tirsdag den 31. januar 2012

Little Auks

Little Auks are scarce winter visitors to the Aarhus Bay Area. In normal years only a few are seen with the area around “Den Permanente” being a hot spot. This winter an influx in late autumn/early winter due to many periods with westerly winds has caused high numbers of foraging birds in Aarhus Bay. Especially the coastal stretch from Aarhus North Harbor to Stationsgade has been very good with up to 10 birds often very close.

8/1 Little Auk near Den Permanente

8/1 Little Auk near Den Permanente

11/1 Little Auks near Den Permanente

mandag den 30. januar 2012

Gull Fest

After having had incredible views of the Glaucous-winged Gull twice already this week things could not really get any better on the gull front. A report of a 2nd winter Iceland Gull also coming to bread in the University Park found by Simon Siggard Christiansen was just pushing it. Fortunately I was working from home as I got the news and after five minutes on my bike I was looking at the bird. The four birders present in the park were not completely thrilled as they still had not seen the GWG. After 10 minutes the Iceland flew off and the GWG landed on the ice. Everybody was happy but a shot of both gulls together would be the ultimate price. Luckily the Iceland Gull returned and both birds performed superb for the next hours allowing birders very good views of the unlikely couple.

27/1 The cold weather has made the GWG very easy to see.

27/11 On friday the 27th of january a 2nd winter Iceland Gull joined the GWG in the University Park.

27/1 IG + GWG going at it for bread.

27/1 IG + GWG going at it for bread.

27/1 Parklife

27/1 Two species not often seen together.

onsdag den 25. januar 2012

Glaucous-winged Gull...

Having just finished lunch at work I got a phone call from Kent Olsen (KO) saying that the Glaucous-winged Gull was eating bread in the University Park in the middle of Aarhus. Knowing that icelandic toplister Yann Kolbeinsson (YK) was currently visiting our department, Kent thought he might want to see the bird. Knowing the unpredictable nature of the bird from previous years we quickly left Kalø to go to Aarhus.
When we arrived in the park the gull was standing on a building not showing particularly well. A showy Short-toed Treecreeper made a brief appearance taking our attention away from the gull for a minute. When we looked for the gull again it was gone. A young couple was feeding the local mallards at the northern most lake in the park and it did not take long to locate the gull amongst the Black-headed Gulls, Common Gulls and Mallards. For the next 20 minutes we had extreme views of the gull.

Glaucous-winged Gull Aarhus University. Good views...

Glaucous-winged Gull Aarhus University. Good views...

Glaucous-winged Gull Aarhus University. Good views...

Glaucous-winged Gull Aarhus University. Good views...

Glaucous-winged Gull Aarhus University. Good views...
This is the third year in a row that the Glaucous-winged Gull is wintering in Aarhus (2009 pictures and 2010 pictures). If you want to see the bird go before the current period with cold weather ends and visit in the morning when the bird is hungry and active and not in the afternoon when it has been fed toast bread for several hours...

Short-toed Treecreeper Aarhus University Park. Very common in this city park.
Hooded Crow, Egå Marina.
Like two years ago the gull was heavily celebrated in the evening/night...

Text: RDN, Photos: YK

søndag den 8. januar 2012

Israel 7/3-13/3 2010

Left early (0530) to go to the Shizaf Reserve again. A quick stop at the Shaqaq Reserve to look for Arabian Oryx did not produce any animals beside few Dorcas Gazelle but we did see the first Desert Finches of our trip. Saw the lizard again on our way. At the Shizaf Reserve we quickly found a male Arabian Warbler. We had great views of the bird for the next hour as it sang from the top acacia trees. Having had such a successful morning we decided to go for KM 76 to strike gold with the larks.
At 1000 we arrived at very green area in the desert. It looked promising for larks. The next four hours were spend in company with Temmincks Lark 2 ♂♂ + 1, Thick-billed Lark 6, Greater Hoopoe Lark displaying, Bimalculated Lark 3, Caspian Stonechat 2 and Cretzschmars Bunting 4♂♂+1.
We left KM76 and headed back north as we had an appointment with Barak Granit in Arad at 1730. A quick stop at the gorge near Idan did not produce any Desert Eagle Owl. Be careful of the landmines and stay on the road! Near Mount Sodom we saw a very nice adult Barbary Falcon among the thousands of pallid swifts.
Met up with Barak Granit who was going to show us Humes Tawny Owl. We heard an individual quite close but we did not see the bird. Even though not seeing the owl we had an amazing night including Striped Hyena, Iranian/Indian Wolf 2, Desert Hedgehog 3, Golden Jackal 5-8 (Yotvata) and Caspian Plover 2 (Yotvata). The plovers were all seen on the North Circular Fields. After finishing up at Yotvata we drove to Eilat. Arrived at Eilat 0500 and went to bed at 0545.
Text RDN and photos SSL

Desert Finch (Rhodospiza obsoleta)
Arabian Warbler (Sylvia leucomelaena)
Thick-billed Lark (Ramphocoris clotbey)
Spiny tailed lizard. Pretty cool lizard!
Cretzschmar's Bunting (Emberiza caesia)
Bimaculated Lark (Melanocorypha bimaculata)
Tawny Pipit (Anthus campestris)
Iranian/Indian Wolf
Nebo hierichonticus