbook.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

SACRE 2008

In the square VN4040, first contact of Goldcrest, peculiar record for this season, although within a good habitat for this species, the pine wood.
I again to locate other species, Sparrowhawk, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Common Whitethroat, Coal Tit, and although showy, a record of Magpie, very scarce in the zone.

Altogether for the square VN4040 in 10 years 91 species have been recorded more 6 species of Owls and Nightjars.

In the square VN3040 I have record of 77 species in 3 years.
I have registered for the first time Spotted Flycatcher, Golden Oriole, and again Goldcrest.

Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Migration of Common Swift

Today during approximately two hours, from the 8 pm, a constant passage of Common Swift (Apus apus), south-east direction.
I have calculated that approximately would pass 500 birds

Here you can find lots of information of Swifts.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ebro footpath GR 99.

This week, finally, I have obtained the guide of the Ebro footpath GR 99 (guide book and 47 maps). The work that has realised is impressive.
It is now possible to walk the whole length of the river Ebro, from its source in Fontibre to the Mediterranean along the newly-inaugurated, GR 99, the "Natural Ebro Footpath"
Great amount of natural spaces for birdwatchig, from the Reservoir of the river Ebro to the Delta of the Ebro, the list of birds found in all the route, can be impressive.

The footpath totals 1,260 km and crosses six regions Cantabria, Castilla y León, the Basque Country, La Rioja, Navarra, Aragon and Catalonia.
In the Inn Mill of Canto we are very proud of to be part of this foopath like lodging route.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Good or bad news?

Good news for the natural environment, but very bad news for the birds. Any town it is beginning to close the rubbish dumps.
This means an improvement, the rubbish will be controlled.
As always, the activities of the man bring about imbalances.
A very important number of species of birds takes to long time having the rubbish dumps like an important feeding area.

Went the rubbish dumps are closed, how they are going to replace this food?.
For some species, like the Griffon Vulture, it will mean another new problem.
After the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as Mad-Cow Disease (MCD), the vultures and other species do not find carrion in the field, the government haven`t open new vulture feeders, and now the rubbish dumps are closed.
But other many species use the rubbish dumps of massive form, Black and Red Kite, Gulls, Crows, Storks ......
All of them will have problems by the closing of the rubbish dumps.

Releated Link:

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Barn Swallow decrease.

One of more sad events in natural environment is to be present at as some species go gradually falling, until becoming difficult to see or even disappear.
Often these processes seem to us more related to distant countries or rare birds.
This far from the reality.
To ours around a so common and familiar species as the Barn Swallow is disappearing quickly
The repair of the old houses in the villages makes to the Swallows finding difficult to breeding places.
The changes and uses in the agricultural systems cause that the means become more unhealthy for the insectivorous species.

graph with the decrease in nine years, by SEO/BirdLife

Related Links:

Barn Swallow in Burgos, by Yearbook of the birds of Burgos, pdf file.

Barn Swallow in Spain, by SEO/BirdLife , pdf file.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Breeding Bird Survey . Square VN3040

My second square- VN 3040- for the Breeding Bird Survey
has reported a total of 48 different species of birds, a number similar to other years and to the other squares that I make, VN 4040, a number of birds that can seem small, but this is obtained in only four hours and by habitats little varied.

In this second square, again the river Ebro and the moor is the principal habitats, although the cliffs of the canyons of limestone are very abundant.

Again, several migratory birds that have arrived, in this square have been seen are outstanding the Common Swift and Alpine Swift, this one an amazing bird.

1.Black Kite (Milvus migrans)
2.Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo)
3.Great Tit (Parus major)
4.Blue Tit (Parus caeruleus)
5.Coat Tit (Parus ater)
6.Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus)
7.Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)
8.Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis)
9.Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus)
10.Dunnock (Prunella modularis)
11.Carrion Crow (Corvus corone)
12.Magpie (Pica pica)
13.Jay (Garrulus glandarius)
14.Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes)
15.Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos)
16.Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus)
17.European Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
18.Blackbird (Turdus merula)
19.Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros)
20.Firecrest (Regulus ignicapillus)
21.Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla)
22.Garden Warbler (Syvia borin)
23.Ibarian Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus ibericus)
24.Bonelli´s Warbler (Phylloscopus bonelli)
25.Eurasian Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)
26.European Serin (Serinus serinus)
27.European Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris)
28.European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)
29.Common Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)
30.Short-Toed Treecreeper (Certhia brachydactyla)
31.Rock Sparrow (Petronia petronia)
32.House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
33.Eurasian Golden Oriol (Oriolus oriolus)
34.Common Swift (Apus apus )
35.Alpine Swift (Apus melba)
36.Common Skylark (Alauda arvensis)
37.White Wagtail (Motacilla alba)
38.Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)
39.Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis)
40.Spotless Starling (Sturnus unicolor)
41.Cirl Bunting (Emberiza cirlus)
42.Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella)

