Saturday, 6 November 2010

finaly some good birds, 1st november

I've seen to much between my last post and the 1st November...Only 1 waxwing and 1 yellow-browed warbler in Zeebrugge and a flock of waxwings in flight over my garden. At least it's a garden and self-found tick.

On Monday I decided to go to Dunkerque (France) and not in Zeebrugge. I started very late (7:00). It’s not a bad choice because when we were on the highway in Lille (Fr) a flock of 40 WAXWINGS passed just in front of the car !!On the coast, There was a big migration of chaffinch and starling but few song birds in the bushes. I began by the the western jetty. Only 2 robins, 5 reed bunting, 2 skylark and a group of linnet and goldfinch…no big arrival of song birds...I decided to go west of Dunkerque, a less birded area.
I tried 2 unknow spot that were looking good on Google Maps. The first was fenced off but it's possible to see somes trushes and crests. The second was full of hunter (the very big problem here…).
I went to Grand-Fort-Philippe. The park was completely empty and a very stupid guy was walking on the little protected beach with his two dogs…flushing all the birds including 2 brent goose and 3 lapland bunting. The problem is that the area surrounding the protected beach are also full of hunter... In Oye-plage, the usual waterbirds (I didn’t saw the cattle egret which is there for a few days) and the usual tens of hunters all around the nature reserve…
I was sick and tired of all theses hunters and gun shot and I decided to go to the Clipon (Eastern jetty) to do somes seawatching. At this time I received the news that Christophe Gruwier while guiding a group of birder has just found a Pallas’s warbler in the park of Nieuwpoort (Belgian coast) ! Great ! I was there a big half hour later. Christophe was eating his lunch with his group and there was only a few birders there. Most of them hadn’t seen the bird yet. After more than an hour searching still no sign of the bird… Then Christophe came back in the park and relocated the bird after only a few minutes! We saw the bird well for a few minutes before loosing it again…In the estuary next to the park, good numbers of waders : golden, grey and ringed plover, bar-tailed godwit, eurasian curlew, common redshank, dunlin and a late spoonbill but nothing rare.
here is a very bad record shot of the pallas's warbler :

Johan Buckens "The Pallas-Machine" took somes good pics the next day

I went to Oostende to see the long-tailed duck. It’s a Belgian tick but I've seen them often in France and Netherland
I finaly went to the Weiden Pompje before sunset but I'd no luck with the white-tailed eaglebut there was a lot of birds : hundreds of golden plover and curlew, somes snipes, dunlins, tens of ruffs, a green sandpiper, 1 peregrine falcon, somes flock of white-fronted geese in flight and 1 lapland bunting (self-found tick!)

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Rough-Legged Buzzard nearly on my garden list! 17th october

On the 11th 10,000 buzzards passed over falsterbo (with 500 red kite)
On the 12th it was 355 rough-legged buzzards
and on the 13th not less than 1202 rough-legged buzzard!!

I first planned to go on the coast on sunday but Saturday late afternoon the first big flock of common buzzard arrived in the north of Belgium. It's very cloudy (nearly dark!) at home thus I didn't see anything. more than 1000 buzzard passed a single spot in Netherland in 3 hours!! I decided to just watch the sky near my home on Sunday...

Sadly, unlike most of Belgium, It was still very cloudy here on Sunday...

In one hour in the morning :

27 greylag goose
1 sparrowhawk
116 lapwings
117 skylark
3 wood larks
9 meadow piptit
27 white wagtail
1 grey wagtail
3 song trush
29 redwings
24 starlings
34 chaffinch
4 brambling

It was niet good for raptors then I decided to return to my home and wait for a little sun...and on the way at 300m from home, a buzzard passed nearly over my head very low to the south. A beautiful 1cy Rough-Legged Buzzard !!! Only my second in Belgium and a Self-found tick! about 15 were seen that day in Belgium!!!

In late morning, it's finally sunny during one hour but there were very few raptors (100 to 350 common buzzards on other spots...) :

1 hen harrier
5 buzzards
1 sparrowhawk
20 great cormorant
232 skylarks
3 woodlarks
10 meadow pipits
8 white wagtail
12 redwings
25 chaffinch
2 brambling
1 great tit
9 coal tits
1 siskin
1 hawfinch (flying north)

in the afternoon (again cloudy) I watched the resting birds in the fields :

at least 7 common buzzards
2 sparrowhawk
200 lapwings
100 lesser black-backed gull
40 white wagtail
5 coal tit
15 goldfinch
3 reed buntings

and during this time on migration :

1 merlin
19 skylarks
28 meadow pipit
24 white wagtail
6 reed buntings

On monday it's finaly sunny but there were only the last buzzards...

