My decent(ish) finds in Feb 2012: 1 Yellow-browed Warbler Carnon Downs 04/02, 1 Water Pipit Carnon Downs 04/02, 1 Smew Loe Pool 01/02

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Saturday, 16 May 2009

A week in Menorca

Balearic Woodchat Shrike - note the absence of white primary patch and more extensive black on the crown (photo courtesy of Dave Appleton - www.gobirding.eu)

One of the perks of being a professional ecologist is that you occasionally swan off to international conferences. I've just come back from a week in Menorca, and although it wasn't a birding trip I did manage a few of the resident highlights including, Audoin's Gull, Gypo Vulture (x3), Bee-eaters (x5), Black Kite (x8), Hoopoe, loads of Calandra & Thekla Larks and Zitting Cists, a Stone Curlew and a Balearic Woodchat Shrike. Some of these are exactly the kind of thing I'd hope to find on The Lizard this Spring, but almost certainly won't. Speaking of vagrancy - it was interesting to see that a Bal Woodchat turned-up in Ireland shortly after I returned. This got me thinking. These badius boys regularly fly over the range of senator in North Africa and goodness knows how many make it to Spain? Why don't they interbreed? Surely a good candidate for a full species under the BSC if ever there was one....

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