Monday, May 05, 2008

Blackbird like a Grey Plover

Today, after cutting the grass, I have been able to observe the behavior of hunting of Blackbird and the behavior has remembered me enormously the Plovers.
Blackbird arrives at the grass, walks, stretches the neck, look round searching a few movement of the grass, returns to walks, watches and attacks, removing an appetizing earthworm.
Now, changing the bird and the habitat:
Grey Plover arrives at the salt marsh, walks, stretches the neck, look round searching a few movement of the mud, returns to walks, watches and attacks, removing a appetizing worm.
These behaviors can see in others thrushes, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Robin....
Birds with great eyes, necessary to catch the little movement.

You can see similar behavior here:
Blackbird, a male in a field, collecting earthworms to bring to the nest.

Grey Plover, an adult pair walking and feeding

Both of IBC, The Internet Bird Collection

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Breeding Bird Survey . Square VN4040

Again I have begun the routes of program SACRE - Breeding Bird Survey .
Cliffs of limestone, breed Crag Martin, Vultures, Chough....

In this first transect route (25 point counts, 5 minutes each on 10-km square ) by the square VN 4040, I have detected several species of African migratory birds just arrivals, Golden oriole (Oriolus oriolus) , Bonelli´s Warbler (Phylloscopus bonelli), Hoopoe (Upupa epops), Common Whitethroat (Sylvia communis), Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe), Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus), Booted eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus)**, thus like other already views days before.
Different habitats are crossed within the square, the first part of it, with the river Ebro, the riversides and the cliffs.
** out of transect
GR 99 River Ebro footpath

In the second part, many points counts are located in the moor.
A total of 51 detected species, similar as other years.
New species have not been detected.
Like curiosity, the Eurasian Crag Martin making the nests in the church of Ahedo de Butrón next to the House Martin, the Crag Martin is more normal to see him make the nests in caves and cavities on cliff faces.

Crag Martin left and House Martin right

European Bird Census Council

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Herons in migration

In these days that many birds are emigrating towards their breeding places , Burgos have seen themselves specially visited by several species of herons, the Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea)and most outstanding, Great Bittern (Botaurus stellaris), seen a bird the past day 15 in the gravel pit of Grijalba.
More information: Yearbook

Ver mapa más grande

Monday, April 14, 2008

Rare Birds in Burgos

The new report on rare birds in Spain 2005 of Ardeola, the official scientific journal of Spanish Society of Ornithology, SEO/BirdLife, has referring significant data to the north of Spain.
In the report it is possible to see, like the Cantabrian coast is one of the zones where more arrivals of rare birds take place, of birds of the north of Europe and America.
For the province of Burgos, there are two records, one homologate and other no.
First, an adult male hunted with shotgun corresponds to Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris) the 25 of November of 1990 in the village of Palacios de la Sierra, in the river Arlanza.
This record also figure in the Yearbook of birds of Burgos.
The not holomogate record, correspond to Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus), of 1999, of which it seems that insufficiency information was sent.
More information about rare birds in spain, in the Ricard Gutiérrez personal homepage Rare Birds in Spain

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Lists of Birds. New Section

In this new section, you will be able to find different lists of birds, local, regional, nationals, etc...

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Night Heron

First record of Night Heron in the riverside of the Molino del Canto Inn.
It is the first time that I see this singular heron here.
Like show in the Yearbook of Birds of Burgos, it is a summer visitor, and he is safe that the bird see today is a migratory bird towards breeding areas.

Update of Migrant Birds

Last update of the birds that are arriving from Africa to Burgos.

