martes, 7 de abril de 2015

Borrascas al sur de Balears y aves raras orientales

Circus macrourus, Riumors, Girona © Àlex Ollé 25.3.2015

Translation using sidebar applet

En abril de 2013 explicábamos como la mayor invasión de papamoscas collarinos Ficedula albicollis conocida en el país se había producido por un sistema de bajas presiones situado al sur de las islas Baleares, hecho que había transportado por los vientos dominantes del este (Llevant), aves que de otra manera estarian migrando por Italia o más al Este.

Este flujo era causado por la coincidencia de la época de migración de la especie con un fuerte temporal que nos produjo vientos del este, según el diagrama adjunto publicado en la entrada de hace dos años:

Si la Península se encuentra entre un anticiclón en forma más o menos elíptica y una borrasca (en el norte de África), se dan las condiciones para el viento del Este (Levante). El levante altera el mar y puede producir lluvias débiles, o bien tiempo inestable con fuertes lluvias.'

Pues bien, habrá que fijarse más en los mapas del tiempo durante la migración prenupcial, porque si la situación de abril 2013 con el influx de albicollis respondía al pronóstico del Meteo Office británico de abajo, la invasión de aguiluchos papialbos de finales de marzo de 2015 responde a un mapa similar (véase segundo mapa más abajo) y ha sido resumida en el artículo de Álex Ollé y Ricard Gutiérrez en la web Rare Bird Alert británica que teneis en este enlace, coincidiendo con el gráfico simplificado que tenemos encima de este párrafo y que resulta fácil de recordar.

Pronóstico del tiempo para el Viernes 26.4.2013 Invasión de Ficedula albicollis en Catalunya.
Pronóstico del tiempo para el Domingo 22.3.2015 Invasión de Circus macrourus en Catalunya.

Habrá que estar al caso de eventuales circunstancias meteorológicas como las mencionadas que puedan coincidir con la migración de aves orientales o de la Europa central. Porque... ¿ qué podría ser lo próximo?

sábado, 21 de febrero de 2015

The Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus relocation

© Ricard Gutiérrez, 14.2.2015

And it was relocated. And hundreds of observers came to see it. And they all watched it...
Not a religious reference, but true.

The Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus), the first for Catalonia and Spain, and the longest-distance known record from its usual breeding grounds, had been found on 31.12.2014 then on 6.1.2015 by Iain Hartley (see this blog entry on the finding). Many observers, even coming from Teruel, Girona or Barcelona, came in the immediate days after the 6th of January to attempt relocating the bird. Without luck. Despite the fuzzy photos of the original sighting, the description from Iain was good, particularly pointing out the key features of the bird, e.g. its tail structure, with the pointed shape due to the length of the central feathers.

In order to accept the record into the official national list, it is widely agreed that having at least a couple of observers, or having supporting evidence, helps to get the record homologated. It was not the case since, until the 6th of January, there had been only one author. And despite some of us fully believed the record, there were, as always, voices that arouse doubts on such an extreme rarity finding.

In the meantime, an also very rare Shrike, coming also from the far East, was only present 132 km to the south, at Almenara, Castelló: from 12 December 2014 into february 2015, an Isabelline Shrike had been overwintering in the area. So, with that in mind, Ricard Gutiérrez thought that paying a further look to the place where the Brown Shrike had been seen, was not a bad idea in the end. At least to have a walk in the spare hour they had before a scheduled meeting. And so, taking advantage of a professional visit to the Ebre delta, RG and Sergi Sales, decided to have another (the 3rd) look to the 'Brown Shrike' area on Monday 9 February 2014 afternoon. And, much to the surprise of them, some rapid heartbeat, and rushes along the river promenade, there it was!. The Brown Shrike had been relocated after 40 days of its finding. With naturalists living in the neighbourhood, within one of the best birdwatching sites of the Mediterranean, but having largely went unavoided due to the particular site off the usual places where it had been and due to its behaviour. Now acceptance and inclusion in the national list would had no problems... but... and the photo?

