Weather: Sky clear, no wind, 13 - 30ºC. With Fran Garcia.
The 15th of August here in Spain is a public holiday (Ascension Day), and as I knew that there was ringing going on at one of my favourite places, I decided to take a trip out - more than anything to see some different birds.
After an hour and a half’s drive, I arrived at 8 a.m. The nets were already set up at the site, which is a stream surrounded by reeds and bushes. We didn’t catch many birds, but did catch the first passerine migrants of the autumn migration, 2 Willow Warblers. We also caught a single Melodious Warbler which could have been on migration, and 6 Reed Warblers and a couple of Nightingales. Other interesting birds caught were a couple of Thekla Larks (the first for this site), 3 Crested Larks, Great Tit, Cettis Warblers, Goldfinches and Sardinian Warblers. Although it makes this post long-winded, I include photos of all the Crested and Thekla Larks so that the differences can be seen (or not!).
Adult female Sardinian Warbler
Reed Warbler taking a quick snack!
Crested Lark - note long curved bill, and crest flattened
Another Crested Lark
Adult Thekla Lark (left) and adult Crested Lark (right). Note the Thekla is much greyer
The same two birds. Note the full crest on the Thekla, and shorter more triangular bill
Back view of the same two birds (the Thekla is in moult and has lost its tail)
Front/side view of the Thekla Lark
A closer view of the same bird
A juvenile Crested Lark - note the crest made of much fewer feathers
The second adult Thekla Lark caught, also in moult but this time with a tail!
Underwing of the second Thekla Lark caught - much greyer than the orangey underwing of Crested Lark
The second Willow Warbler caught
And finally, a Nightingale
Interesting birds seen around the area included a juvenile Woodchat Shrike, a couple of Chough, a dozen or so Corn Buntings, House Martins bringing food to their nests under a bridge, and a single Crossbill flew through.
Species seen/heard during the day
Woodpigeon Columba palumbus)
Swift (Apus apus)
Crested Lark (Galerida cristata)
Thekla Lark (Galerida theklae)
Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos)
Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
House Martin (Delichon urbicum)
Cettis Warbler (Cettia cetti)
Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala)
Melodious Warbler (Hippolais polyglotta)
Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus)
Great Tit (Parus major)
Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator)
Chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax)
Jackdaw (Corvus monedula)
Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)
Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)
Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra)
Corn Bunting (Miliaria calandra)