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Snow Bunting in Hugh Town

31st March 2020

Running down to meet Richie Aston at the COOP in town and kicked this stunning male Snow Bunting off from the slope next to the main entrance to Tregarthen’s Hotel

In the last few days, I’ve ventured around The Garrison and in the bitter cold easterlies and seen nothing of note. However, early this evening I was running down, you know, trying to keep fit, to meet up with Richie Aston at the COOP, who was doin my shopping as I’m two weeks in isolation after returning back from the mainland. As I was approaching the main entrance of Tregarthern’s Hotel, I almost stood on a Snow Bunting. Fortunately the bunting flew up and landed on the nearby roofs. I stopped, not to look at the bird but to get my breath back. With no bins or camera, I took a pic of what I could with my mobile and then called Richie and also put the news out. He answered but didn’t say aythin for a while as he was trying to work out if he was listening to a dirty phone call. ‘It’s me you pratt!’ He paused ‘My names not Pat’ I told him that I was breathing heavy down the phone because I’m recovering from the minute run from my home I did twenty minutes ago! The COOP was only a two second walk from where the bunting was but by the time Richie and Higgo arrived, it had disappeared and Richie asked me whu did I call him Pat? It wasn’t long until the bunting was relocated back on the track where it gave typical superb views for this species at close range for the next 45 minutes before flying off to roost.

As Snow Bunting are pretty rare in the spring on the islands, this being only my second on Scilly, this male is more than likely the individual that was seen briefly at Peninnis six days ago.

Large numbers of House Sparrow in the garden with some having a good ole dust bath

Starlings and Collard Dove coming into drink and bath in the trough just in front of the window

I also had 3 Linnet, 2 Black-headed Gull and a single Meadow Pipit and a record count of 31 Wood Pigeon from the house. I’ve never stared out from a window so much. Elsewhere, the Rook was relocated today at Mount Toddon and the LESSER KESTREL was still present at Porth Hellick Down

Looking over the bird table at Lesser and Great-black backed and mostly Herring Gull. from yesterday. Also had the female Merlin dash through three days ago


A Rook in the garden

25th March 2020

This Rook was a garden tick although I did have one in my other garden, only around the corner, feeding in the compost with 2 Laughing Gull followed by an Iceland the next day!

A walk mid-morning in the warm sunshine around the Garrison was very quiet and the only birds of note were a single Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap and on the west side, yesterdays Black Redstart was still present. Approaching the football field. I was almost home, when I spotted a crow on the far side. Just check it’s not a Rook and it was! By the time Robin had arrived, it had made the short hope into my garden with 4 Carrion Crow. I made a dash to tick it off from my window and then later on it returned to the football field where Higgo connected with it.

Black Redstart

Found this Rook first on the football field before it ended up infront of my digs in the garden

There was also this partial albino Blackbird in the garden

And Greenfinch

On the Garrison there 2 Peacock, Speckled Wood and 5 Small Tortoiseshell including this one

Yesterday, Higgo and I walked around St Mary’s together, I kept my distance from him, I always do. Higgo had already seen Scott Reid’s Black-tailed Godwit and Snow Bunting on Penninis and it wasn’t until we arrived at Carn Morvel, the south end of the golf course, that we heard and saw the 2 Chough fly past towards Porthloo. Just around the corner from the carn was a female Ring Ouzel and at the stables there were 7 White and 4 Pied Wagtail.
After observing the LESSER KESTREL still favouring Porth Hellick Down, Higgo moved on and past the airfield I had now 4 Golden Plover and a male Ring Ouzel at the south end. There was a report of a Siberian Chiffchaff at the Standing Stones Field early on but all I could find was the very pale Willow Warbler from the day before. There were more Linnets and Goldfinch also in today.

At the stables there were up to 4 Pied and 7 White Wagtail

The adult male LESSER KESTREL wasn’t showing as well as it was two days ago

Lots of Wrens singing all over the shop

And small numbers of Linnets arriving as well

5th LESSER KESTREL for scilly

22nd March 2020

Joe Pender and I couldn’t believe our luck when this stunner adult male Lesser Kestrel came in and perched on this post directly in front of us!

While I was away in Egypt, a Lesser Kestrel had been found at Porth Hellick Down at the beginning of March back home on Scilly. I was thinking that it would of moved on by the time I get back on the islands. Fortunately, I discovered the 1st summer male at the golf course from May 13th-21st, 2002. Well, I thought I had found it then until a Bob Flood claimed that he had the same bird nearly a month before me and only let every one know about his mega find some five years later in the book ‘The Essential to the Birds of The Isle of Scilly’ that he co-wrote with the headline ‘The True Story of the Lesser Kestrel!!’

On the day of the 13th May, 2002, this is how I came across the Lesser Kestrel on the golf course. In gale force winds, I poked my head over the center wall to look at the fairway on the otherside and there on the deck was a kestrel. I lifted my bins up and could clearly see that there was a lack of markings on the upperparts. Bob flood, who was with me at the time further down the wall, came back when he saw me waving him to come over up to me. He had a look at it and immediately went to get his scope from his car while I kept a very close eye on the kestrel. After a few minutes, It flew off and landed on the nearby rocks on Carn Morvel. By the time BF had joined me, the kestrel had flown off towards Portloo where I lost it. I remember as though it was yesterday. I said to BF ‘I’ve never seen one before and I’m sticking my neck out here, but that’s a 1st summer male Lesser Kestrel!’ He did not say a word to me that he possibly had it a few weeks back. Now, you can believe what you want but many years later, BF brought a book out, as I said already above, the book ‘The Essential to the Birds of The Isle of Scilly’ and in it he has an account of the Lesser Kestrel with the title ‘The True Story of the Lesser Kestrel’ Apparently BF had it nearly a month before I found it. Now, if I had a Lesser Kestrel or a possible Lesser Kestrel, I would be letting every Tom, Dick and George know and Barry. Wouldn’t you do the same if you had a possible mege? I lost count of how many visiting birders came up to me in the Scillionian at the time where the book was being released for the first time and said ‘Have you read the account of your Lesser Kestrel in the book?’ I didn’t need to as I had already been put in the picture before by local birders in the context of what BF was getting at. If BF want’s to claim that he had the Lesser Kestrel nearly a month well before I had the kestrel, then it’s his. If he’s wants it that bad, he can have it. It’s pretty sad if you ask me. One thing I will say, the Lesser Kestrel arrived with 6 Eurasian Kestrel. Well on the day that I found it anyway! BF wrote his account of the Lesser Kestrel in the book knowing at the time that it would upset me. Why would anyone do that?? Especially when that person was there to share my find with me at the time. You make your own mind up what you want to believe but I know what many birders think at the time and still do. What ever you want to believe, 100s twitched it from the 13th-21st May when it commuted with the golf course and Penninis.