One of the 1st proper photos of the bird on 11.2.2015 (Vicente Tamarit)
The famous photo from Mariano Cebolla showing well the tail structure

Lemon tree

Besides a popular Fool's Garden song, the lemon trees in a nearby orchard had the clue of the gap in the sightings bewteen Iain Hartley sighting and the Ricard and Sergi relocation forty days later: the bird had been seen by both by the Ebro river promenade, in some gardens and trees. But, as widely agreed, that had not to be its regular core site, because it had been seen scantly by the river despite intensive search. It had to be hidden somewhere most of the time then, from time to time, it appeared by the promenade.

That was the situation during the first week of its relocation. After the 9.2.2015 sighting (Ricard  Gutiérrez, Sergi Sales) it was seen again on 10.2.2015 (Mariano Cebolla, Sofia Rivaes) again with no photos. Being Mariano a credited photographer, that was worrying. However, on 11.2 it was photographed  by the river promenade (Vicente Tamarit). And on 12.2 at the same place too (J.Ignasi Barrachina; Mariano Cebolla).

On 13.2 it was not seen in the usual place. Panic. But on 14.2 a party of over 30 observers coming from abroad and as far as Valladolid relocated the bird at Sorrapa fields, a lemon orchard by the place of the 1st sighting on 9.2 and new photos and videos could be obtained. News were featured on 13.2 at Catalan Television Tv3 (see video below) too. (Juan Sagardía, Xurxo Piñeiro, Jana Marco, Carles Martínez, Lluís Gustamante, Aleix Comas, Ferran López, Maria Cabau, José Luís Copete, Toni Alonso, José Portillo, Grabi de Jesús, Carles Durà, Mariano Cebolla, Roser Solé, Josep Tantull, Bernat Iglesias et al). On 14.2 another 30 observers relocated the bird (R.Gutiérrez, H.Arbonés, A.Somoza, M.Noguera, X.Aute, M.Cebolla, X.Idígora, M.Domingo, R.Armada, S.Rivaes et al). And it appearead again on the television and later at Catalunya radio. Good video footage was obtained too.

First video on the bird sighting released on 13 Feburary 2015 at TV3 on Telenotícies Comarques Tarragona

Video footage of the bird  from 15 Feburary 2015 © Ricard Gutiérrez

The bird was seen by the lemon orchard during the following week too and visitors from abroad as far as Burgos, Valladolid, Asturias or Ciudad Real could enjoy the sighting of this bird. One of the most mediatic of the last seasons and certainly a matter of thought on the need of trusting people, search for own birds -not simply twitches-, thorough birding and the beauty of a species hardly seen in Western Europe such as this. Now the question is... who's next? And... where?

2nd video on the bird sighting released on 16 Feburary 2015 at TV3 on Telenotícies Comarques Tarragona including original footage from Jana Marco (uncredited in this web version but having appeared on streaming tv broadcast), Mariano Cebolla photos and some testimonials, including Felipe Rosado's who had unsuccessfully come in early January for the bird and saw it that day.

Some birding images of the twitch on 15.2.2015 © Ricard Gutiérrez

Lemon Tree song. Some of its thoughts could be subscribed by some of the birwatchers attempting the bird

lunes, 19 de enero de 2015

The Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus) at Deltebre, Tarragona. 1st for Spain

Aspect of the area where the bird was seen. Deltebre, Tarragona, 9.1.2015 (Ricard Gutiérrez)

A bird was seen at the suburban areas of Deltebre, Tarragona, by the river Ebre, on 6.1.2015 (Iain Hartley). The bird was seen intermitently and was elusive. Many local birders visited the area until 10.1.2015 without further relocation of the bird. Until 9.2.2015 (see below).

