Northern Gannets at Bempton cliffs. The great news about gannets – the northern gannet (Sula bassana) – is that their numbers are increasing (2). With all the horror stories about wildlife … Continue Reading Northern Gannets at Bempton cliffs
Gannets are amazing! Not only are they sublimely beautiful – well the adults are, perhaps not the chicks! – but they exhibit such marvellous aerial behaviour: soaring flight, hovering and … Continue Reading Northern Gannets at Bempton cliffs
I came across some Water pipits (Anthus spinoletta spinoletta) on Serra de Capelada, a mountain near the coast in the north of Galicia, near Cape Ortegal, the second most northerly point in … Continue Reading Water pipits like watercress!
Unlike the UK, where there are only a few thousand pairs of Dartford Warblers – mainly in southern England (1) – this species is quite common on the Iberian peninsula, … Continue Reading Dartford warblers in Galicia
Surprisingly, for such a well-known bird, there are quite a few subspecies, or races of the common Chaffinch, which are based on differences in the pattern and colour of the adult … Continue Reading The Chaffinch – lucky to live in Europe
I crept up on this Wheatear, which was sitting on a rock at Cape Bares (Punta de Estaca de Bares) in Galicia, Spain. Punta de Estaca de Bares is the northernmost … Continue Reading Northern Wheatear in northern Spain
Great-billed kingfisher is a Sulawesi endemic. Also called Black-billed Kingfisher, or Celebes Stork-billed Kingfisher, this kingfisher is only found on Sulawesi, Banggai, Sula and other nearby islands of Indonesia. There are … Continue Reading Black bill
A recent paper published in the journal Nature, reports the results of sequencing the genomes of all fourteen of the so-called Darwin’s finches, found on the Galápagos islands (1). These, now famous … Continue Reading Darwin’s finches: evolving into the future
Feral pigeons (Columba livia domestica) – also called city pigeons or street pigeons – are extremely successful animals. They are derived from domesticated pigeons, which are themselves derived from rock … Continue Reading Rock on pigeons, you are just like us!
The bar-throated minla or chestnut-tailed minla (Minla strigula), is a locally common species found in highland areas from northern India to Vietnam (1). It is commonly found on Doi Inthanon, … Continue Reading Beautiful minla
Frigatebirds are often called the pirates of the sea, because they rob other birds – such as boobies – of their catches, snatching the fish just as they return to … Continue Reading The Man-of-War bird
This lovely little dove is endemic to the Galápagos islands, Ecuador. It is not know exactly how many there are on these islands, but it is not thought to be threatened. … Continue Reading Galápagos dove
I have searched long and hard for a pitta! I am not a very good bird-watcher; I tend to get bored too easily if the bird does not appear right … Continue Reading Pity the poor pitta!
Any regular readers of this blog – if there are any – may recognise this scene, which is based on a photograph used in one of my previous blogs (Natural … Continue Reading Birds in a bog!
A Ria is is a coastal inlet or flooded river valley. The word ría in Galician and is related to the word río (for river). There are many Ria or rías … Continue Reading Ria de Ortigueira – a special place!