As for the Porth Hellick Down individual, I didn’t think it would hang around when I returned home to Scilly yesterday afternoon. It did stick and was seen that day. I took the chance and set off early this morning. I passed Porthcressa Beach and saw the overwintering Black Redstart and Great Northern Diver. There were also 2 Pied Wagtail and Linnets were arriving in off. It wasn’t until I reached Old Town Cafe that I met up with Higgo. We split up and he went off along the road to Porth Hellick and I took the coastal path. On the airfield there were 3 Golden Plover and between the latter sight and Giants Castle I counted 15+Wheatear. Giants Castle also produced a male Ring Ouzel and a single Black Redstart.

This Great Northern Diver showed very well close inshore off Porthcressa

There were up to 15 Wheatear between the golf course and Giants Castle

Also had this male Ring Ouzel at Giants Castle

At Porth Hellick, I was with Higgo again, who had a singing Willow Warbler, and we made our ways up to Porth Hellick Down. He stuck around the burial chamber while I went searching for Lesser Kestrel. I took a few steps from Higgo, because he had a funny smell coming from him, especially when he started doin star jumps, looked to my right and there was the adult male LESSER KESTREL hanging in the wind on the SE side of Porth Hellick Down. We got some reasonable views of it but before you knew it, it was over towards Deep Point. It returned but was hard to get on to as it zoomed from end of the down to the other until we lost it. Higgo decided to leave and I stayed put. I got the Short-eared Owl distantly over at Carn Friars and then I focused on the kestrel that was all over the shop again. I decided to stay stationary in one spot and I chose the burial chamber as this is where I’ve observed it twice perched on top. I was talking to Ren on me mobile, turned around and saw the kestrel coming in low. ‘Shite! I’ve got to go Ren’ It hit the deck at very close range and sat up on a rock for less than a minute before it was off again. What a cracking bird and I had made the right decision hanging out at the burial chamber.

I took this record shot of the Short-eared Owl all the way from Porth Hellick Down on the coastal path towards Carn Friars

The Adult male LESSER KESTREL sowing pretty good at the burial chamber

Joe Pender joined me back on the coastal path but the kestrel had disappeared. Jo told me that he had this Lesser Kestrel at the end of February but because of the date and he didn’t see it all that well, he kinda of passed it off as a Kestrel. I told Jo that the chamber is where to go if you want to get a good photo of it, although Joe had already done this with a flight shot he took at the beginning of March. There it was on top of the chamber and we thought it was off again only to see it return and perch on a post directly in front of us before flying off towards the west side of the down. Joe was very happy and he left after only being up on the down, maybe 15 minutes. I had been in the area for a few hours and I also moved off towards Carn Friars. Here I had it or another male Ring Ouzel and Black Redstart in one of the lower paddocks, 6 Sand Martin, followed by a brief view of the Short-eared Owl.

Higgo said to me earlier that you can never get close to this kestrel. Well with a face like yours mate, if I was a Lesser Kestrel, I would fly off 100 mile in the other direction! I thought I had it good earlier but Joe and I couldn’t believe our luck when this beauty came and perched on this post directly in front of us!

Male Ring Ouzel at Carn Friars

This Black Redstart in the same field as the ouzel was my third of the day

The sun came out and as the light had improved, I decided to return to the kestrel. It didn’t take long to relocate it but a call from Richie Aston found me back at Carn Friars. He had the Short-eared Owl out in the open on a vine post. It sat there in the sun before flying off towards the lower fields of Carn Friars. We then had a look at the kestrel but it turned cloudy again and we gave up. Richie went to the golf course and I started walking home. At the Standing Stones Field, Lower Moors, I flushed a Woodcock and also had a very pale Willow Warbler. Northern ‘tupe’ possibly? I had taken a large dinner out with me but boy was I hungry when I got home after having a cracking first day back on Scilly.

A call from Richie got me running for this Short-eared Owl and it was almost on the same post that Richie and I had the Tawny Owl last September at Carn Friars

What a difference it makes when the sun shines on the adult male Lesser Kestrel

I had this very pale Willow Warbler Northern ‘type’ possibly? Just before dark in the Standing Stomes Field

Yesterday afternoon, I took the chance of not twitching the Lesser Kestrel and instaed went for a walk around the west side of the Garrison where I had over 20 Wheatear

Yellow-legged Gull taking on a bat sp at Trench Pool

20th March 2020

The long staying Yellow-legged Gull at Trench Pool almost had the day time flying bat it’s mouth but the bat got away. I thought it was strange seeing a bat at this time of year as the cricket season hasn’t started yet!

Last week the Egyptian government announced that flights to and from Egypt will be suspended at 12 noon on 19 March until 31 March. Man was I lucky, as my flight was on the evening of the 18th direct to Birmingham! When I arrived at Birmingham, I tried to get a ticket on the last evening train to Telford and I was told that I didn’t have to pay. ideal! I got a very cheap flight out and things went so smoothly, from the second the plane took off from Sharm El sheikh, to the moment I stepped through my parents door in Telford.

This morning I was scanning Trench Pool and picked up on the far side, what I first thought was a hirundine but then realised it was a bat! From nowhere, the overwintering Yellow-legged Gull almost took it out from mid air! It was so close that I really thought it had caught the bat but it escaped. I got my camera out from the car and could only get a photo of the gull chasing it as the bat was twisting and turning all over the shop. The gull gave up and settled on the water with the Lesser black-backed Gulls. I made the short drive to the end of the track and there was the bat, now a little closer. I managed to rattle off a few record shots before the mammal disappeared.

This near adult Yellow-legged Gull has spent the whole winter communing with Trench and Middle Pool with occasional visit to nearby Hortonwood where it’s hung out with other Yellow-legged Gull

I’ll be amazed if anyone can identify this bat from my record shots

Later on I had to drive to the south of the county with mom and had a quick look at the long staying Great White Egret at Walcot Park. We were on our ways to Kate Steggles house, the lady with the Tree Sparrows in her garden near Clun, to pick up the amazing ‘Birds of Shropshire’ I wasn’t goin home to Scilly without a copy. I collected the book and between Clun and Craven Arms we counted 8 Red Kite.