In 3 hours of skywatching I saw :

1 hen harrier
12 common buzzard
2 sparrowhawk
10 lapwing
44 skylarks
8 wood lark
4 swallows
11 meadow pipit
9 white wagtail
2 song trush
3 blue tit
3 tree sparrow
132 chaffinch
11 linnets

Thursday, 14 October 2010

big loose in Zeebrugge 7-10th october

Looking at the chart, there were easterlies from Friday to Sunday and thus I went to Zeebrugge from Thursday afternoon to Sunday!       

On Thursday, there were few birds but a yellow-browed warbler was found by Johan Buckens in The Hedge of Heist. I decided to not search it because it’ll be difficult to relocate and I thought I'll see several the next three days! Result of the afternoon : 6 green sandpiper (from the train), 8 chiffchaff, 1 fire and 20 goldcrest, 25 song trush, 36 robins, 1 late pied flycatcher, 7 dunnocks and 5 siskins.
On Friday, it’s still dark when I arrived in Zeebrugge but I could already heard lots of call of song trush, firecrest and robin. I walked along the jetty, more than 10 birds in the very little shrubs (goldcrests, robins and 1 reed bunting) wow looks good! In the bushes on the beach of Zeebrugge and the parking of the station, lots of goldcrest, robin, song trush, chiffchaff,…Then I did the line of trees near the Strandwijk tram stop : nothing! Birds are really coming from the sea! A Barred warbler was found in the bushes on the beach of Heist and I decided to have a quick look.  En route a red-backed shrike was also found near the beach of Heist. When I arrived I immediately saw Patrick Beirens taking pictures of the shrike and he told me that he hasn’t seen the barred warbler and that someone claimed a red-breasted flycatcher in The Hedge of Heist. I decided to go first in the Hedge but like other birders no flycatcher… I went to the beach of Heist, It’s incredible, maybe 40 birds in that little bush, mostly goldcrest and robin but no barred warbler. Strange hundreds of birds and still no yellow-browed warbler found anywhere…. I went to the beach of Duinbergen and in the park behind thinking that there will be lots of birds there too and maybe no birder... in fact there were very few birds there but at least 5 other birders! still no YB warbler anywhere and I decided to do the best spot for this species, the Fishers Cross Park. This park and also the nearby Navy base park were full of goldcrests also somes chiffchaff, 2 wilow warbler, 10 blackcap, 1 garden warbler, 1 reed warbler and 3 common redstart but still no YB warbler...I thought that maybe no birders went to Blankenberge yet and decided to go there... And finally a Yellow-Browed was found in the little Sea-Life Park in Blankenberge when I was waiting for the tram. When I arrived , the finder  was still there and said to me that the bird has just flew behind somes little shrubs. We searched but didn't found the bird again and I thought the only place it could be are the shrubs behind a fence...to see it better I went nearthe swimming pool and saw 4 dead song trushes along the windows, sad view! But there was also a little bird...I went closer : shit it's the YB warbler!! fucking swimming pool!!!!!!! I Finally went to the dunes between Blankenberge and Wenduine in the evening…lots of birds there too : goldcrest, chiffy, robins,…and then : oh that's a flycatcher! shit it flew off after half a second and was against the sun…but that looked good for a red-breasted. The area was really difficult to see and after somes times I decided to phone Johan and Billyan not normally accessible place..what to do ? waiting here that the bird come again in the little shrubs or find a way to enter the area ? I waited a bit but the bird didn’t show again and I found a way to enter the area a few hundreds meters from the sightings. I phoned Johan Buckens and Billy but they were already at home thus I’s alone and the sunset was in 1 hour…I didn’t saw anything else than robins, song thrushes and goldcrests…shit !
dead yellow-browed warbler, Sealife - Blankenberge :-(
Goldcrest, Beach of Heist
Willow warbler, Navy Base - Zeebrugge
Result of the day : 1 red-backed shrike, 1 dead YB warbler, 5 coal tits, 1 reed warbler, 30 chiffchaff, 2 wilow warblers, 10 blackcap, 1 garden warbler, 20 firecrest, 200+ goldcrest, 30 redwings, 150+ robins, 3 common redstart, 5 brambling and 5 siskin + somes migrating skylarks, meadows and 1 tree pipits
Saturday was the same as Friday but with a bit less new birds and nothing of note. No more common redstart but my first 2 fieldfare of the autumn.
 
