From the 19th to 21st of July I was at a friend's wedding in Spain, not far from Madrid so other than the airport I enjoyed rural surroundings, the constant buzz of insects and village plazas for my short time there. This was in no way a wildlife watching trip, but naturally my eyes were peeled and I picked up a few good bits. Birds of prey were enjoying the hot thermals, although I could only get a positive ID on a Red-footed Falcon. I had what I think was a Spanish Imperial Eagle, surrounded by many smaller Raptors, high in the sky over farmland. Much easier to ID were Great White and Little Egret, White Stork and Bee Eater. Despite the intense heat and late nights of beer and fine dining I did manage a walk out into farmland. A Shrike on wires was perhaps a Red-backed, and a Clouded Yellow flew right past me, a new species altogether. On doing some research it would seem this was probably a Berger's Clouded Yellow. I also encountered a Marbled Skipper, another new Butterfly. There many smaller Blue Butterflies, Chalkhill I think, although the full suite of features could not be obtained. So, an excellent few days and Spain remains at the top of the list for next year's honeymoon. Cadiz area sounds great, perhaps slightly cooler too!
Back home, I have completed part 2 of my NBMP survey in Thorpe St. Andrew. This time I was accompanied by Johny Prochera, thoroughly nice chap who like me enjoys escaping into the wilderness. On Monday 22nd, we had 6 Noctule Passes, 1 unsure and 3 Common Pip passes. Not quite as productive as last time, but the heavy cloud cover meant the Noctules would have been out even earlier so perhaps we missed the real action. The evening ended with light drizzle too, again perhaps a factor in the Bat's behaviour. Next- the NBMP waterway survey.
First- a trip to Lynford to nail these Two-barred Crossbill!