Portugal Holidays and others .
Hotel Alcazar Monte Gordo.
White Stork in Stork Alley, Mertola / Castro Verde Rd , Alentejo
Portugal has been, and still is, one of the best birding locations I run these group holidays to. Our base for the week is a quiet resort in the east of the country close to the Spanish border in Monte Gordo.
The four star hotel here is one of the best we use ,with a super location , next to the woods leading to the old ferry port of San Antonio. All meals are buffet style, all rooms have Air Con and a balcony. The staff and management here have looked after the groups very well over the years.
The birding locally is excellent with Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Bustard, Collared Pratincole, Flamingo, Crested Tit, Short Toed Treecreeper and Slender Billed Gull all within walking distance or a 10 minute drive from our base.
On a couple of days we are joined by the Algarve and Alentejo experts , Peter Dedicoat and June Taylor from Algarve Birders. Their extra knowledge is always very welcome no matter how many times we go.
If your looking for a sensibly priced break in a great location with friendly people then this is the place for you !
In 2018 I'm expecting the price , half board with flights from Luton, all transport , guides and reserve costs to be around the £ 675/95 pp.
Contact to register your interest on 07900334371, 01455274173 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Remember you will need to be a member of this travel club for at least 4 weeks befoe you can book. See friends page !
Thanks Ken R.
Health Problem Update.
Good news this week. My consultant say's I have no heart disease and he hopes to repair the valve in the very near future. So I will resell the valve i bought on E Bay for £ 7.50 + £ 10.00 pp to the highest bidder. Thanks for your offers of help and support. Ken R
Surprise Health Problems.
It is with much regret that for health reasons I am unable to lead the September trip to New England . A recent series of investigations have revealed a serious problem with my heart . Some might say I don't have one but according to my consultant he reckons I have but the Mitral valve is in a bad way.
A replacement is now on the cards in the very near future and to reduce the cost to the NHS I have been looking on E Bay for a replacement ( used or new ).
This I hope will not affect any of the UK or European trips already organised but I may require some help with them.
If you can help please contact me. fairly soon. Ken R
This is the man who started what has now become the biggest Birdfair in the world .
Tim Appleton should be pleased with the attendance at the British Birdwatching Fair.
I hope that the members managed to get there on at least one of the 3 days.
I was there meeting old friends and organising our future trips!
Thanks go to Swarovski for there help during the last year.
Scilly Update 2007.
All the news from the Isles Of Scilly is sent to me direct by Neil Glenn .( 13th--20th October)
This week the weather on the islands has been glorious with one day of rain only. The winds have been light from mixed directions. They are all hoping for that late American to appear on Thursday or Friday. The mega's already there, 2 Blackpoll Warblers and a Grey Cheeked Thrush The Grey Cheeked shows for a couple of seconds twice a day but the Blackpolls are much showier.
The Blyth's Pipit is still on Tresco , the Juvenile Rosy Starling is on Gugh, Lapland Bunting around Carn Friers ,The Wilsons Snipe is at Lower Moors ISBG hide, Little Bunting works it's way around the Incinerator, Blyths Reed and Raddes warblers on Brhyer , Short Toed Lark is still on the airfield and the Lesser Yellowlegs is determined to cover the entire the island .
Friday saw the return of Richards Pipit at the windsock with Firecrest's And Red Breasted Flycatchers at various locations on St Mary's
Interesting finds today include Common Crossbill on Bryher, 3 Woodlark on the Tremelethan Trail, Ring Ouzel and Short Eared Owl on St Agnes
( Week 21st -- 27th )
The week started very much the same as the previous. Settled weather and low multi directional wind speeds the main problem. However I have seen all this before and believe me there is still a MEGA waiting to arrive.
Tresco has Lapland Bunting At The Great Pool and Pied Fly at Old Grimsby. St Marys is now the place to be with my favourite Pallas's Warbler around Old Town Church, Firecrest plus 3 Mistle Thrushes -Carn Friers, Penduline Tit - Carreg Dhu, Blackpoll and the Grey Cheeked are still around but getting any views of the Grey Cheeked is now almost impossible. Some birders have spent 6hrs waiting for a sighting with no luck.
Rustic Bunting, Rosy Starling,YBW, Firecrest And Turtle Dove are showing on St Agnes.
St Martins is still underwatched with only 7 birders trawling the island on Monday. Birds seen were Great Northern Diver- Higher Town, YBW- Post Office and Richards Pipit - around the school
Bryher's contribution today is Blyths Reed still at Green Bay.
