I was suprised to see this Roe Deer mid-afternoon at Lower Foulridge, with traffic noise
and dog walkers around, it seemed quite unconcerned. I was even more suprised when
it's young came out from cover, to join it.
Sea and wader watching this afternoon at Spurn with Sean J, turned out to be fairly
productive. We didn't arrive till 14.00 and spent the first two hours sea-watching. Highlights
over the sea: Arctic Skua 12, Bonxie 5, Med' Gull 6.
As it was high tide and quite windy, so we did the wader roost from the Beacon Pond hide.
3 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Barwit, c175 Grey Plover, 200 Redshank, 25 Dunlin,
5 Greenshank, 3 Turnstone and a max' of 30 Knot was a fine collection of waders.
Also on the lagoons were a handful of Common and Sandwich Terns.
A Cuckoo along Beacon Lane was probably the last i'd see this year.
We drove to the narrows and spent the last hour and half of daylight watching the evening
We logged; c2500 Common, c20 Arctic, c150 Sandwich, 9 Black and best of all,
3 Roseate Terns. A Little Egret and 5 Shelduck flew in off the sea along with 10 Swifts.
I only used my camera once and got this record shot of a Med' Gull.
For the last two years, my girlfriend and i, have taken our summer holiday travelling
abroad in our campervan. Last year, we spent time in the French and Andorran
Pyrenees, this year we decided to spend a fortnight travelling from Dunkerque to
Luxembourg, Switzerland, Italy and Austria. In total, we drove just over 3200 miles,
visiting lot's of interesting places. Although this wasn't a birding holiday as such, i
couldn't leave my optics at home!
Herring Gull on the ferry
first camp at Luxermbourg, Esch-Sur-Sure
The village near the campsite had breeding Fieldfare, Hawfinch
and Honey Buzzard
Honey Buzzard (above) mobbed by common Buzzard
Honey Buzzard (below) with Common Buzzard
male and female Honey Buzzards
The next day (Aug 2nd) we visited two villages in Luxembourg before heading for
Switzerland. At the border we had to pay forty euros to drive on the roads. The Swiss
are very good at relieving you of your money!
On route i saw Golden Oriole, White Stork and Honey Buzzard.
picture postcard Swiss village
birding the forest trail
mist draws in
On the morning of the 3rd we visited Grindelwald and spent the morning walking on
one of the forest trails up the mountain. Unfortunately the weather closed in and we
spent a lot of time sheltering from the rain.Whilst doing so i encountered my first Nut-
cracker, which was to be one of many.
Other highlights were the abundance of Crested and Willow Tits and Black Redstart.
A single Pallid Swift was over the town.
Leaving Grindelwald we headed for the Grimsel pass, a very scenic drive in
Switzerland, stopping frequently to take in the outstanding views.
this adult bird was feeding young
Swiss cow meets camper!
The Matterhorn one of Switzerland's highest mountains was next on the visit list and
we spent a full day hiking up to 2500+ metres in plimsoles!
This was the best day of the trip so far, for birds anyway, with the following seen:
Pallid Swift, Crag Martin, Alpine Chough, Red-backed Shrike, Golden Eagle,
Serin, Water Pipit, Nutcracker, Firecrest, Goshawk and of course Black Redstarts.
The Matterhorn from Zermatt
Julie, with the town of Zermatt in the distance
The next day we drove down to Italy. Where we spent a few days visiting
various coastal towns and villages along with Pisa and Venice. I didn't get the chance for
much birding but saw my first Italian Sparrows and had a huge flock of migrating Bee eaters
fly over the van on the morning of the 7th.
I can save it!
Views from up the tower
Med' Gulls, Venice
On route to Venice we stopped at Port Levante, the site is basically lagoons and
was excellent for birds. Curlew Sandpiper, Whimbrel, and Wood Sandpiper were
some of the many waders. Pygmy Cormorant, Black-necked Grebe, Purple,
Squacco and Night Herons, Flamingo, Montagu's Harrier, marsh Terns, etc, it was great.
Next stop after Italy was Austria, on route we came across a bridge with a gathering
of Crag Martins that gave excellent views.
leaving Italy for the Austrian Alps
The highlight of the trip for us was the time we spent at Grossglockner in Austria.
The entry of 29 euros was well worth it for the sheer abundance of mammals, in
particular Alpine Marmots and Ibex.
Prior to our arrival, we saw only half a dozen Marmots in Switzerland, here we saw
around forty! A small group near the main car park had become habituated, as you can
see from the images, they were not timid!
We arrived at Glossglockner during a snow shower
This chap was a little heavier than a typical Marmot
Alpine (Yellow-billed) Chough feeding juvenile
The Alpine Choughs came so close that this image was taken with a wide angle lens.
The views were stunning and made better by the improving weather as the morning
wore on. Again, in plimsoles we walked as far as possible, (around 3000 metres)
before it became too dangerous to continue.
A steady stream of climbers made it to Grossglockner summit that day, helped by the