Monday, 31 August 2009

feed the ducks......

2 Booted Eagles, 10 Spotted Flys, 3 Greenfinch doing a piss etc.........

You get the picture.  I actually left the island on 29th August.
In summary for those of you that thought this was a trip report (yeah right!) I suppose I best tell you some details.  As you can gather, this was a family holiday and I'd only gone off within walking distance of the hotel, so the impression I've given you is not perhaps fair as there are a couple of good sites on the island (you can find these on proper trip reports).  But generally, Menorca is quite devoid of birds in areas where anywhere else in the Med you'd find stuff.  Found some great habitat but found not a lot amongst it basically, even the regular species, there just weren't any numbers whatsoever.  Agreed Johnny knuckles must take some of the blame I suppose.

I did see a few nice birds though.  Bikini-clad with shaved clams and everything.  There really was a lot of fanny around.  My advice is that you tell your missus you're off birding, grab your bins, find a beach, hide among rocks, view the blart on offer and try to pull it's head off.  Magic!



Sunday, 30 August 2009


2 Booted Eagles, 10 Spotted Flys, 3 Greenfinch doing a piss etc.........



2 Booted Eagles, 10 Spotted Flys, 3 Greenfinch doing a piss etc.........


Saturday, 29 August 2009

not much again

2 Booted Eagles, 10 Spotted Flys, 3 Greenfinch doing a piss etc.........


Friday, 28 August 2009

Not a lot....

Fuck all.

Fuck off.


Thursday, 27 August 2009

A billion?

I haven't mentioned beautiful seagulls yet so far on this supposed trip report because I've only seen the usual shite.  Yellow-legged, LBB, no Black Headed  though, Herring, the usual, but today an adult Audiououoins Gull came and virtually sat next to me.  Audiououiouiouuouoions Gulls seem to be doing well and an expansion in their range is very much happening (they're getting a bigger oven hahaahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahhahahahahahahhahahahahahaha that was a good joke) and records from Britain are on the increase since the first record only a few years ago.

3 Blue Rock Thrush, Booted Eagle and 48 thousand million Spotted Flycatchers padded the notebook out brilliantly, well not really.  There must be loads of flies on this island to attract all these bastards that's all I know.

For all the pedants out there, I'm aware that a thousand million is a billion but I suppose it depends on which part of the world you live in, so fuck off.  In America a billion is a million million, whereas in England a billion is a thousand million, whereas here in Menorca a billion is calculated on the amount of tourists multiplied by the amount of Burger Kings there are on the island, whereas in Ireland they calculate a billion by the amount of potatoes they can grow in one small garden in County Down, whereas in India they calculate a billion by the amount of people they can cram onto one single train, whereas in Germany.......................etc....

The football special from Hull when City were playing
Oxford away.  It was only a league game but we had to get there......


Wednesday, 26 August 2009

.....a host of golden daffodils...

After yesterday's basic mocking of the island as a birding destination, I thought I best at least TRY to see something, I mean how can I knock it if I've not even tried?

Today's totals:
12+  Spotted Flycatchers

2 Tawny Pipits (Johnny Knuckles and one of his cronies)
2 Stonechat (balearic island race)
3 Thekla Lark (balearic island race)
40+ Gliding Swift
2 Booted Eagle (balearic island race)
That's about it.
Fuck me, a cloud!  A cloud in the sky!  I wandered lonely as a cloud.............Wordsworth was right cos this was the only one in the whole sky.  Lonely.  Can you tick clouds?  Are they a full species?  If you can, I'm ticking it.  If you can't, I'm ticking it, fuck it.  Additional to previous totals:

1 Adult Cloud.  High, drifted east.

The next day a whole flock of clouds went over our hotel.
I celebrated by pointing at them wildly, so others in the area
could also look at them.


Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Rock me Amadeus

Nothing much at the moment, mainly due to me getting up late but 5 Bee-eaters weren't eating bees which is very odd.
3 Black Kite....yeah whatever
2 Kestrel.......yeah alright
2 Booted what.....but
1 Eleonora's Falcon livened it up doing a non-spectacular aerial display only due to the fact that it wasn't spectacular.  After that lot had gone an Egyptian Vulture drifted across and the Eleonora's came back for another fly-past. They fly very distinctly don't they?  It confused me for a bit to be honest but once I'd got to grips with it the flight for me was the most obvious feature, not that I'd call a distant one at Spurn on flight alone I don't think.

Fuck me, it's hot. 

Menorca is not a mecca for birding I must say.  In fact there's not much about at all, generally.  Of the places I've been probably only Malta had less general birdlife, only because it gets blown out of the sky and barbecued.  Anyone seen the film The Maltese Falcon?  It doesn't last very long.
hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha that was good joke....

There's always something that spoils the view.
I'm that bored I can't stop myself from writing stupid things
across the pretty pictures that were meant for this very serious blog.


Monday, 24 August 2009

Heron madness...

Strange goings-on today.  6 Black Kites were up together on the hillside.  Nothing strange there.  But then 10 Grey Heron flying along the cliffs was a bit odd.  They appeared to be lost, not really heading anywhere, just flying around a bit.  They went one way, then turned and flew straight out to sea! It was obvious they were going off the island due to Johnny Knuckles ruling with an iron fist.

The Gliding Swifts that were hawking yesterday had all moved on, again because of Johnny and nothing at all to do with their natural migratory instincts.  But then the most amazing thing happened (sarcasm).  The Herons came back and now there were 13 of them!  Amazing! (extreme sarcasm).  If anyone has any explanation to these extraordinary ornithological events then please e-mail me.  No, ring me cos I need to know now.  Right now.
Not really, it was just 13 Grey Herons and it's a bit boring bird-wise on the island so I'm exaggerating most things if you haven't already realised.