Like the Yellow-legged Herring Gull at Trench Pool, this Great White Egret has also overwintered at Walcot Park

The day before I left for Egypt, I had this smart adult Mediterranean Gull at Middle Pool, 27th February. This is the one gull I’ve been hoping to see in the Trench Pool area to add to the other species of gull I’ve recorded at the sight including, 5 Caspian, 2 Claucous, 1 Iceland and Little and many Yellow-legged Gull.

Israeli Army Vet’s Expose – “I Was the Terrorist”

18th March 2020

n a rare, candid conversation, Abby Martin interviews a former Israeli Army combat soldier who served as an occupier in Palestine’s Hebron City. Eran Efrati spent years as a sergeant and combat soldier in the Israeli military, but has since become an outspoken critic of the occupation of Palestine and Israeli apartheid. Efrati gives explosive testimony on the reality of his service and explains how war crimes are institutionalized, as well as how systematic the oppression against Palestinians really is in a war of conquest that will no-doubt be accelerated under the Trump Administration.

Eran Efrati spent years as a sergeant and combat soldier in the Israeli military, but has since become an outspoken critic of the occupation of Palestine and Israeli apartheid. In a rare, candid conversation, Abby Martin interviews a former Israeli Army combat soldier who served as an occupier in Palestine’s Hebron City.

Egypt 3 Richard’s Pipit Day 17

16th March 2020

I had 2 Caspian Stonechat at the golf course including this male showing off the tail pattern.

It was already 25% and the car inside as I got in was unbearable. By 09.00 I arrived at the golf course entrance and there to welcome me as I drove through was a male Black-eared Wheatear. I could already hear Blue-cheeked Bee-eater as I walked to the SW corner and the flighty Richard’s Pipit was still present. Everything had cleared out and I didn’t hear the first Lesser Whitethroat for 45 minutes after arriving. There were only 20 Black-headed Wagtail and new in was a male Caspian Stonechat in the NE corner. I hung around with it for a while and 17 Blue-cheeked Bee-eater flew through followed 30 minutes later by another 24, all heading north. also in the clear blue skies were 10 red-rumped Swallow, 30 Swallow, small numbers of House and Sand Martin and still present, was the Asian Red-rumped Swallow.

This male Black-eared Wheatear greeted me at the entrance gates to the golf course

This Richard’s Pipit in the NW corner is hard work to get close to but this morning it showed a lot better than the three days it has been here now.

This male Caspian Stonechat was spending time in the NE corner busy catching flies

The flock of 24 Blue-cheeked Bee-eater paused for a few seconds and then they were off north again.

As I approached the west perimeter fence, I noticed a large warbler ahead of me and putting my bins up I could see that it was a Upcher’s Warbler. I spent nearly an hour with the hippo as it was a new species for me. Earlier on while walking across the center of the golf course towards the south side, a male stonechat flying away from me, I first thought was a wheatear with the large amount of white in the tail and strongly expected it was a Caspian Stonechat. I returned to where I saw the bird earlier and sure enough it turned out to be a male Caspian Stonechat. While I was observing the chat, a single Isabeline and 3 Northern Wheatear and only 8 Short-toed Lark were nearby. Then I heard the Richard’s Pipit but when I scanned and picked it up, I could see that it was a different individual being paler on the underparts with less markings. I guess it’s the individual from when I had the 2 Richard’s Pipit in the SW corner together a few years ago. The pipit flew off towards the NW corner and when I arrived to have a look at the 2 birds, there were now 3 Richard Pipit together! Like the Caspian Stonechat, I was thinking that maybe this large pipit is a scarce migrant here but there is nearly more Richard’s Pipit than Tawny Pipit on the golf Course. The latter species I only saw 6 birds this morning. There were only about 20 each of Lesser Whitethroat and Chiffchaff compared to over 100 each yesterday and also only 5 Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler. No sign of both the Siberian Chiffchaff or male CommonxBlack Redstart but the Black-eared Wheatear had not moved from the entrance gate when I drove out nearly three hours later.

I saw my first Caspian Stonechat last week and got excited as I thought that maybe it was a good bird for the area. Well I’ve had three now and I think we can sat that it’s a regular migrant through here

This Upcher’s Warbler was a new species and showed very well but when I pointed the camera at it all I could get were record shots

And this is all I could get on the second male Caspian Stonechat of the day as it flew away a long ways off to the otherside.

And as for the second Richard’s Pipit, it was distant and like the other individual, was very flighty

However, this beauty was to close that I had to back off to get this image of the male Eastern Black-eared Wheatear still at the entrance gate!

As for the botanical garden, well it was dead.! There was no sign of life in the Acacia Trees or nearby area on the south side. On the left side there were a handful of Lesser Whitethroat and Chiffchaff, 2 Tree Pipit, 4 Bluethroat and 2 Siberian Stonechat.

Migrants had dried up in the gardens but I did find 2 Tree Pipit

There were less than 10 White Wagtail

2 Siberian Stonechat were not approachable

With no birds in the garden I spent some time with this awesome Hooded Crow

Before when they were destroying the habitat to make it look nice…

And now when they destroyed it even more. Every visit I’ve made to the gardens, the south moat has been so active with good numbers of different species and today after that trashed it, nothin!!

Egypt Siberian Chiffchaff, CommonxBlack redstart Day 16

15th March 2020

This male Desert Wheatear was briefly at the golf course before moving on

I did the botanical gardens first this morning instead of usually doin the golf course and an later at 08.00. Everything from yesterday had more or less cleared off overnight. There was still tripping over some 100 Lesser Whitethroat and Chiffchaff but otherwise it was quiet and I had covered the area in just over an hour. Of note, The Male Eastern Redstart, only 4 Cretzschnar’s Bunting and 5 Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler and near the north moat, the Easternn male Black-eared Wheatear and only 4 Black-headed Wagtail were still present but no sign of all 4 Ruppell’s Warbler or Masked Shrike. New in included were a single Wryneck at the north moat and a Quail that I booted out of cover on the SW side.