friendly Siskin, dunes between Blankenberge and Wenduine
Goldcrest , dunes between Blankenberge and Wenduine
Sunday, I was with Jean Wauters and Christine Leroux, Very few new birds exept somes song trushes and redwings. I just saw 4 late northern wheatear in the Front Harbour, a species I hadn’t see the previous days. There were also somes big groups of migrating cormorant. In the Afternoon I finally went to Uitkerkse Polder to see the Cattle Egret that's there since mid-september. The team of Peter Adrieans, Hans Matheve and Pieter Vantieghem had more luck with late tawny pipit and lapland bunting in the Zwin and a Richard’s pipit in the back harbour...
migrating Great Cormorant, Sashul - Heist

Goldcrest, Navy Base - Zeebrugge

Cattle Egret, Camping - Uitkerkse polder - Blankenberge



Thursday, 7 October 2010

Visible Migration, 4-5th october

Weather was bad on Monday and Tuesday with lots of clouds but there was a huge migration (mostly of finch) and birds where flying very low due to the clouds.

I counted the migration near my home, between 10 and 12:00 on Monday :

1 RED-THROATED PIPT!!! (Self-found tick!)

75 great cormorant
18 greylag goose
1 sparrowhawk
334 lapwing
98 skylark
20 swallow
166 meadow pipit
3 grey wagtail
19 white wagtail
40 song trush
3 chiffchaff
32 blue tits
76 starling
8 tree sparrow
6-10,000 chaffinch
14 brambling
86 siskin
22 greenfinch
65 linnet
1 hawfinch
16 reed bunting
1 yellowhammer

also somes raptors in the fields : 1 Merlin, 1 Marsh harrier

also between 18:00 and 18:30 :

1 snipe
2 tree pipit
35 meadow pipit
3 white wagtail
31 chaffinch
28 linnets

and also a groupe of 60-70 meadow and a tree pipit in the field!

on Tuesday, 8-11:00 :

291 lapwing
12 snipes
1 collared dove
452 skylark
13 woodlark
1076 meadow pipit
14 tree pipit
74 white wagtail
3 grey wagtail
348 song trush
3 chiffchaff
19 blue tit
3 jay
158 starling
5 tree sparrow
10-15,000 chaffinch
24 brambling
54 siskin
63 goldlfinch
84 linnet
19 reed bunting

Now, it's time to go to Zeebrugge to search siberian passerines for a few days with these easterlies : http://www.windguru.cz/fr/index.php?sc=48332

Saturday, 2 October 2010

First Yellow-Browed Warbler, 28th september

I wanted to see my first Yellow-Browed Warbler of the year before october like I managed to do each year since I search siberian passerines on the Belgian coast.

The First YB warbler fas found Friday 24th september. During the weekend, the strong wind prevented us to search for passerines. The weathear looked very poor for the next weekend and there were lots of birds on monday (incl 4 YB warbler in Zeebrugge) thus I decided to go to Zeebrugge on Tuesday afternoon, the only time I had...I had only 5 hours to see a YB warbler and I didn't know if someone else was searching. I managed too found 1 at the Water Tower (maybe the same as the previous day). There were lots of other birds too :

60-70 robin
1 common and 1 black redstart
70-80 song trush
1 garden warbler
15-20 blackcap
5 willow warbler
30 chiffchaff
15 goldcrest
10 firecrest
5 pied flycatcher
lots of great, blue and some coal tits
10-15 brambling
26 siskins
1 hawfinh !

Friday, 1 October 2010

Seawatching in Northern France 24-26th September

Hi all,

There were again strong NW winds in the North Sea. It's the best seawatching condition for us! It was thus easy to know what to do this weekend : The Clipon (Dunkerque) of course! I was there on Saturday from sunrise to sunshine. The strong wind arrived on Friday late afternoon and the local seawatchers had already great sightings :  6 sooty, 14 manx and 2 balearic shearwaters, 3 leach's storm-petrel, 2 pomarines, 1 long-tailed and 51 arctic skua in a few hours.



On Saturday, the numbers were not very high but the quality was there with lots of good birds very close. That's the advantadge of a big jetty, the disadvantadge is that we are also close to the waves and this time, we had a really huge one, far bigger than the other just after the passage of a sabine's gull...we were soaked through the skin had to run after somes bags that were carrying by the several tens cm of waters, juste before they fell into the sea! There was lots of water on the jetty and we had to run after somes bags and other stuff before they fell into the sea! My camera was out of my bag, I tried to protect it and miraculously it still works well!!