After contacting the observer, Iain supplied a full account of the observation included below plus record shots of the bird in the bushes which show a bird which looks like a medium sized shrike. 1st contact was made on 31.12.2014. Iain Hartley account as follows with our capitals or bolds:

Since there don't seem to have been any further records, I thought I should contact you around the circumstances of the finding of the brown shrike in Deltebre and explain why I was not able to release the news sooner. 

On 31st December, I went for a short walk along the River Ebre from my wife's family house. I was returning home when I saw the shrike. It was a real surprise to see one in December, and as I got closer it was pretty clear that it didn't look like a standard red-backed. 

The bird was very dark with an extremely well-marked head. I saw watched it about two minutes as it moved between the bare trees in the small fields, seeing it mainly from behind and from the side. The bird then strangely disappeared in a really open area, and despite a lot of searching that afternoon and over the next few days it could not be relocated. 

I sent my brief description to friends in the UK who agreed that it sounded like a brown shrike but that I certainly didn't have enough for the record to be accepted, even if it wasn't a first for Spain. Basically, all I had was a dark brown shrike, which appeared very long-tailed with a striking black face mask including black lores and a strong white supercilium

I tried to pass my description on the Natural Park staff but everyone was on holiday and I started to doubt what I'd seen. We don't bird in such bright light in the UK very often, so I started to wonder if it could have been an incredibly well marked red-backed, did it really have such a black mask, were the lores really black, was there really a clean white supercilium, was there no white in the wing, and no red in the tail etc (i.e. it wasn't Turkestan shrike). 

After searching for over 15 hours over the next 5 days of so (all the time available between family commitments), I'd given up hope of seeing the bird again, when it reappeared on the 6th. This time it was really weary, always pearching within the trees rather than on top and often perching in the densest areas low down. However, it came out intermittently and on a couple of occassions caught large insects under the trees, taking its time to consuming them on the ground out in the open, out of the shade, and at a distance of about 10-12 metres. 

I was able to confirm the features that I thought I'd seen before. The strong black mask, which thinned a little between the eye and bill but the lores were black. The supercilium was even more striking then I'd noticed before and the border between the dark brown cap and the supercilium was very distinct (i.e. not diffuse). The bird was a smooth dark brown above, with little contrast. In one view the lower nape looked very slightly greyer than the cap and back, but this was very subtle, and the tail looked dark with just a hint of brighter brown at the base and on the rump. 

I managed to see other aspects of the bird that weren't clear on the first viewing. Looking at the wing I could see no white on the primaries but the edges to the coverts and secondaries were pale giving a weak wing bar and wing panel. The edges of the tertials were white and quite bright against the darkness of the bird. The tail again appeared very long, and even while perched the fact that the outer feathers were considerably shorter than the central tail feathers could be seen. 

Importantly, for sexing/aging the bird, I saw the underparts well this time. On the belly and flanks, the bird was a warm buff colour with fine, brown vermiculations on the flanks. This indicated that the bird was not an adult male. I think that together with the strength of the head markings, as well as the general colouring and shape of the bird that this eliminates Turkestan shrike. 

I don't have much access to the internet when at my wife's house and as it was our last day I had to spend a lot of time saying goodbye to family and friends. Between these visits I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to get a photo, but I'm afraid the bird could not be relocated and all my attempts from the morning are useless for ID; very fuzzy photos of a brown bird behind lots of branches. I was not able to put the news out properly until the evening. 

I was really hoping that someone else would see the bird and get a photo but it sounds like that hasn't been possible so far, although because the bird can be so elusive, I think there is a chance it could still be present. However, I thought I should at least send a few more details about the bird at this stage, if only to maybe persuade someone to have one more look. 

After asking from the record shots, Iain sends the photos in which a bird in the bushes can be seen.

Attached are the photos. Perhaps I wasn't clear just how terrible these actually are... We have a lot of presents to take with us to Catalonia at this time of year so I didn't have access to my DSLR and the small camera I had has a rubbish zoom and could not deal with the sun/shade. With the bird spending most of it's time partially hidden and in the shade, the photos are awful.