There are both white and red spotted Bluethroat in the garden and today I had up to 6 birds

Only 5 Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler compared to 10 yesterday

I could only find this Siberian Stonechat at the north moat

Only a handful of Reed and Sedge Warbler and a this male Blackcap was the only sighting

At 09.30, goin by the lack of birds at the garden, I was not expected much on the golf course and sure enough that was the case. Yesterdays birds had moved on their journey north. Just a single Reed Warbler and 3 Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler but still good numbers of Lesser Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and hirundines including the Asian Red-rumped Swallow. There was only a single Richard’s Pipit in the SW corner and Citrine Wagtailthat was feeding with some 50 Black-headed Wagtail. 3 Palled Swift and 2 White Stork flew through and a large flock of vocal Blue-cheeked Bee-eater were much to high to pick out. The Short-toed Lark had dropped from 40 to 30 and still I couldn’t find anything in with them.

Only the one Richard’s Pipit and there are only 8 Tawny Pipit altogether

The Asian Red-rumped Swallow looking like an Asian Red-rumped Swallow. Why were both the tail streamers bloody broken and not just one? Just look at that tail from below

I spent some time with the Black-headed Wagtail trying to catch them as they were dancing on the water catching flies

There was only the one Citrine Wagtail in with the other wagtails.

Male blue-headed Wagtail hybrid?

3 Palled Swift moved straight through south

Only 30+short-toad lark from 40 yesterday

The highlight was a male Desert Wheatear in NE corner but returning the car, I flushed a Phyllosc out of some Marigolds next to the golf house on the SW end. As it flew up into a hedge it gave a single note ‘Siberian Chiffchaff!’ It was that distinctive short pipe Dunnock ‘type’ call and when I got on to it, it was a greyish on the upperparts but not so white on the underparts due to moult. And that’s what hit me first is how a scruffy individual it looked with blotchy dark patches on the underparts. Not like all the other Chiffchaff that I have seen while in Sharm that are all in clean pristine condition. As it’s moulting this should help to identify it as a Siberian Chiffchaff ruling out Chiffchaff. I’ve seen a few scruffy Siberin Chiffchaff in March on Scilly. It was deep in cover, calling. I got my mobile out and pressed record but it had shut up as I reached into my pocket. I could see it moving actively at the back and when I could, I tried to get a record shot in the small gaps that it very briefly showed in. I thought that it would join up with the Chiffchaffs and Bonelli’s Warblers that were just around the corner. But no, it decided to fly low past the golf club and a long ways out of sight. Why? For the next hour, I spent around the hedge on the SE side to where it appeared to fly to but nothing. I have no idea what the status of siberian Chiffchaff are in Sharm or even Egypt. I returned to the original area where I first spotted it and for my effort all I got what I thought was an a smart male Eeastern Redstart or is it a male Eastern Black Redstart. The black continued two thirds down the breast but it had a white line across it’s forehead. I couldn’t make out which species it was as it looked like a RedstartxBlack Redstart hybrid? Do they cross breed with each other? It was now 12.00 and I thought I would return to search for the Chiffchaff later after I had made a visit to Sharm Sewage pools.

This male Desert Wheatear didn’t hang around

Note the contrast with the primaries and the rest of the greyish wing and upperparts

On this side of the bird in this record shot you can clearly still see the moult

And again on the otherside you can see the patches of blotching of moult on the side and breast and again the contrast in the primaries from the tertials. The outer tail feathers have also got greenish on the edges This is all I could get on it before it moved on. I have no idea what the status of Siberian Chiffchaff in this area or even Egypt.

It turns out that Black Redstart do interbreed with Redstart. So that’s why I was like, which one is t?. A male CommonxBlack Redstart. I was thinking maybe Eastern Black Redstart hybred maybe? I hope that still around tomorrow.

This Hoopoe was having a good ole preen in the shade

The two times that I’ve driven through at the checkpoint, as you turn off from the main highway to go to the pools, I’ve gone straight through without being stopped. I did find this unusal as normanally they stop me at every checkpoint asking to see my passspoint. However, this time they did stop me and asked where I was from? ‘UK’ I told them and this is the reply I get from most of the police at the checkpoints ‘Ukraine?’ As always I repeat myself and again they repeat it again ‘Ukraine?’ So I try England, Britain and they still don;t understand. So it’s me that says to them, why don’t you just look at my passport? I pass it over to them ‘UK!’ Wow! How did you get that? This is always followed by ‘Sallah!, Liverpool!’ If not it’s ‘Where are you goin?’ I told them that I was goin to the bird hides at the reserve. Well the one hide as the others you can see flattened to the ground. Anyways, non of them understood me and they waved over another policeman who did understand what I was saying. Which is odd because no one can understand me. His response was clear when I repeated to where I was goin to ‘No! You can’t go there as you need a guide. I do?
That was it. As I drove away I thought that I will never visit this area of Egypt again as you really cannot go anywhere in Sharm El sheikh if your a birder staying here. If your not a birder your still a bit stuck unless you like sun, sand and sea. But your kinda of imprisoned with a high fence surrounding the city and you can’t escape unless you go through a checkpoint! Since the bombing of the plane five years ago ,that went off twenty minutes after leaving Sharm, it’s still tense in the city and you can feel it and security is always on high alert. Putting a perimeter fence up to stop you from goin out into the desert or mountains, if the terrorist aim was to blow up a passenger plain while on the tarmac at Sharm el Shiekh Airport, as that is what is believed, then the terrorist have won. Also, I believe that you can’t stop on the road and walk out into the desert or mountains without a guide in the Sinai region. So the only areas that I can visit as a birder in the Sharm area are the golf course and the botanical gardens. There is also the reserve to the north but you have to pay $10 a time to visit.

I thought that I would go and look for White-eyed Gull. And this is another problem. The only area where you can get to the beach in the whole coastline of the city, as far as I know, is the south end of Sharm where there is a small gap for the public. Every inch of the cities beaches are taken up by hotels. Unless your staying at any of the many hotels, then you can’t go on the sand as it’s private. A scan across the bay and there on one of the buoys there were 17 White-eyed Gull. Ideal! However, they were to far out and I had to wait until one flew closer to the shore where I was standing. An individual did fly low over my head but the light was not good for photography with others further out. Nearby, next to the road, I had a male White-tailed Wheatear and a single Isabeline Wheatear. I returned to the golf course to try and relocate the Siberian CHiffchaff but after an hour there was no sign or the Redstart or is it a Black Redstart and I gave up and left to get somethin to eat.