Worth a mention is the well travelled Spoonbill flying from one island to another on a daily basis
The MEGA has landed today!!!!! Rose Breasted Grosbeak on St Agnes, about time too It's Neil's first "Lifer" this trip and don't think this is the end there is still one more yet.
15 Black Redstarts are on Tresco today along with the long staying YBW
St Agnes has The Rose Breasted Gros ,Rosey Starling and that possible Veery
Now where has that possible VEERY vanished too ????? I think It's still there. They are real "skulkers" i've seen them in the States and they are just that.
Neil took his party on a Pelagic today .It's not the best time to attempt this but the birds seen were Long Tailed Skua, Adult Little Gull and 5 Great Skua's. Not so bad after all.
The islands also have a large number of Siskins this year. In Neil's words, every bush tree and hedgerow has one in it. Yellow browed's also have a larger than usual presence with 20 birds around.
Neil and his party of 6 left the Islands on Friday 26th. I'm sure he will let us have his report soon.
Get yourself ready for an overnight dash to Cornwall in the next few days. Contact me if you feel you can make it with me. IT CAN STILL HAPPEN.
Majorca List 2007.
At 133 Species this is one of our best lists so far from Majorca. Once again we had a great group with 3 complete beginners , you can imagine what they got out of it ! . Who knows next year .I've been offered the chance to go with a tour company so at this time it does look as if the club will not be going .That's unless somebody wants' to take it?? ( GUESS WHAT! I THINK IT'S GOING AGAIN )
The special bird on this years trip. The Golden Eagle was still showing it's" Jessies"
Natures Calendar Filming.
Jenny Craddock has been in touch with an update on our starring roles in the programme. Both herself and the executives are very pleased with the finished film. They are confident that it will be shown on more than one occasion during the next few years. Neil and myself are signing autographs soon ,I will let you all know!
All Correspondence should be sent to my publicist MAX!!
Sitting On " Archie "
Sunday the 17th was a strange day for me when it started with a juvenile Artic Skua in a paper bag being handed in at Holmes Obs. It was given to RSPB Titchwell in the morning after being discovered on the beach exhausted. To get a good view of this bird we had to sit on " Archie " well not exactly sit on him but his new seat outside the obs it's got a plaque on it that states " A Birder NOT a Twitcher " . If he was still here I could remind him of 1999 on "Aggie" running to the post office to see the Whites Thrush. Still, it's a great position to see all the migrants on route so with that in mind we must all just-
Keep On Birding Ken R
Red Veined Darters!
Just phoned Mike Thomas but no reply. Carl Baggott and I had two immature Red-veined Darters at the northern end of Huncote Embankment late this morning. They were in the sheltered area between the bank and the hedge. I put the news out on Birdguides but they don't seem to have included it on their latest page as yet otherwise Birdline midlands, etc might have picked up on the message.
We have also seen grass snakes over the last couple of weeks in the same area as the darters around the piles of chippings where they had to cut down the trees under the power lines last year.
A Great day @Titchwell
Yes it was definitely a superb day @ the UK'S leading reserve Fred B , Charlie D, Tony Eaton and myself did the whole day @ Titchwell . It was one of the best day's we have ever had as a club. Passing all our Knowledge on to the beginners is very rewarding . To witness people walking away from the hides talking about the things they have learnt in our company really make it all worthwhile . Thanks must go to the RSPB for agreeing to let us into their hides and Neil Glenn for his help over the last year
Thank's again Keep On Birding Ken R
Book signing@ Titchwell
Sunday's the day the club members are at Titchwell to support Neil Glenn at his book signing and offer the beginners all the help they need to identify some of the more difficult species on the reserve. It's a great day for the profile of the club with the promise of media coverage for the event and massive satisfaction for our members. Any members who feel they can help should contact me NOW!!
Keep on Birding Ken R
Titchwell for the day !
When we came up with the idea of going into the hides at Titchwell for the day everything seemed fine . But to spend the day answering all those awkward questions on ID struck total fear into the members hearts.
Just 3 of us were prepared to face the crowds, Charlie, Mike Thomas & myself . It was much better than we expected, no it was better than that, it was fantastic!! with birds and birders coming from all directions. Red Phal, Wood Sand , Green Sand Common Sand, Bearded tits, Water Rail and Garganey all performing for the beginners.
The RSPB were happy , we were happy and the birders we helped were certainly happy. What can I say? that's easy ,were doing it again on August 13th along with Neil Glenn and the latest book signing. I just can't wait.
Keep On Birding Ken R
Damselflies On The Ashby Canal
This last weekend Carl Baggott and I finally got round to doing what we'd been threatening to do for a couple of years and had a good look along a stretch of the canal to see whether White-legged Damselflies were in attendance in any sort of numbers. On Saturday we checked from Stoke Golding to Shenton (parking a car at each end) and on Sunday we did Nutts Lane, Hinckley to Stoke Golding.
