one afternoon in Spain, I was wandering back to the car after some lovely sunset birding and digiscoping and I met a young dutch birder.
"seen anything interesting?" he asked.
"well, some curlew sandpipers at the next hide; dunlin, spotted redshank..."
"mmm, nice. have you seen the weaver over here yet?" he asks, fingering his map.
"yes, its a bird from Africa that is in a few places in Spain. and there are a few here" pokes map again.
"weaver?" I'm starting to sound like an idiot.
Fumbling for some semblance of coherence, I add: "so where exactly?"
"here" pokes map again. he seems to like to poke that map.
The next morning I headed out when the sun was still only just getting to Kuwait (maybe it wasnt all that early) in expectation of this great find. A weaver! In Europe. I had no idea. I am new to Europe and am relying on my German/Austrian field guides to the birds of Europe (in hindsight, maybe not the greatest of resources for Spain). Anyhow I was super excited about the prospect of seeing a weaver again.
the digiscoping setup was readied, binoculars within easy reach, and ears wiiiiide open.
it was a beautiful sunrise
the day got warmer
I took some photos of a Dabchick/Little Grebe. And a whole family of swans.
the day got warmer still
I tried to take photos of martins and swifts
a sparrow flew by.
still no weavers
the day got hot
a yellowlegged gull flew by
still no friggin weavers
was the map-poking dutch guy on psychadelics?
eventually I threw in the towel. as an afterthought I decided to check on a nearby hide (in the same wetland system) to see if I could get a little closer to the European Marsh Harrier that was hanging around. Nice hide. some coots.
chep chep chep chep chep chep
hey, I know that call. what is that....
Its a bishop!
A friggin bishop!!!
Thats not a weaver, its a yellow-crowned bishop!
To my delight I managed to get some half-decent photos. here is my favourite:
That day, I also had a great experience with a short-toed eagle (snake-eagle) hanging out above me for a couple of minutes.
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