At last I’ve seen White-eyed Gull but I will have to make other visit with bread next time. I might get arrested for throwing food at birds

This male White-tailed Wheatear was very confiding

When I returned to my digs, the Wifi had gone off all over Sharm and the ATM were not working! Very strange and that’s what the owner of where I was staying thought. Apparently there has been a case of coronavirus in sharm and they don’t what to get the news out because they fear that it will stop tourist visiting here. Myself, I don’t believe that is why it went off and the Wifi came back on later that evening.

Egypt 3rd WP record of ASIAN RED-RUMPED SWALLOW Sharm El sheikh Day 15

14th March 2020

This ASIAN RED-RUMPED SWALLOW, of one of the Eastern races, probably japonica, that I found yesterday at the golf course, will be the 3rd Western Palaearctic record if accepted!

Last night after updating my blog, the messed up Red-rumped Swallow that I had briefly on that day, got to me thinking something wasn’t right, showing a darkish throat, heavy streaking on the underparts and two broken tail streamers. I thought that there was a Streaked Swallow and typed it into Ecosia to see what it looked like. Instead, up popped Streaked-throated Swallow. Never heard of it and although I only had record shots to go by, the images I saw on line appeared to look like my individual and I started looking at other images. I got onto one site and it seemed to be spot on. I sent my photos to James Lidster and Mashuq Ahmad to see what their opinion would be on the swallow. Mash, I also sent the photos from the website that it looked good on to make a comparison with. It was the images from the website that I sent Mash, that labeled it as Streaked-throated Swallow, started the problems. The images were in fact not of the latter species but Asian Red-rumped Swallow! Not that I would know what a Streak-throated or Asian Red-rumped Swallow looked like, it didn’t help the situation as these images were now what I was goin by to identify the golf course individual.

However, this morning non of them had replied. So, I found myself early at the golf course for the third time in a row. It turned out to be another cracker of a day. My mind was set to find that swallow but I was distracted by so many Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, Chiffchaff, Reed and Sedge Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat. I made my ways down the south side, flushed 40+Short-toed Lark, and there in the blue sky were Pallid Swifts and 150 hirundines! How was I going to find it with this lot but in the first scan I got it. It was to high to get anything on it and I just couldn’t focus anything way up in the sky with the camera. Searching upwards for it all the time and I got 2 Common Swift with a single Little Swift, 25 Red-rumped Swallow, 110+Swallow and the rest wee Sand and House Martin.. It looked like it was threatening to rain and 3 Collard Pratincole flew straight through south and the takking of Lesser Whitethroat I could hear all over the shop.. After 30 minutes I gave up and left the swallow alone and as I headed across to the north side, 5 Collard Pratincole moved south and the swallow was hawking low in front of me! It even pitched down on the deck briefly, now in the sun, where I was able to stalk it and get the photos I needed, so I thought. I sent back on pics to Jim and asked him to put the news out as I couldn’t post on my twitter account, because as usual, wifi was crap. He let me know that the news was out but it wasn’t long until he came back to tell me that some folks are suggesting it’s an Eastern race of Red-rumped Swallow. I had no idea what one of them looked like and needed to get on wifi to have a look. Eventually I did, but everytime I searched for the race, only Red-rumped Swallow kept on appearing. So, I still didn’t know what it looked like. I had to get better flight shots of this swallow and that I did and sent them to Jim.

There was an increase of warblers including 25+Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, 60+Chiffchaff, 60-70 Lesser Whitethroat, 15+Reed and 9 Sedge Warbler and I had not covered all of the golf course.

From the image above the tail is not right for Steaked-throated Swallow, in fact there are other features that are not right, including the crown which should be red and not dark, also the underwing, for the latter species, but all I kept thinking was that it was spot on because I was goin from the images from the website that misidentified it as a Asian Red-rumped Swallow. Crazy!!

The first Blue-cheeked Bee-eater of the day moved through with 11 birds and I heard a Tree Pipit.A flock of 60 Black-headed Wagtail landed close to me and with them were a mix of all sorts and 2 Citrine Wagtail. 15 red-throated and 3 water Pipit were also with the flock and it was while taking pics of the wagtails, that 7 Collard Pratincole arrived from the south and hung around. I turned around and coming towards me from the east, was a White-winged Black Tern! For a brief time, the tern was hawking with the pratincoles pretty high up before they all returned and continued feeding over the fairways. It was twenty minutes that another pratincole came in and joined the others that were now hawking over one of the small pools. If that wasn’t enough, 32 Blue-cheeked Bee-eater arrived and stock around hawking with the tern and pratincoles!

This Citrine Wagtail showed very well

But I could only get a record shot of the duller individual

Still some 60 Black-headed Wagtail present

Male Blue-headed Wagtail

With a mix of hybrids new in including this individual

Some 15 Red-throated Pipit were also feeding with the wagtails

In total 16 Collard Pratincole in three flocks, 3, 5 and 8. It was the latter number that hung around

This stunner appeared from the east with the Sinai Mountains in the distance. Sorry there are so many pics of this White-winged Tern but all though I’ve seen 100s before, this is the first individual that ever seen in summer plumage. It’s like a new species.

And briefly hawked with the 8 Collard pratincole on arrival

I was now on the south-south-west side and a new male Siberian Stonechat and a single Bluethroat was in. All the time while I’m birding I’m constantly looking to skies and high above me was a stunning male Pallid Harrier followed by a low flying Osprey.I sat n the shade under a large palm to have a rest and out of nowhere, a male Eastern Black-eared Wheatear dropped out from the sky and pitched down only meters away from me! I had already seen 3 Northern and a single Isabeline Wheatear but you just can’t beat a stonking male Black-eared Wheatear. It had gone 12.30 and I wanted to get to the botanical gardens but not until I see if yesterday Richard’s Pipit was still in the NW corner. There were now 2 Richard’s Pipit together!

I’ve only seen 3 juvenile Pallid Harrier, all on scilly, so this male Pallid Harrier, dancing gracefully in the air high up, like the tern, was like a new species

I was in the shade sitting under a Palm Tree and this male Eastern Black-eared Wheatear dropped in only a few meters away from me!

I went to see if the large pipit was still present from yesterday and found there are now 2 Richard’s Pipit

There had been an large arrival of Chiffchaff, Lesser Whitethroat and Reed warbler on the golf course and it was no different at the gardens. I was kicking them out left, right and center with Sedge Warbler and 4 Bluethroat as well, from any patch of bush, hedge, tree, weeds or grass. A male Black-eared Wheatear was showing well and in the NW corner there were 2 Tree Pipit and now only 12 Cretzschmar’s Bunting. I got a flash of a wheatear distantly fling and it was the male Cypress Wheatear! It perched in a tree and was gone never to be seen again! Where had that been hiding? I flushed 2 Quail together and a Steppe Buzzard fly north.

