Not much news has to be good news eh? They might not be doing very much, moving very far or giving us any spills, thrills, excitement nor angst, but the key important thing is that our young ospreys are doing well, so far. Caledonia is still in Spain in the Seville area and Alba is still island-hopping on the Senegalese coast.
Alba moved from the mainland and spent the last three days moving around the small islands off the coast of Senegal, whilst Caledonia movements, such as they are, are as follows; 27 Sept: Spent all day around the Parque del Alamillo on the N outskirts of Seville. 28 Sept: She moved back to the rural areas 12.5 km NE of Seville and roosted close to a small ‘man made’ triangular lake. Stocked with fish perhaps, hence her interest? 29 Sept: There are some missing data points but she appears not to have moved too far, and roosted overnight in the same spot as 28 Sept.
Meantime, here on the Rez, the signs of autumn strengthen. The colours are fantastic, especially the bracken (above) and blaeberry (below). Most birches have turned brown, yellow and crispy, and already some are bare of leaves altogether. There's a bumper crop of rowan berries awaiting the winter thrush arrival, but still they haven't begun to show! Maybe there's a bumper crop for them back home, from whence they'll eventually come, which is delaying their shift to pastures new? The stag rut gains momentum. I was woken in the night last night by two or three rival stags roaring and moaning at each other in the darkness close to my house. Did I mind being stirred from my slumber by such a racket? Not a bit, it was wonderful to lay there listening to them. I only wish I had actually bothered to get out of bed and look outside, because this morning I discovered that there had been an Aurora-watch red-alert issued for last night. Had I bothered to get up, I might have seen the Northern Lights too. Now that really would have been a brilliant "double" - bellowing stags and Aurora together, bah!
A couple of blogs ago, I reported a wayward gannet in my garden! Well not quite in my garden, but flying over my garden's airspace, which by my rules counts as an addition to the house-list. That took me to 96 species recorded, and it happened to be an Abernethy Reserve "first". Well on Saturday morning, I clocked-up another species for the garden, taking me to 97 - Green Woodpecker. Now, not so special-a-bird to many of you I'm guessing, but they are not a common bird up here in Hyperborea. According to Roy Dennis' book Birds of Badenoch & Strathspey the first accepted records for the area were as recently as the early 1970s, and considered to be colonists from Perthshire to our south. The first ever juveniles were seen in 1978 when birds were present in 6-8 localities. There were 10 sites in the eaerly 1980s and some birds were still present in early to mid-1990s, but thereafter there seems to have been a complete crash of these early colonists and the bird is largely absent now. The most recent and last reserve record was 25th August 2011, until now mine on 29th September 2012. I didn't actually see it - which was a shame, as they are particularly gorgeous - it too woke me up, calling, but again, by my rules that counts. So, just three species to go to reach a house-list of 100. My next species prediction? A fly-over migrating crane, would be my guess, and long-held hope.
More news on Caledonia & Alba, later in the week. Will Caley still be in Seville? She's got to move sometime soon, surely?
neither by ship nor on foot would you find the marvellous road to the assembly of the Hyperboreans. good job we have google earth!!! marvellous blog again Richard
Great stuff! Thank you Richard.
Never having seen a crested tit down here at least I can say green wood peckers are regulars. I don't get siskins either :( ah well.
I'm very happy that both our birds are doing well and RD's YD too - wonderful.
Richard, do ospreys ever scavenge for food? I thought about dead fish being washed up on the banks or beside a river during the recent flooding in Andalucia, which as you know includes Seville. Assuming the dead fish was fresh, not 'off'?
Another lovely colourful blog, Richard. Thank you. Great to hear the ospreys are doing fine. Long may it last.
At last I can see the comments again after months when my old PC wouldn't let me find them. Thank you, new computer - we make a good team! Thank you, Richard, for updating us on Caledonia and Alba, as well as all the wonderful sights and sounds of Abernethy Forest!
jsb - yes osprey are known to scavenge food.. Dundstan T.C (1974) Feeding activities of ospreys in Minnesota - Wilson Bulletin 86 74-76, states, recently dead and dying fish are scavenged on occasion.
Thank you, Richard. Good to know the girls are well. Also good to note that my poor old PC which dislikes Google Chrome is now allowing me to see the blogs, but is reluctant to show me the live video. I'll have to sort that one out before next March!
Thanks Richard for the update on Alba and Cally, good to know they're still doing well. Love the pics :)
Thanks Richard for the colourful blog and update of Caledonia and Alba, glad to hear that the girls are doing fine. Maybe you could list your sighted birds in your garden/airspace for us all to peruse with ooohs and aaaahs..... You get quite a selection from what I can remember so far.
thank you Richard for a once again lovely blog , good to hear the girls are settled and well . Thank goodness no more Ospreys have gone missing after losing 13 from Bassenthwaite and also 09 from Rutland . I am off to Exmoor this month - going on a Johnny Kingdom 'safari' so hoping to see rutting stags something I have never seen 'live' . Love the autumn colours , not so sure about the leaves in my garden thou , picked up a sack full yesterday and I think maybe 20 ish more to go yet !!!!
Once again, thank you Richard. I thought that with the Spanish storms, Cally would have moved on.
Your Autumn is obviously more advanced than our's in E. Sussex. The birch are still full of green leaves, although the young blackbirds are already stripping the rowan berries, even though the adult birds are on the fields eatin the seed heads after the harvest. Yes, Green Woodpecker are common here but glad to hear that you have spotted one to increase your garden bird list. My brother had a hoopoe in his Kent garden yesterday, so he couldn't wait to tell me that he had a 'garden bird' that I had never had here.
Good to see photos Richard-keep it up. I see that one of Roy's new chicks has left Barnstable after a months rest and is now on the way to Africa.
Hopefully Cally is building up her body weight but might stay in Spain, will be interesting to see what she does whilst her sister is enjoying her coastal holiday.
It has been very interesting following our birds south to see who goes like a bullet and who has little holidays on the way.
Valerie-you will love Exmore-spent all my childhood living in Exeter. Don't get caught out by the height of the cliif roads in North Devon. Iffacombe is a must to visit.
Thanks Richard for a very informative blog. Good to see nature in the autumn exerting itself with ruts, colours and Aurora to boot - fantastic.
Glad to see that Caledonia and Alba are safe and enjoying their surroundings.
Jillian thank you , I love North Devon and have been several times but not for many years so looking forward to revisiting Lynton Lynmouth and particularly Oare church and that area , have spent time on holiday in Ilfracombe but dont think I will be going this time - it is all lovely but I am only going for 3 days , mainly looking forward to hanging out with JK - bit of a change from hanging out with RT and LG !!!!!!!