Eurasian Wryneck, Tree Pipit, Yellow Wagtail and Nigth Heron (see above).

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Dupont´s Lark

The birds on the brink of extinction sing worse than those than they are not it.

The males of populations of birds on the brink of extinction have a poorer and simple song than those species with a great viability, according to a team of the Superior Council of Scientific Researches (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas. CSIC).
The investigators analyzed during four years in steppes of the Valley of the Ebro a threatened species of bird: the Dupont´s Lark (Chersophilus duponti).
With this work the scientists of the CSIC have discovered that the greater or smaller repertoire of the song of the birds can work like indicator of its survival.
According to the investigator of the CSIC and director of the study, Paola Laiolo, the reason that explains the song of the male birds is simpler in threatened species is that “the diversity of melodies depends on two factors nails in the viability of the populations: the population size and the number of youthful birds by year “.

“the song of the Dupont’s lark has up to 12 musical sequences with 13 different notes each one, but in the populations with possibility of being extinguished the birds they only sing three or four phrases” , detail the specialists.
This must, according to the scientists, to that the young does not have a sufficient number of adult males to whom to imitate and, for that reason, only three or four learn melodies that will be, as well, solely those that will be able to sing if it does not increase the number of birds in his population.

Until now, one had demonstrated to the relation between the song and the quality of the birds at the time of being selected by the females in a sexual context.
Nevertheless, “ it is the first time that the song can constitute an indicator of the quality of population”, assure the scientists the work.

Dupont’s Lark in Burgos, data of the Ornithological Yearbook of the Province of Burgos

Chersophilus duponti (Vieillot, 1820).
Dupont’s Lark

Status and population:

Atlas of the Breeding birds of the Province of Burgos (Roman ET al., 1996): Sedentary . 110-135 individuals.
Ornithological Yearbook of the Province of Burgos: Sedentary . In decrease.

The Last News of Migrate Birds

The last news on the arrival of African birds to Burgos, are the records of Egyptian Vulture, Iberian Chiffchaff, Short-toed Eagle, Swallows, Crag Martins, and House Martins.

Sunday, March 09, 2008


Another year more, and the spring is here, in the field, not in the calendar, and now have records of the first birds that arrive from Africa, Swallows, Black Kite, Swift , Hoopoe, Egiptian Vulture... and while, the resident birds or are singing and preparing nests, or even incubating.

If you want to see the updated information of different species that arrive to Spain from Africa, click this links:

The last news of migrate birds of Burgos are:
Black Kite
Crag Martin

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Great Bustard in Burgos

Flock with 23 Bustards

This year has been first that the birders of Burgos we have been to centre on registering Great Bustard (Otis tarda) of the province.
Possibly the northern population of the Iberian peninsula.
The weather was not good, bad visibility and mainly the light winter, they have made disperse more the flocks of Bustard, any birds alone or in pairs have been observed.
Divided in three cars, ten people, we crossed the best places, that previously had been selected, prospecting all the possible zones.
During all the morning we were observing the different flocks, also was tried to determine the sex of birds, although in some case, due to the distance and the bad light this could not be done.
We have been crossed near 200 km, and between the three groups, a 228 total of Great Bustard, which agrees with the last national censuses for the province of Burgos, and this population possibly represents also the reproductive population.

Great Bustrard (Otis tarda)

Other observed species have been, Red kite (Milvus mivus), great amount of them, many in migration towards the north of Europe.
Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), Merlin (Falco columbarius)and Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), a good representation of the Falcons.

Merlin (Falco columbarius)

Many Skylarks (Alauda arvensis), but especially, Calandra Lark (Melanocorypha calandra), hundreds, by all the zone, singing and letting themselves see easily.

Calandra Lark (Melanocorypha calandra)

Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Wallcreeper

One of the birds more characteristic of the mountainous areas is the Wallcreeper (Trichodroma muraria), in the winter is not difficult to be able to locate birds outside their breeding areas, in Spain are in cliffs of Picos de Europa and the Pyrenees.
All winter is possible to find birds in the same places, for example, during these days they have been possible to see two birds in the La Yecla, a singular natural space with two birds during all winter.
Also, recently other Wallcreepers in other places have been located, possibly moving towards the breeding areas.

Records of Wallcreeper in Burgos