Jul 4, 2019

Algeria june 2019

Since a year  it is possible to visit Algeria again after many years of political instability. We had a five days trip with Karim Haddad. He is chef of the Algerian Nuthatch Sitta ledanti, one of the most enigmatic endemics of the western palearctic.
So from 18 to 24 June I went with Enno Ebels and Lodi Nauta to try for the nuthatch. We flew via Istanbul where we had a morning birding with Timur Caglar. An early start at the bosporus produced Yelkouan Shearwater Puffinus yelkouan, which was a new species for me. Quite spectacular as a few thousand birds flew back and forth...The rest of the morning produced some Black Storks Ciconia nigra, Ortolan Buntings Emberiza hortulana and a Golden Jackal Canis aureus...
In Algeria we concentrated on the north-east of the country around Constantine, formerly known as Cirta, the capitol of Numidia in ancient roman times. We visited among others Djimla forest, the gorge of Constantine and the the area of Biskra at the borders of the Sahara.
We saw all the specialities we wanted: Barbary Partridge Alectoris barbara, Maghreb Owl Strix mauritanicus, Levaillant's Woodpecker Picus vaillanti, Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopus major nimidiusTunesian Jay Garrulus glandarius cervicalis, Algerian Jackdaw Corvus monedula cirtensis, endemic of Constantine!!), Maghreb Short-toed Treecreeper Certhia brachydactyla mauritanica, Moussier's Redstart Phoenicurus moussieri, Common Bulbul Pycnonotus barbatus, Saharan Scrub Warbler Scotocerca s saharae, Ambiguous Reed Warbler Acrocephalus beaticatus ambiguous, African Desert Warbler Sylvia deserti, Atlas Pied Flycatcher Ficedula speculigera, African Blue Tit Cyanistes ultramarinus, Tunesian Coal Tit Periparus after ledouci, Algerian Nuthatch Sitta ledanti, Atlas Crossbill Loxia curvirostra poliogyna and Greenfinch Chloris chloris chlorotica/voousi

The biggest problem in Algeria is the fact that one cannot take binoculars into the country. Karim provided some, but these were very low quality ones. That means that one cannot study the birds properly and birding is like using your camera and look at the results as on the picture below.

Like this

Due to this it was very difficult to study the crested larks (Crested, Maghreb and Thekla) and the sparrows (House, Spanish and hybrids between them).
Another problem was that my camera didn't work well...Back at home I found out that the camera had a fault that has to be repaired...

Algerian Nuthatch

Maghreb Owl

Levaiilant's Woodpecker

putative Maghreb Lark

another putative Maghreb Lark (Enno Ebels)

African Desert Warbler

Algerian Jackdaw

African Blue Tit (Enno Ebels)

Atlas Flycatcher (Enno Ebels)

Atlas Chaffinch (Enno Ebels)

Ambiguous Reed Warbler (Enno Ebels)

Tunesian Jay

Moussier's Redstart

 Black-winged Stilt

 Western Olivaceous Warbler

Alpine Swift

Corn Bunting


Ruddy Shellduck

Maghreb Short-toed Treecreeper

Rock Sparrow

Atlas Crossbill

White-headed Ducks (Enno Ebels)

Yelkouan Shearwaters (Enno Ebels)

pure Rock Pigeon? (Enno Ebels)

Golden Jackal

May 26, 2019

long weekend in the netherlands

My daughter and I were a long weekend in Groningen in the north of the Netherlands. Doing so I had the opportunity to do some birdwatching with my brother Sybrand and  friend Lazar Brinkhuizen. Only in the community of the city we saw a pair of Pallid Harriers, heard to Baillon's Crakes, 'thousands of Water Rails, three or four Spotted Crakes and a fine, singing Iberian Chiffchaff. Belwpow a picture of Black-necked Grebe, which is common around the city...

adult Black-necked Grebe

Apr 19, 2019

Little Ringed Plover

Easter holidays, beautiful weather, to Herdla on a family tour. And the Little Ringed Plover still present. Only my second in Hordaland.
Otherwise quiet, due to the beautiful weather. A Black-backed Wagtail between the tens of White is worth mentioning.