We started a fraction too early on Saturday and the weather wasn't so good on Sunday but we still managed to score over 30 individuals just on the towpath side. As there was more continuous vegetation on the other side it's fair to presume that the numbers would have been at least double those that we recorded. Many of the individuals were freshly-emerged tenerals and immatures so the peak numbers are probably yet to occur. Some of the photos we took are on the Surfbirds insect gallery, 2 or 3 pages in, now.
We also had five Red-eyed Damselflies around some of the very few water-lilies on the canal near to Shenton and several Black-tailed Skimmers along with Broad-bodied Chasers. Also we saw a few Water Voles and there was evidence - holes, droppings, etc.- of quite a good population.
All in all a successful survey. The County dragonfly maps show clusters of records of White-legs all along both the Grand Union and Grantham Canals so now we can fill in the gap for our part of the County.
If you know anyone who wants to do something similar - or even the next section onto Snarestone - the parking of cars at each end is really useful. It only took us a few minutes at each end of the morning to drive between Shenton and Stoke but the walk in one direction was three hours (at a leisurely pace, counting, photographing, etc. of course!)
The following list was compiled by myself hindered by Fred Burton & Charlie Dobbs.It was Dark , Damp & Dismal and that's just Fred & Charlie. They started @ 09.00 and finished in the dark (approx 16.05) collecting a credible total of 105 species. Not a bad result carrying the burden of a very late New Years Eve party.
LITTLE GREBE GREAT CRESTED CORMORANT LITTLE EGRET GREY HERON
MUTE SWAN PINK FOOT WHITE FRONT GREYLAG BRENT
BLACK BRANT EGYPTIAN SHELDUCK MANDARIN WIGEON
GADWALL TEAL MALLARD PINTAIL SHOVELER
POCHARD TUFTED SCAUP C SCOTER VELVET SCOTER
GOLDEREYE R B MERGANSER MARSH HARRIER SPARROWHAWK MERLIN
RED LEG PART GREY PART PHEASANT GOLDEN PHESANT WATER RAIL
MOORHEN COOT AVOCET RINGED PLOVER GOLDEN P
LAPWING KNOT SANDERLING DUNLIN RUFF
SNIPE WOODCOCK BLACK WIT BAR WIT CURLEW
SPOT SHANK REDSHANK B H GULL COMMON GULL MED GULL
G B GULL HERRING G ROSS'S GULL STOCK DOVE COLLARED D
BARN OWL LITTLE OWL KINGFISHER SKYLARK HORNED LARK
MEADOW PIP WHITE WAG WREN DUNNOCK ROBIN
STONECHAT SONG T REDWING MISTLE T FIELDFARE
BLACKBIRD CHIFFCHAFF GOLDCREST GREAT T BLUE T
COAL T MARSH T LONG TAILED T BEARDED T NUTHATCH
MAGPIE JAY JACKDAW ROOK CARRION C
STARLING HOUSE S CHAFFINCH BRAMBLING LINNET
TWITE REDPOLL GOLDFINCH GREENFINCH SISKIN
BULLFINCH REED BUNT SNOW BUNT YELLOW H CORN BUNT
The Belted King!
You can imagine my delight when news broke on Friday afternoon of a male BELTED KINGFISHER @ Shugborough particularly through no fault of my own I missed the last one. Sticking ,as all good twitchers do, to the statutory speed limit I covered the 32 miles in 30 mins. This was no mean feat around the back lanes of Staffordshire and the centre of Litchfield but it was well worth a change of underwear to see the KING! Fortunately or unfortunately, depending how your list's going, the KING! had vanished at dawn and as far as I know only 2 members of this club saw it, new member Neil Glenn and yours truly. Never mind there's always the next one. ( Damn, the KING has reared It's ugly head Aberdeen. All I can say is don't believe everything you get on those pagers )
Keep On Birding Ken R
Best Result @ Derby For Years!
Without a doubt the best result at the county ground in years ( me being a Leicester supporter) was the unexpected arrival of a magnificent Male Dartford Warbler during the last week of January05. Fred Burton and myself were witness to a superb display of searing runs down the left, dream crosses from one side to the other, stout defending and then went on in the second half to score with all the gathered crowd. How jealous are we that it failed to appear @ the Walker, still there's always next time perhaps we will get the winner in the end!
Keep On Birding Ken R !
Purple Martin "Miss"
Just you try and guess who it was that travelled for 6hrs, covered 450 miles heading north, only to have the Purple Martin head south. Dip, Dip !