Uncropped image (one of three) of the Brown Shrike. Three cropped images below (Iain Hartley)


The fact that there had been an overwintering Isabelline Shrike Lanius isabellinus only 132 km to the S of the place where the Brown Shrike had been seen was kept in mind by Ricard Gutiérrez who, in company of Sergi Sales, decided to have a further look (they both had been there before without luck in early January 2015) on the afternoon of 9.2.2015. If the Isabelline had remained in Almenara all these months, why the Brown could not be there? ...

And much to the surprise of Ricard the bird, yes, the bird, was perched at mid height of a tree by the river Ebre promenade just where it had been found by Iain in January. 40 days after its finding, the bird had been there without anyone having the luck of watching it. After some running, Sergi reached the bird and both of us saw the bird and aged it as a 1w according to plumage characteristics, despite no photos could be taken.

During the following days a number of birdwatchers saw intermitently the bird and was eventually well photographed and even featured in the catalan television news. Further information in the Rarebirdspain website.

This is the 1st record for Catalonia and Spain. 


sábado, 10 de enero de 2015

Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas 'Rarest of the Rare' 2014

The record of a male Common Yellowthroat in Trebujena,Cádiz on 19.9.2014 afternoon by Juan de Dios Andrade has won the poll 'Rarest of the Rare 2014' in Spain, with 72 votes, 52% of the total.

137 votes have been collected and this American vagrant has beaten 2nd classified, the Girona December 2014 Pygmy Cormorant, also a 1st for Spain (29 votes, 21%) and the 3rd, the Fuerteventura Abyssinian Roller from June with 21 votes, 15%.

Details of the original observation as reported in the website are repeated below. All three podium species have been 1sts for the country. Congratulations and thanks for voting.


Mascarita común, 'la más rara de las raras 2014'. La cita del macho de Mascarita común en Trebujena, Cádiz, el 19.9.2014 (Juan de Dios Andrade) ha ganado la encuesta 'El más raro de los raros 20140, con 72 votos, el 52% del total.

Se han recogido un total de 137 votos y este divagante americano, primera cita para España, ha quedado por delante del segundo, el cormorán pigmeo observado en Girona en diciembre de 2014 (29 votos, 21%) así como del tercero, la carraca abisínica de Fuerteventura de junio, que obtuvo 21 votos, un 15%.

Se incluyen los detalles de la observación original tal y como aparece en la web. Los tres 'podiums' son primeras citas para el país. Felicidades y gracias por votar.


Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas (September, Cádiz)
One of the 'blockers' of the year, this 1st for Spain was only seen by a lucky photographer that thought it was something exotic. Once broadcasted the news, efforts to relocate the bird were not successful. Coming from America, the Yellowthroat was a 1st for Spain too.

Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas 
(1) Cádiz . A male has been photographed at Trebujena, Cádiz, Andalusia, on 19.9 afternoon (Juandie Andrades Moreno). The bird was near the Guadalquivir river mouth and was photographed while waiting for a Kingfisher. The exact location of the site is here (opens in another window). See a photo below.

viernes, 26 de diciembre de 2014

Rarest of the Rare 2014

Rarest of the rare contest is back again! In its 5th year in-a-row edition, you'll find enclosed below a selection of of perhaps the rarest sightings obtained in the country during 2014 chosen by the webmaster of according to scarcity or singularity of the record. 

This year, Rare Birds in Spain, in its 14 year-in-a-row has published until 26th December 2014 news on 978 national rarity sightings and has published 427 large (720 pixels wide) original photos, 16 videos and 414 small sized (thumbnails) supporting photos kindly sent by the authors. A major step towards a better understanding of the occurrence of rare birds in Spain. It therefore has not been easy to choose a selection of the rarest birds recorded amongst those 978 records and 857 media received, but once again the rarest of the rare is below and it's up to you choose which will be.