Little Ringed Plover

Mar 19, 2019

This Woodcock was catched by one of my cats Garibaldi, but I managed to save it. Nice species  (nr 60) for my house list!

Oct 3, 2018

Mediterranean Gull in Bergen

After a long break with lots of work at home as well as at work, I could go out and see this fine gull at the Lille Lungegårdsvannet in the center of Bergen. First winter Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus. Only the fifth for Hordaland and new for my Bergen list.

May 12, 2018

Cirl Bunting

A singing male Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus is lingering in the south of the Netherlands for some weeks now... Not a difficult choice what to do. So today my dad, brother and I twitched it. Nice views of the rather active bird.

Cirl Bunting

Back in the north the White-throated Wagtail was still present as well as a Squacco Heron. The nice weather produced a lot of bird activity, which made the birding worth while...

Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides

Western Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava

 Black-tailed Godwit Limosa l limosa

Stonechat Saxicola rubicola

May 11, 2018

White-throated Wagtail

Robin and I are visiting the Netherlands and I have some time to bird. So, on thursday I went with my brother and father to see this nice male  Italian White throated Wagtail Motacilla c cinereocapilla. (Dutch Birding is treating many wagtail-taxa as full species). The bird  is holding territory during the last few weeks near the city of Groningen. Due to bad weather only a record shot below...

White-throated Wagtail (photo below on a different day)

May 6, 2018

Caspian Gull still present

The Bergen Caspian Gull was still present today. Saw it only swim, but managed to get a beter picture, though...

May 5, 2018

Caspian Gull in Bergen

Who else than Arild Breistøl found this second calendar year Caspian Gull on the Tveitevannet in Bergen, only 5 minutes from my house. It showed much sings of wear in the wings as it should in this age. New bird for me for Norway...

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans

Apr 16, 2018

Sahara Atlantique (du Maroc), a week in the desert

The last week of march I made a trip with Enno Ebels, Eric Koops and Lodi Nauta to the desert in the Western Sahara. Western Sahara is occupied by Morocco and has been political unstable a long time. But the last ten years or so it has been rather stable and the UN has cleared large areas from landmines. That being so the area has openend for foreign visitors, mostly birdwatchers. In the true desert one can find birds that are otherwise difficult to find in the Western Palearctic.
Deep into the desert is a dry oued or wadi, Oued Jenna, that holds some of these birds: Golden Nightjar Caprimulgus eximius, Cricket Warbler Spiloptila clamans and Sudan Golden Sparrow Passer luteus.
We saw these birds, albeit with some difficulty. Along the coast at the Dakhla bay one can find another speciality of the region, African Royal Tern Sterna albididorsalis. We saw a maximum of 26 birds.
Other nice typical (desert) birds we saw were: Crowned Sandgrouse Pterocles coronatus, Western Reef Heron Egretta gularis gularisCream-coloured Courser Cursorius cursor,  Atlas Long-legged Buzzard Buteo refinus cirtensisPharao Eagle Owl Bubo ascalaphus, Lanner Falcon Falco biarmicus, Desert Grey Shrike Lanius elegans, Brown-necked Raven Corvus ruficollis, lots of larks like African Dunn's Lark Eremelauda dunni, Maghreb Lark Galerida macrorhyncha and Black-crowned Sparrow-lark Eremopterix nigriceps, Pale Crag Martin Pytyoprogne obsoleta presaharica, African Desert Warbler Sylvia deserti, Western Subalpine Warbler Sylvia inornataWestern Olivaceous Warbler Iduna opaca, Saharan Olivaceous Warbler Iduna pallida reiseriSeebohm's Wheatear Oenanthe seebohmi, Red-rumped Wheatear Oenanthe moesta and Desert Sparrow Passer simplex. (All birds in red were new taxa to me). More pictures under the world button!

Also the third Fieldfare Turdus pilaris and eighth Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus for the country!!

male Seebohm's Wheatear

Crowned Sandgrouse

African Desert Warbler

Dunn's Lark

Desert Grey Shrike

Western Subalpine Warbler

Golden Nightjar (Eric Koops)

Cream-coloured Courser

Desert Sparrow

White-crowned Black Wheatear

Black Wheatear

African Royal Terns

African Royal Tern

Cricket Warbler

Maghreb Lark (Eric Koops)