Thursday, April 16, 2009

Migratory Birds

All have arrived from Africa?. And now is possible to see a good number of migratory birds. Swallows, Martins, Swifts, Bee-aeters, Cuckoos, Warblers, Shrikes, Hoopoe, Flycatchers, Eagles, but at the moment without news about the Golden Oriol. A very good season.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Rarest Bird of Spain

If you want to really observe a rare bird in Spain, you do not have to wait for hurricanes of Caribbean or African winds, simply you must go to the province of León and look for, without much effort, to the Rooks that live there.
Yes, the Rook I believe that it is the rarest bird of Spain.
When in other European countries it is a very abundant species,
This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 10,000,000 km². It has a large global population, including an estimated 20,000,000-35,000,000 individuals in Europe (BirdLife International in prep.). Global population trends have not been quantified; there is evidence of a population decline (Madge and Burn 1993, Snow and Perrins 1998), but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. - BirdLife international
in Spain it is only located in the León province.
And even more showy it is than these Rooks do not move of the León province, that do not emigrate.
According to the last studies the Rooks of center and north of Europe are reducing their migratory movements and now make shorter movements from the breeding sites.

Jacinto ROMÁN y Carlos GUTIÉRREZ.
The decline of the Rook Corvus frugilegus wintering population in Spain. A new caseof ‘Short-stopping’?

Every time it is more difficult to observe Rooks in Spain outside the León province.
In Burgos the last group of Rooks seen was in 1993.

The Rook Corvus frugilegus in Burgos

Why the León rooks are not realised movements from the breeding sites?.
The Rook, nests in cold countries, no case of the Mediterranean, and near the fluvial shores.
Its presence in from Leon can be justified because it is cold and there are rivers, but why in Leon and no breeding in , for example, Palencia or in Burgos? , when there are similar meteorological conditions and similar habitats.

The Rookery

Thursday, April 02, 2009

A trip report

A good morning of birdwatching in the vicinity of the Inn, in the meadows fields to see Mistle Thrush searching earthworm, Robins, Common Chaffinch and Firecrest does not stop to sing from the Oaks.
Four Roe Deer leave running, while a Common Buzzard is thrown in search of its prey from a tree.
A Grey Heron on an unusual perching, at the top of a black poplar.
Stop to observe the rocky wall, locating to a precious female of Peregrine Falcon, a while a Short-toed Eagle flies over the zone to settle in a rocky one. Several Griffon Vultures settle and fly by the zone.

A flock of 36 Great Cormorants flying in formation towards the north.
In the bank of the river, among the alders and ashes, the Iberian Chiffchaff with its characteristic voice.
The Egyptian vultures, just arrived from Africa, with their spectacular plumage, emphasize among the Griffon Vultures. To far a Golden Eagle it flies near the cut ones, one settles in a dry tree and it allows us to observe it easily.

In the canyon of Orbaneja del Castillo they appear the Egyptian vultures again, several Black Kite and the omnipresent Griffon Vultures.
Wood Pigeon, Jackdaw, Yellowhammer.
Once again a Grey Heron surprises when being perching at the top of the rocky of the canyon of river Ebro.
Altogether 26 species of birds in a pretty morning of spring.

Thanks to Beatriz, César, Daniel and Borja for their interest in the birds of Burgos