Busy cutting down the weedy area in the moat where the migrants feed. Great stuff! Why has everything got to be immaculate?

Another stonking male Eastern Black-eared Wheatear

Out of the 2 Tree Pipit this was the one that showed at close range

6 of the 12 Cretzschmar’s Bunting

The male Eastern Redstart was still present in the Acacia Trees with the 2 Siberian Stonechat nearby.. 2 Northern and a single Isabeline Wheatear were also in the area and in the Acacias was the male Ruppell’s Warbler. Like the Cypress Wheatear, I missed him yesterday as well. However, this was ruled out when there were 3 male and female Ruppell’s Warbler spending a lot of time on the deck together. Which one do I take a photo of?

out of the 4 Ruppell’s Warbler it was the female that didn’t perform well

On the south side there were more warblers all over the shop and as I approached a large bush, out came some 10 Lesser Whitethroat and a large black and white beauty. A stunning male Masked Shrike!! Woodchat Shrike yeasterday replaced by a Masked Shrike today. Returning to the car, I had one last look at the moat area and in with 20+Black-headed Wagtail with all kinds of hybrids .

This male Masked Shrike was quite simply, amazing!

This is the bush that Lesser Whitethroat and shrike came deep from out of

The habitat above is where I was kicking birds out from in the garden as well as elsewhere in the area.

There were only 20 Black-headed Wagtail but in with them were a few hybrids new in including this individual

This Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler perched only an arms lengh away from me, looked at me and like anyone else would if they saw my face at very close range, made a quick exit.

There were over 30 Reed Warbler

A quick look at the Sharm sewage pools saw the same stuff I saw yesterday but new in were 17 Ruff, 3 Collard Pratincole and 4 White stork and 7 Steppe Buzzard moved through south. The small reedbed nearby was full of Reed Warbler with others flushed in the low vegetation. There were also Sedge Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, 2 Siberian Stonechat, 1 Bluethroat, 20+Black-headed Wagtail and the 2 Cretzschmar’s Bunting. 7 Crowned Sandgrouse flew overhead to finish off another conker of a day!!

4 White Stork flew straight north

After the record shots yesterday, I nailed the 4 Striated Bunting on this visit.

These 3 puppy’s were on the causeway as I left the pools

Totals from all three sites that I visited today of the common migrants included 30+Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler

40+Sedge Warbler

80+Reed Warbler There were also 100+Black-headed Wagtail and over 120+ Lesser Whitethroat between just Golf course and the botanical gardens

When I returned home I looked up Asian Red-rumped Swallow and sure enough the experts had got it right. I have no idea what the status of this species is in Egypt but at I guess, it’s scarce maybe?

Streak-throated Swallow   Petrochelidon fluvicola

This is one of the three images from the website that said it was a Streaked-throated Swallow and this is what I was identifying the golf course individual from these images when really, the image above is a Asian Red-rumped Swallow. Do you get my Drift? Do they still sell them?

Egypt Sharm Pools Day 14

13th March 2020

This conker of a Greater black-headed Gull was the highlight with 2 Collard Pratincole at the Sharm Sewagwe pools today.

Another early start at the golf course at 07.00 to beat the golfers on the fairways. They beat me as they had already started. Great stuff! The first birds to greet me, immediately as I stepped onto the SE end, were 22 Blue-cheeked Bee-eater enjoying the sunshine perched in a bush. They were soon on move as dark clouds moved in but they flew out south instead of north. They left me alone to the sound of vocal Easten Bonelli’s Warbler and chiffchaff A single Glossy Ibis flew out north and 8 Bee-eater flew in and out again. There was a notable increase in Swallow, Sand Martin and Red-rumped Swallow. Black-headed wagtail had dropped from 200 yesterday to 130+ but White Wagtail were up with 100+. 14 Palled Swift moved through and feeding with the wagtail were 25 Short-toed Lark but the Tawny Pipit only reached 15+.

Dark clouds looming over the Sinai Mountains west of Sharm El sheikh

So far this is the only Glossy Ibis i’ve seen during my stay

Up to 25 short-toed Lark were feeding with the 130 Black-headed Wagatail

There were at least over 20 Red-rumped Swallow hawking with 100 Swallow and 25+Sand and 2 House Martin

This interesting Red-rumped Swallow appears to have lost both tail streamers but also has a dark throat

A lot of the hirundines spent a lot of time on the deck due to the strong SE and mizzle

Only 130 Black-headed Wagtail this morning.

Golfers were increasing and for safety I spent the next hour birding the hedge that follows the NE perimeter fence. By the time I had returned to the car I ha noted 40+Chiffchaff, 20+Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Reed warbler, 2 Northern and 1 Isabeline Wheatear, 2 Tree and 1 Water Pipit, pipit, 5 Bluethroat, 2 Siberian Stonechat but no sign of yesterday Caspian Stonechat and feeding together 12 Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler. However, the highlight was a Richard’s Pipit before being flushed by golfers.

A record shot of the Richard’s Pipit before being flushed by golfers and disappearing in the distance.

There were 2 Siberian Stonechat

This Water Pipit is probably yesterday individual as it was in the same area.

The 12 Eastern Bonelli’s Warblere were feeding together in a single bush

I was hoping that both wheatears from yesterday, Cypress and Black-eared would still be present at the Botanical gardens.. I started on the south side and in the weedy patch were 40+Black-headed Wagtail and 2 Squacco Heron. Immediately I could see that there had been a fall of Chiffchaff and common migrants. This included 2 Whitethroat, 4 Blackcap, 1 Western Redstart, 2 Sedge and 2 Reed Warbler, non of these were seen yesterday, 8 Bluethroat, 1 European and 2 Siberian Stonechat and 60-70 Chiffchaff. Lesser Whitethroat were all over the shop with a increase of at least 30 birds. Only 3 Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler but there was a single Cretzschmar’s Bunting sat in a tree and a Sparrowhawk moved through. and I flushed a White-breasted Kingfisher. I also saw the Wryneck very briefly that I had two days ago.