Sunday, 23 August 2009

Thick heads and Knick Knees

Even though I was still drunken from the night before, an early morning balcony watch produced 2 fly-by Stone Curlews which proved to be the highlight of the day. Gliding Swifts were up in numbers and hawking like no tomorrow.  Upupa epops flew across the main road.................

.................It was then.................that a tall, upright Pipit's silhouette appeared on the horizon.
The dust plumed.....
Tumbleweed, erm, tumbled like, erm, weed......
Horses reared up as the town fell into silence at the sight of the mysterious stranger about to ride into town....
The music went off in the bar where the Black Kites hang out and drink Bourbon....
A hushed nervousness fell over the town.....
Who is this tall dark stranger........?

Johnny Knuckles rode into town on horseback, dust swirling, Larks ducking for cover, bar tenders closing the shutters, tumbleweed rolling through the now deserted main street as everyone now knew what everyone had been dreading:  this was now Johnny Knuckles' town.

Nobody messed with Johnny from now on.   If a Shrike got out of hand drunk in a bar, Johnny would be the first to know.  If a Hoopoe started a gunfight over a game of cards, Johnny would step in.  If the gang of Flycatchers started making Moonshine again, Johnny would be the first one pissed on it.

I asked the local bookie about the outcome of yesterday's fight.  "Johnny won in the 6th"
Get in!  A tenner at 8/1 is £80 plus my tenner stake back is 90 quid!  I'll have to send a bourbon over to Johnny later on in the bar.

I decided to get drunk again.  Hey hey, I succeeded!


Saturday, 22 August 2009

B R Thrush

An amble early morn outside the hotel into some interesting looking scrubland produced the ubiquitous Sardinian Warbler, 5 of the fuckers calling at each other, 2 Tawny Pipits, one of which chased of a Thekla Lark and the Thekla Lark shit itself and went and got its Dad and elder brother.  By this time the Pipit had been joined by his mate, perhaps the baddest meanest pipit of them all.  This Tawny Pipit is not like your average Tawny Pipit.  This Tawny Pipit caught cattle with his bare hands, was the meanest shot in the West and of course chewed chewing tobacco.  He goes by the name of Johnny Knuckles. 
Clint Eastwood:  "I'm looking for a Pipit by the name of Johnny Knuckles. Johnny, peering from under the brim of his stetson from a darkened corner of the room, bourbon in his hand, says in his gravelly voice "that'll be me...."

The Thekla Larks fronted Johnny and the other Tawny Pipit (the pipit with no name), a no-mans land separating the parties until Daddy Thekla shouted "get the Pipit bastards" and a big squabble ensued but I couldn't tell who won which was disappointing cos I'd had a bet on Johnny Knuckles winning in the 6th at 8/1.

A Booted Eagle, up on high, a Kestrel, lots of Gliding Swifts, a Spotted Fly, a Woodchat, lots of Swallows up on high, a Robin and then something flew towards me.
Whenever I haven't seen a Blue Rock Thrush for a while they always confuse me for a second.  This one flew towards me, "Starling" I thought for a split second, "Blackbird" I thought in the next split second, then it landed and it did that little curtsey that they do to introduce themselves. "Ah, Blue Rock Thrush, nice to see you again little fella".
I know what you're thinking,
has he fired six shots or only five?
In all the excitement I kinda lost count myself.


Friday, 21 August 2009

Male people, killer whale (Men Orca)

There's bound to be some good stuff back in Blighty.............cos I'min Menorca!  Hey hey!  It's not a birding trip, simply a family holiday but I will get out early on whilst everyone's recovering from the copious amounts of beverages and the eating of various seafood morsals.

From the taxi betwixt airport and destination: 3 Black Kites.
From the balcony in my hotel room:
1 Kestrel, fanny-tastic views of 2 Egyptian Vultures, minge-busting views of 1 Booted Eagle and lab-mashing view-bags of 3 Pallid Swift.  I think Pallid Swift glide a lot in a jizz-camparison-type-thing-comparison compared to Common Swift. 

Gliding Swift I now call it.  Them.


Monday, 3 August 2009

First for Planet Earth discovered

Inter-planetary vagrancy is discussed on the birding forums all the time. Non-stop, people can't get enough of it.  A Bare-faced Bulbul from Neptune (the first Planet Earth record) has been discovered in Laos, a country near Australia.  This has caused quite a stir amongst earthling birders according to a report a Neptunian tabloid newspaper 'The Sun' ( you see, Neptune has a star that it revolves around which they also call the "sun", a bit like here on Earth except that our Sun revolves around the Earth).

Bare-faced Bulbuls migrate from Neptune in early August, post-breeding, and undertake an intergalactic journey that takes.............well, given that the nearest galaxy to ours is some 100,000 light years away and if the Bulbul were to fly at light would take at least 100,000 light years.  Puts our shitty Arctic Tern to shame.

Now it seems that the power's getting stronger every day, I feel the strength, an inner fire....start again.  Now it seems that after leaving Neptune's atmosphere (oh what an atmosphere, I love a party with a happy atmosphere) the bird was blown off course by westerly trade winds and Atlantic depressions just north of Jupiter and hitched a ride on a (space) ship to rest somewhere near Mars and fly ashore safely into a jungle in Laos.

I like to scare deaf people by yawning.
Russ Pipit (Pechora's brother)