Sunday, 3 March 2013

Upland or Bust!

I think there has been far too much dripping about the rain in past days, so I'm going to leave it out. The other side of the coin is each evening, dressed in just a towel (not a pretty sight) I sit on the same balcony eating a variety of marinaded beef, spiced pork, smoked chicken etc along with some of the best bread ever and a glass or two of wine. Doubt there are many in UK, or Eastern Sea-board of the USA doing that at this time. Anyway, ever onward and 'good fortune' once again visited me today as
STEVE and young son LUDOVIK
simply stopped to say hello, as so many people seem to do here.
Out for a jaunt, on Steve's day off as a Security Officer, they asked if I'd like to see some of the countryside a little further away from the town. Now, if I told you the word Savanna sprung to mind, you'd likely not believe it, but with 10/- worth of bunkers added as a gesture of their kindness we were underway. There was some difficulty with language, but bird was fully understood and they seemed to know the terrain I was after, while all the time the boy was fascinated by the binoculars, my hat and hair, do I put 'perfume' on it indeed - "from the mouths of babes"! We started at the football pitch at the edge of town, I had said flat, sparsely vegetated areas might be best but already a good number of
were on the wing
and there was certainly no surprise when the first of a dozen
turned up, this one having bitten off more than it could chew
loosing it as a consequence.
Plenty of WHITE-WINGED SWALLOW looking better,
in the bright sunshine, than I'd seen before.
while this unexpected SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, 
nowhere near the size of an Upland Sandpiper, 
did get the adrenalin pumping momentarily as it flushed from close by.
Our short spell of birding together was over by early afternoon, but having told David of the target birds liking for airstrips he suggested a site described as a Nature Reserve. Later in the day I took the 30 minute walk to the area
which had no signs suggesting a NR
but with low grassland and a number of pools it looked likely to be supporting a 'wintering Wader'.
It was also noticeable that the clouds were gathering and darkening, but no need for worry as someone had left a disused Electricity Sub-Station open and available for shelter.
First on the scene were a group of screeching Parakeets
which I have been trying to convince myself is Sun (Conure) Parakeet,
a bird of myth I won't even believe exists until I see one!
More realistically, it's a BROWN-THROATED PARAKEET
until Mr Penney tells me differently - hope you're tuning in Matey.
wasn't quite as obliging as the female,
the opposite was the case. This is the effect I have on most females.
Although nice to see the 'tinted' breast of this adult
which the book tells me is the 'nominate race' Sturnella militaris.
Then followed another nervous moment, when from some distance
came the call of a Wader.
Always nice to see, but there was another Wader I would rather have seen than
and more, c3 in all, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER
I had wandered over most of the area
but there was a distinct lack of Insects such as these
There was a flock of SHEEP
plus a very smart and obliging
on the way back.
Of course you've heard of Psychedelic Cows!
Bicycles seem to play a big part in the life of this village, and I had intended finding out what make they are as they have seemingly over large circumference wheels and very thin tyres. That's probably why they have this sculpture at the entrance to the village.
An extremely lucky last shot of a
with hackle raised.