Kicking through this weedy patch flushed out a lot of migrants including 40+Chiffchaff

There were also 2 Squacco Heron in the patch

Over 40 Black-headed Wagtail were feeding in the weedy patch with the usual hybrid wagtails

This Cretzschmar’s Bunting sat perched up as I stood just below it

The lack of white panel on the wing makes this a male Common Redstart

There were 2 Siberian Stonechat

After an hour I made my ways to the NE end hoping to get the two species of wheatear. As I passed the patch where the 6 buntings were yesterday, I flushed 17 Cretzschmar’s Bunting to my surprise! I gave it my best shot but all the wheatears from yesterday had cleared out. In fact a lot of species had moved on overnight and I was left in observing a single Eastern Redstart, 20+Lesser Whitetroat, 10 Eastern Boneli’s Warbler and 30+Chiffchaff. A Woodchat Shrike was on the west perimeter wall before moving deeper into the garden to never been seen again. A flock of 58 Blue-cheeked Bee-eater flew out east and were grounded on the desert floor from the SE strong blow and drizzle. 30 minutes later they were off and flew out south. Later on 20+Blue-cheeked Bee-eater also moved out south followed by another 5 also out south. I could hear sandgrouse out in the desert and found 80+Crowned Sandgrouse out in the open.

from 6 yesterday to 17 Cretzschmar’s Bunting today

Only this stonking male Eastern Redstart remained from three birds yesterday

This Wood Shrike was a cracker but was all too brief!! The only other shrike I’ve seen so far is a Southern Grey Shrike, of whatever race that is, gonna look up when I’ve got time, in the Mangrove Park.

A flock of 58 Blue-cheeked Bee-eater gounded on the desert floor due to the bad weather with the Sinai Mountains in the dark clouds

I came to Egypt to relax and get some birding done. Due to the weather change, yesterday was my first full on birding throughout the day. Today I was goin to repeat that and instead of goin home at 16.00, when I left the botanical gardens, I drove ten minute up road to the Sharm Sewage Pools for the first time. I thought I made a mistake as the rain began to get heavier and on the first few pools there was nothin. That soon changed as I flushed 4 Striated Bunting from the waters edge. another new species! There were small flocks of wader including 40+Little Stint and Ringed Plover, 2 Kentish Plover, 8 wood Sanpiper, 3 Ruff and a single Marsh Sandpiper. In the distace in the murk I could see a Collard Pratincloe hawking only to see it disappear south. I continued walking in between the pools and there on the wall were 2 Collard Prantincole! I got some photos of one of them, looked up only to see a mega Greater-black headed Gull in full summer plumage above me! It flew straight through from the north out south following the Sinai Mountains. Now I wasn’t expecting that! On the mud were some 25 Water Pipit, 10 Little-ringed Plover 30+White wagtail and 3 Black-headed Wagtail. It was getting dark pretty fasy and as I drove away I noticed a patch of reeds close to the road. I had to have a look as it’s this is the first type of habitat I’ve seen since arriving in Sharm. It was a stream fringed with reeds leading to a pool. As the reeds disappeared I flushed a single Bluethroat and Little Egret, 2 Cretzschmar’s Bunting and 2 Siberian Stonechat. On the pool itself were good numbers of waders and also 5 Teal and a single Shoveler. Another great ay and tomorrow the weather is approving which will be ideal for photography but maybe not so for birding

The Sharm Sewage pools looking east towards Sharm El Sheikh

The 4 striated Bunting were hard to get and this is the best I coud do in getting a record shot

The only other Collard Pratincole that ever seen was the individual that Paul Stancliffe found on Scilly 100 year ago!

This Greater-black-headed Gull came down during the rain from the north. Flew straight through continuing sout following the Sinai Mountains. I saw my first GBHG last year with Mashuq Ahmad in Kuwait but by far this was the best individual I’ve observed.

I had 2 Cretzschmar’s Bunting just before dark

A pond close to the Sharm sewage pools

I flushed 2 Cretzschmar’s Bunting near to the pools

i had a total of 35+Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler today

110 Chiffchaff

14 Bluethroat

70+lesser Whitethroat

and 170+Black-headed Wagtail

Egypt Golf course and botanical gardens Day 13

12th March 2020

I managed to get a record shot of this rather elusive male Cypress Wheatear that could prove to be a prety rare species for Egypt? Other rarefies observed in an amazing day included Caspian Stonechat, Short-eared Owl and Bittern as well as other goodies.

Overnight rain and a SE blow got up early and I arrived at the golf course just before 07.00. I was told yesterday that from 08.00 there will be 35 golfers playing. I only had an hour and in the light rain and blustery conditions, I made my ways towards the NE corner. From 60 yesterday evening to over 200 Black-headed Wagtail!! Amazing sight and despite searching through them for the next twenty minutes, I couldn’t find yesterday Citrine wagtail. There were the usual hybrid things and the odd Grey-headed Wagtail feeding with them. I had not seen any Bluethroat on all my visits to the golf course but on one of the small pools were three birds. 2 little-ringed Plover dropped in and it was while trying to get a pic of a Water Pipit that I spotted a a Bittern in the gloom distantly flying south. It slowly descended and seemed to come down on the pools on the south side but when I got there, there was no sign of it but did flush a single Snipe and 7 Green sandpiper and a flock of 4 Short-toed Lark and 16 Red-throated and 34 Tawny Pipit. By now it ha gone 08.00 and the golfers were already playing. By now the rain was getting heavy and as I returned to the golf house on the SW side, I was watching a Siberian Stonechat when a Short-eared Owl flew over SW. I got my camera out of my bag and got some record shots as it flew away from me over the buildings.

An idea of the extent of the 200+Black-headed Wagtail feeding in the SE corner of the golf course.

.This Bittern flying in the overcast skies was a bit of a surprise

This is all I get on this Short-eared Owl as my camera was safe in my bag from the rain. Surely this must be pretty rare in Egypt or the Sinai Peninsular

With so much goin on due to the weather, it was too good to leave and I decided to continue birding on the WNW perimeter fence. Both Isabeline and Northern Wheatear and in the hedge that follows the fence all the way round were good number of Lesser Whitethroat and Chiffchaff. Out of the blue this stoking male Stonechat flew up in front of me and perched back on a long ways off. It was flicking it’s tail and I was sure that I could see white bleeding in to on occasions. I had to get closer and after a few attempts with the camera, I got the image that I wanted showing clearly the ideal tail pattern for a Caspian Stonechat. The skies were dark and I was sheltering under a palm from the heavy rainfall. At the same time I wanted to get cracking but 4 night Heron in from the south stopped in my tracks, circled and flew out north. I made my way back to the club house following the perimeter fence when I could hear what I thought was a Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler. I needed this species and in the end I had 3 in the same hedge as single Reed, Sedge Warbler and Bluethroat and 4 Siskin and 2 Tree Pipit flew out SE. At the same time, 8 Tawny Pipit flew in from the south followed by 5 Little-ringed Plover. Black-headed Wagtail were arriving in ones and twos throughout the time I was on the golf course.