A video of us watching the sabine's gull along the jetty juste before that huge wave :
video

Here are the totals (1st number = Clipon, 2nd = Cape Gris-Nez) : 

Red-throated Diver            20          36    (good numbers for september!!)
Great crested Grebe           8            5
Red-necked Grebe             3            1
Black-necked Grebe          1
Fulmar                               32           5
Sooty Shearwater            74          17
Manx Shearwater              10          10
Balearic Shearwater                          4
Leach's Storm-Petrel      21           3       (we expected bigger number of this species)
British Storm-Petrel         1                     (very well seen, my best sighting of the species here!)
Gannet                             1457      3590
Brent Goose                     187        184
Shelduck                             5           12
Wigeon                              27          44
Gadwall                                            2
Teal                                   43           5
Pintail                                 3           13
Shoveler                             5            2
Eider                                 43          24
Common Scoter               353        702
Red-breasted Merganser                  4
Peregrine Falcon                1             1
Oystercatcher                   21           29
Ringed Plover                                   6
Grey Plover                      62            2
Knot                                  5
Sanderling                         50            3
Purple Sandpiper               1
Dunlin                               61           57
Bar-tailed Godwit            162
Curlew                             12            2
Redshank                          1
Common Sandpiper                          1
Turnstone                                         2
Red-necked Phalarope   1
Grey Phalarope               2             1
Pomarine Skua                19            19
Arctic Skua                     102          169
Long-tailed Skua            9              4
Bonxie                            162          309  
Skua sp.                           6              2
Mediterranean Gull           1
Little Gull                        47            42
Sabine's Gull                  7              6
Kittiwake                       108           224
Sandwich Tern               275           428
Common Tern                695           466
Arctic Tern                     18              13
Little Tern                       1               2
Black Tern                     36              8
Guillemot / Razorbill       17             17

Manx shearwater - Clipon - François Doyen

Gannet - Clipon - François Doyen

intermediate phase Northern Fulmar - Clipon - François Doyen

Sabine's Gull just before the huge wave - Clipon - François Doyen

There was still good sightings on Sunday morning but also lots of rain :

Fulmar                           64        2
Sooty shearwater         7         8
Manx shearwater                       3
Balearic shearwater                   1
Leach's storm-petre     3         1
British storm-petrel      1        1
Gannet                                   1700
Common scoter                       806
Grey phalarope            2
Arctic Skua                   37       56
Long-tailed skua          3         2
Bonxie                          71      140
Sabine's gull                 2         7

More very good pics will probably appear one day here : http://www.leclipon.com/ and
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Seawatch-Clipon-Gris-Nez/124337474283129?ref=ts

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Seawatching, 15-17th september

Hi all,

there was an amazing seabirds migration from the 15th to the 17th september :

+1000 sooty, 200 manx, 140 balearic and 1 GREAT shearwater
20 leach's storm-petrel
2900 gannets
300 arctic, 25 pomarines, 30 long-tailed and 360 great skua
6 sabine's gull
3200 sandwich, 3600 common, 80 black and 1 ROSEATE tern
were seen passing the "Strait of Dover" from the North Sea to the Channel

Like I couldn't go to the best spot, The Clipon in France near Belgian border, I went to Oostende Wednesday and Thursday afternoon but I was at school on Friday. There is far less birds in Oostende but at least I managed to add a bird to my Belgian list (and is also self-found tick!) : a balearic shearwater on Wednesday evening. It's a rare bird here but it's commoner at the French spot.

the seawatching spot in my area are (a map) :

Westkapelle, NL (Westkap) : http://trektellen.nl/trektelling.asp?telpost=3&land=1&site=0&datum=20100917&taal=2
Oostende, Be
De Panne, Be
The Clipon, Fr : http://www.leclipon.com/ & http://trektellen.nl/trektelling.asp?telpost=7&land=3&site=0&datum=20100917&taal=2
Cape Gris-Nez, Fr (CGN) : http://seawatchcgn.free.fr/ & http://trektellen.nl/trektelling.asp?telpost=148&land=3&site=0&datum=20100917&taal=2

on the 14th september, Western wind pushed the birds from the atlantic into the north sea :


on the 15th september, the first pelagic birds arrived in the Strait of Dover but the South-West wind was better for the Cape Griz-Nez (CGN) than the other spot. There is again good wind north of Scotland pushing new birds into the North Sea.