Congratulations must go to Pete Johnston for his prompt action that stopped a national company destroying House Sparrows nest's in Stoney Stanton . Pete noticed that UK POWER LINES LTD were removing all the Ivy from pole's along Huncote Rd, he knew that in the Ivy house sparrows were nesting . Pete rang me at work and I immediately informed the company of their obligations under the Wildlife & Countryside Act . This act clearly states that if any contractor or company knowingly destroys protected birds nests they are committing an offence. This prompted them into action (well it would, let's face it I told them nests were there) contacting the site and instructing them to stop cutting . They then called me back with a solution, namely to cut the Ivy at the base of the poles leaving it to die back naturally , this I agreed and they then contacted the site to give them the new instructions. What a result ! And all this would never have happened if Pete had not bothered to be so concerned ." Well Done Pete" top marks to you and a big Get Well Soon from all the members to Maureen after her recent operation.
The Stoney Stanton Raven!
First seen by the Stanton postmaster Paul Fisher, this strange addition to the village list has arrived in the last month . If it's the same bird , and we think it is , it was discovered on Fosse Meadows in the early part of the month by Mike Thomas. Our theory is that it is probably the offspring from the pair around Bradgate. We know that it has visited Croft but now seems to have settled around the cove. Just maybe , it might bring a partner next year ,what a record for Stanton if it does!! I just wish we could find a breeding record for the last Raven in the area, let's face their must have been one. Raven's were in most villages at the beginning of the 19th century, the most famous being the re-introductions at the Tower Of London. As for the two spotters, keep it up lads you are doing a great job
Keep On Birding Ken R 30/05/04
America September 2003
THIS IS A LIST OF THE BIRDS SEEN ON OUR RECENT TRIP TO
NEW HAMPSHIRE- MAINE & MASSACHUSETTS
These birds were all seen by a group of dedicated alcoholics ,Tramps & criminals , who travel under the collective
name of BURBAGE BIRDERS . We also enjoyed the company of resident American birders who unfortunately
forgot to bring their wallets. Don't worry , in the words of your great ARNIE "weel be back"!!
Great Northern Diver (Common Loon) Mourning Dove Risoís Dolphin
Greater Shearwater Belted Kingfisher Minke Whale
Northern Gannet Red-headed Woodpecker Finn Whale
Double-crested Cormorant Downy Woodpecker Moose
Great Blue Heron Hairy Woodpecker Skunk
Great Egret Northern Flicker Chipmunk
Snowy Egret Eastern Wood Peewee Woodchuck
Green heron Eastern Phoebe Red Squirrel
Canada Goose Eastern Kingbird Grey Squirrel
Wood Duck Blue Jay Spade Foot Toad
Mallard American Crow Monarch
American Black Duck Fish Crow
American Wigeon Common Raven
Blue Winged Teal Barn Swallow
Green Winged Teal Tree Swallow
Common Eider Black Capped Chickadee
Bufflehead Tufted Titmouse
Hooded Merganser White-breasted Nuthatch
Turkey Vulture Red-breasted Nuthatch
Osprey House Wren
Northern Goshawk Marsh Wren
Sharp-shinned Hawk Winter Wren
Cooperís Hawk Golden Crowned Kinglet
Northern Harrier American Robin
Broad-winged Hawk Grey Catbird
Red-tailed Hawk Northern Mockingbird
American Kestrel Cedar Waxwing
Merlin European Starling
Peregrine Magnolia Warbler
Wild Turkey Black-throated Green Warbler
Sora Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-bellied Plover Blackpoll Warbler
Killdeer Bay-breasted Warbler
Semipalmated Plover Black & White Warbler
Piping Plover (Cool) American Redstart
Greater Yellowlegs Common Yellowthroat
Lesser Yellowlegs Connecticut Warbler ( eat your heart out Mark S )
Solitary Sandpiper Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Spotted Sandpiper Northern Cardinal
Sanderling Eastern Towhee
Red Knot Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow
Dunlin Savannah Sparrow
Pectoral Sandpiper Seaside Sparrow
White-rumped Sandpiper Song Sparrow
Bairdís Sandpiper White-throated Sparrow
Semipalmated Sandpiper Red-winged Blackbird
Least Sandpiper Common Grackle
Snipe (Wilsonís?) Brown-headed Cowbird
Great Skua House Sparrow
Bonaparte's Gull American Goldfinch
Laughing Gull House Finch
Ring Billed Gull Purple Finch
Yellow Legged Gull
Great Black Backed Gull
Rock Dove (Feral Pigeon)