Cracking male Caspian Stonechat showing off the tail pattern and black arm pits Is this another rarity for Egypt or this area?

The 4 adult Night Heron didn’t hang around and continued there journey

A new species were 3 Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler

In the end I spent three hours and on the golf course and it was getting too dangerous to stay on there. I was looking forward to getting to the botanical gardens and arrived as the rain started to ease off. Imediatly on the short grass were over 4o Black-headed Wagtail with 8 Red-throated Pipit. as usual I started kicking Bluethroats from out of cover and I could hear Lesser Whitethroat all over the shop including 10 in a single tree. From the center I made my way to the south side where there were lots of Chiffchaff, more Lesser Whitethroat and a 2 Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler. I heard a Grey Wagtail and it dropped in and landed on the roof of a building just above me. I crossed the center of the garden, where I had a pair of Siberian Stonechat, and headed towards the NE side.

A male Siberian Stonechat showing the lack of white bleeding into the tail not like the Caspian Stonechat I had earlier on the golf course.

While the female Siberian Stonechat showed a lot better than the male

Grey Wagtail

All though I had some 15 Lesser Whitethroat already in being in the garden, non of them showed well and this was the best I could do.

Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler

As approached the small patch of small Acacia Trees, Broom and scrub, I could hear Bonelli’s Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat when I flushed 6 bunting out of a field and land up in some trees. Another new species in the form of 6 Crretzschmar’s Bunting. They settled back down into the field and I got onto a male Pied Wheatear! Wow! This weather is dropping in the migrants including rarities like this wheatear. Wheatears being my favorite birds, before I left home for Egypt, I looked up the rare wheatears that might turn up while I was here and one of them was the very similar to Pied Wheatear, Cypress Wheatear. Which ever species it is, I’m guessing it’s rare in Egypt. The wheatear sp flew off strongly into the desert and I could hear a Redstart nearby and found a stonking male Eastern Redstart. It was getting hard to pick out a Chiffchaff from the number of Bonelli’s Warbler. I spent the rest of the day in the NW corner as it was so productive with birds appearing to arrive throughout. I basically did a continues circuit slowly around the Acacias Trees and scrub and flushed a Quail. This was followed by 32 Blue-cheeked Bee-eater moving north.

6 Crretzschmar’s Bunting were a new species for myself

When I returned home I looked up the separation between Pied and Cypress Wheatear. The tail pattern, darker upperparts and the pattern of head suggest a male Cypress Wheatear Is that a rarer record than Pied Wheatar for Egypt?

This stoking male Eastern Redstart was the first time that I ha seen this race, if is still a race?

Part of the flock of 32 Blue-cheeked Bee-eater on their flight north

So far I would of been pretty pleased in what I had seen but things kept on improving as birds just kept on dropping in. I got a flash of a male Black-eared Wheatear fly low through the Broom but lost it. I spent a good hour searching for it without any success. I did get a pair of Eastern Redstart including a better looking male then the other individual. Two hours after seeing it last, I relocated the male Cypress Wheatear on the perimeter fence before flying low back in the garden where I lost it. I went searching for another wheatear as the Black-eared Wheatear I was beginning to think that I was seeing things. However, that all changed when I picked up on the path quite some way from me. After this I kept on seeing it on and off but always near the path where it favored. I could hear more Blue-cheeked Bee-eater I counted 83 high north. Some 30 minutes later I could hear more Bee-eater in the dark skies but just couldn’t locate them.

It was some two hours after seeing this male Eastern Black-eared Wheatear that I finally got a record shot f it.

And the male Cypress Wheatear keep it’s distance after goin missin for also two hours after first seeing it

Another stonking male Eastern Redstart but always kept it’s distant

For the tenth time, I arrived at Acacia Trees and there was a male Ruppell’s Warbler! Yet another new species and it didn’t fly off like the Sardinian Warblers always do. I stuck with it for a good thirty minutes and observed 47 Bee-eater heading north. While hanging out with the Ruppell’s Warbler Bonelli’s Warbler seemed to be all over the shop in the Acacia Trees. Flying from in the south 2 lesser Kestrel flew straight through south with a trickle of Swallow and Sand Martin throughout all the time I was there. A flock of 10 Red-rumped Swallow, 8 Red-throated, 2 Tree and a single Meadow Pipit all flew through south. i did venture once to the east end and flushed another Quail out of a bare soiled field. No idea it was there until it flew out to the far side like the other individual did. Everytime I passed the Acacias while on of my many circuits, I saw the Ruppell’s warbler and I heard flocks of Bee-eaters but just couldn’t see them.

There was species that I was wanting to see while I was here and that was a male Ruppell’s Warbler and one to show so well as this individual did.

2 male Lesser Kestrel distantly flew through south.

As there were some 20 Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler feeding I couldn’t help but spend some time with them

The weather played it’s part today and I only visited two sites. Birds were on the move throughout the day. I’m looking forward to getting out in the field tomorrow.

Here are the totals of the birds I observed both at the golf course and the botanical gardens:

1 male Cypress Wheatear, 1 male Caspian Stonechat, 1 Short-eared Owl, 1 Bittern, 1 Buff-bellied/Watter Pipit, male ruppell’s Warbler, male Black-eared Wheatear, 6 Cretzschmar’s Bunting, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Sedge warbler, 1 Reed Warbler, 100+swallow 10 Sand Martin, 15 Red-rumped Swallow, 2 Lesser Kestrel, 3 Eastern Black Redstart, 4 Night Heron, 4 Siskin, 4 Tree Pipit, 1 Meadow Pipit, 24 red-throated Pipit, 50+Tawny Pipit, 7 Little-ringed Plover, 2 Quail, 3 Siberian Stonechat, 25+Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, 240+Black-headed Wagtail, 70+White-Wagtail, 7 Green sandpiper, 1 Snipe, 10 Bluethroat, 30+Lesser Whitethroat, 40+Chiffchaff, 15 Northern Wheatear, 6 Isabeline Wheatear, 162 Bee-eater and also other flocks that I only heard.

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