Here is the sighings at each spots :
 

Westkap
Ostende
Panne
Clipon
CGN
hours of seawatching
12:30
4:40
?
4:45
12:20
Red-throated diver




1
Black-throated diver




1
Black-neck/slov grebe




1
fulmar
1



3
Sooty shearwater
64
32
35
174
372
Manx shearwater
37
15
33
22
36
Balearic shearwater

1
2
3
98
Leach’s storm-petrel

1
1


gannet
87
53
?
233
262
eider




1
Common scoter
25

?
44
56
Other duck (all species)
2
3
?

4
kestrel




1
Peregrine falcon




1
hobby
2




Curlew sandpiper




4
Waders (all species)
61
11
?

53
Arctic skua
12
1
2
28
25
Pomarine skua

3


1
Great skua
22
1

4
8
Skua sp.
4
4
2

1
Little gull

50
?


kittiwake



1

Sandwich tern
88
Xx
?
408
332
Common tern
218
Xxx
?
176
702
Arctic tern
4
4
?
1
3
Black tern
17
15
?

20
Razorbill / guillemot



1
4
kingfisher




1


 On the 16th, the wind was awesome in the North Sea with the NW (force 8) coming from Norway to the Netherland but here the wind was still from the west and thus there was again more birds at the CGN but the Clipon was very good with leach's storm-petrel, sabine's gull not seen at the CGN and more long-tailed skua. In Belgium, there was a ROSEATE TERN and again a Balearic shearwater at De Panne




sightings :


Westkap
Ostende
Panne
Clipon
CGN
Hours of seawatching
13:00
12:15
?
13:00
12:15
Red-throated diver



2
2
Black-throated diver



1
2
Sooty shearwater
188
53
11
158
537
Manx shearwater
20
36
29
98
129
Balearic shearwater


1
10
42
Leach’s storm-petrel
2
2

5

gannet
500
109
163
857
1858
Little egret




3
Pink-footed goose




5
eider



3

Common scoter
75
28
13
46
52
Other duck (all species)
43
1
?
4
3
Osprey



1

Marsh harrier



1
1
kestrel

1



Peregrine falcon
1




Merlin




1
Curlew sandpiper



1

Bar-tailed godwit
713




Waders (all species)
942
80
13
183
82
Arctic skua
34
1
28
102
123
Pomarine skua
7
4
2
9
12
Long-tailed skua
6

1
4
1
Great skua
70
12
11
31
132
Skua sp.
9
32
9
14

Mediterranean gull

1



Little gull
3
20
2
1
3
kittiwake


1
16
4
Sabine’s gull
1


1

Sandwich tern
229
86
171
781
1733
Common tern
228
xxx
134
609
1086
Arctic tern
3

1
14
6
Roseate tern


1


Little tern



2
1
Black tern
5
22
2
17
32
Razorbill / guillemot
1
1
2
2
5

On the 17th, the wind was finally NW here too and the best spot was by far The Clipon where a GREAT SHEARWATER was seen, the 6th for the spot and first since 2002!! :



sightings :

 

Westkap
Ostende
Panne
Clipon
CGN
Hours of observations
12:30
9:50
?
12:00
5:20
Red-throated diver



2
1
Diver sp.
1




fulmar
1

1
13

GREAT SHEARWATER



1

Sooty shearwater
23
4
8
171
243
Manx shearwater
8
3
1
56
14
Balearic shearwater


1

3
Shearwater sp.

2



Leach’s storm-petrel
16
12
2
17
1
gannet
73
22
335
789
680
eider



1

Common scoter
49
30
27
116
117
Other duck (all species)
40
3

4

Merlin
3




Dotterel



1

Curlew sandpiper



6

Little stint



1

Bar-tailed godwit
210




Waders (all species)
324
168
17
25
52
Arctic skua
34
19
20
166
53
Pomarine skua
2
13
6
11
6
Long-tailed skua
1
1
1
26

Great skua
33
18
6
239
219
Skua sp.
5
16

17

Mediterranean gull



2

Little gull
2
38



kittiwake

1
15
16

Sabine’s gull
2
1

5

Sandwich tern
414
41
108
1136
295
Common tern
644
360
369
1849
1100
Arctic tern
6
2

14
4
Little tern
4

9
1
2
Black tern
6
3
5
36
28
Razorbill / guillemot
1
1

4
3
Spotted flycatcher
1






Now I wait for the next NW storm and I hope it'll be during the we and that I'll have the possibility to go to the Clipon

FD