Please vote  the poll (right side of the blog) to see which species sighting can be considered the rarest of the rare 2014!. As in previous editions, winner will be included in the website gif banner. You can choose several choices, not only one, we suggest three is a good number. If interested in the different sightings, follow the links to the original report of the species in the Rare Birds in Spain website. The enclosed species are impressive and they reflect the interest of our area besides the work of all the observers not only to find the species but also to record them carefully for the future. Happy rarest of the rare 2014 and a better 2015 year!


El concurso 'El más raro de los raros' está de vuelta, como los turrones por navidad. En su 5ª edición consecutiva, se incluye una selección de las citas tal vez más raras que se hayan obtenido en el país durante 2014, elegidas por el webmaster de de acuerdo a su escasez o singularidad. 

Este año, Rare Birds in Spain, en su temporada catorceava seguida ha publicado hasta el 26 de Diciembre de 2014 978 citas de rarezas nacionales y ha publicado en las 12 páginas del año, sin contar las especiales de fotografía, un total de 427 fotos originales a tamaño grande (de 720 pixeles de ancho), 16 videos y 414 pequeñas fotos de soporte (thumbnails) amablemente enviadas por los autores para la web. Sin duda un paso más para entender mejor la presnecia de las aves raras en España. No es de extrañar que haya sido dificil seleccionar las aves más raras observadas entre las 978 citas y los 857 archivos multimedia recibidos, pero una vez más el concurso 'el más raro de los raros' lo teneis más abajo y depende de vuestro voto quien sea el ganador final.

Por favor, votad en la encuesta (en el lado derecho del blog) para ver qué cita puede ser considerada la más rara de entre las raras de 2014!. Podeis escoger diferentes opciones dado que la elección es muy complicada, (se sugieren tres votos). Si estais interesados en obtener más información de las citas en cuestión podeis seguir los enlaces a las páginas originales de la web Rare Birds in Spain. La selección es impresionante y refleja el interés de nuestra zona y el trabajo de todos los observadores no únicamente para detectar las especies sino dejar constancia de ellas con excelentes documentos. Feliz raro de los raros 2014 y un mejor año 2015 para todo el mundo!

  • C1. Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena (January, Cantabria)
  • C2. Sandhill Crane Grus canadensis (February, Zaragoza)
  • C3. Ross's Gull Rhodostethia rosea (February, Pontevedra)
  • C4. Grey-headed Gull Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus (March, Madrid)
  • C5. Pallas's Gull Larus ichthyaetus (March, Valencia)
  • C6. Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus (April, Bizkaia)
  • C7. Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus (April, Navarra)
  • C8. Pacific Swift Apus pacificus (May, A Coruña)
  • C9. Saharan Olivaceous Warbler Iduna pallida reiseri (June, Fuerteventura)
  • C10. Abyssinian Roller Coracias abyssinicus (June, Fuerteventura)
  • C11. Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata (September, Asturias)
  • C12. Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas (September Cádiz)
  • C13. Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca (October, Huesca)
  • C14. Killdeer Charadrius vociferus (November, Pontevedra)
  • C15. American Robin Turdus migratorius (November, Granada)
  • C16. Blyth's Reed Warbler Acrocephalus dumetorum (November, Barcelona)
  • C17. Pygmy Cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmeus (December, Girona)

  • C1. Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena (January, Cantabria)

Photo: © Delfín González, 9.1.2014

Species back into the rarities list from 1 January 2014, this was the 1st record (and indeed only record) of the species reported in the website during 2014. A true rarity indeed.

Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena 
(1) Cantabria . The bird coming from december 2013 was still present at Santoña marshes, Cantabria, on 4.1 (Delfín González et al). See a photo below and thumbnail here. The bird was still there on 5.1 (Alejandro García Herrera, Montse Gorría, Jorge Nubla, Óscar Carazo y Luis Torralbo). The bird was seen again on 9.1 (Delfín González),

  • C2. Sandhill Crane Grus canadensis (February, Zaragoza)
Perhaps a returning bird that had overwintered somewhere in C or S Spain and now going  back North and recorded  (again) at Gallocanta by late February. If the same returning bird, a 1st for the country. Anyway, a true rarity and an exciting record that attracted visitors from abroad.

Sandhill Crane Grus canadensis
(1) Zaragoza. On 25.2 one bird was found at ind Gallocanta lagoon, near Las Cuerlas petrol station (Felipe Rosado, Luis Salguero, Demetrio Vidal). The following day 26.2 it was relocated and a photo was taken (José Portillo, Ferran López, Rafa Armada). See a photo below (Ferran López). nLack of migration and N wind possibly caused that the Crane rested in the lagoon at least until 28.2, despite it was not searched for. It was probably the same bird seen in previous years (Felipe Rosado). See more photos below and thumbnails here (Felipe Rosado)

Photo: © Felipe Rosado, 26.2.2014

  • C3. Ross's Gull Rhodostethia rosea (February, Pontevedra)
The 4th for Spain that attracted many observers from abroad and gave good photo opportunities.

Ross's Gull Rhodostethia rosea
(1) Pontevedra There was a 1w on 7.2 at Pontevedra harbour, at As Corvaceiras by the mouth of river Gafos, Galicia. Initially found by A.F. Cordeiro A. Barqueiro Alonso and Juan Carlos Epifanio, who photographed the bird (see below), it is identified as Ross by Ricardo Hevia. Seen again by over 20 birdwatchers on 8.2.when featured in the local press ( Ricardo Hevia, José Ramón Gómez, Juan Carlos Epifanio, Juan Gómez, Samuel Paz, Pablo Gutiérrez, David Martínez Lago, Antonio Sandoval, Miguel Maestro, Atocha Ramos, Alexia del Rio, Manuel Xestoso, Cristina Álvarez, Daniel Monteagudo, Carlos Luciarte, Adolfo Lomeña, Tito Salvadores, Rafael Salvadores, César Vidal, Stefán Áki Ragnarsson, José Álvarez, Pablo Sanmartín, José Luís Lorenzo, Antonio Fontoira, José, Carla y Cosme Damián Romay). See photos below and thumbnails here. Also present on 9.2 (Xabier Vázquez Pumariño).The bird was relocated on 13.2 at Lagares river mouth, A Calzoa beach, Vigo (Marcos Prada), where it was photographed (see a thumbnail here). On 14.2 it was still there (José Ramón Gómez & José Luis Lorenzo "Colón"; Luís José Salaverri). Seen again on 15.2 (Luis Mario Arce; Juan Sagardia et al, see photos and video below) and 16.2 (over 14 authors, C.D.Romay in litt.). Further sightings during the next week: 17.2 (David R. Vieites), 18.2 (Luis Álvarez), 19.2 (Juan Pita-Romero), 21.2 (Alex Colorado, José Portillo, Luis J. Salaverri, Gorka Ocio et al) and 22.2 (Graciela Fernández, Manoel Carregal). Still present in the last February week: 26.2, Xunqueira de Lagares, Vigo, Pontevedra (José Álvarez Gándara) and 27.2 when flushed by dogs (José Ramón Sánchez Bugallo). The 1w remained there on 1.3 (Karmelo de Dios). On 11.3 it was still present at Lagares river mouth, Vigo, Pontevedra (David R. Sobreira).

Photo: © Juan Sagardía , 15.2.2014

  • C4. Grey-headed Gull Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus (March, Madrid)
The 4th for Spain produced stunning images while present at a dump at Madrid on March, really demonstrating that rare birds can turn up elsewhere. 

Grey-headed Gull Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus 
(1) Madrid On 23.3 there was an adult at Pinto dump, Madrid, within a large group of gulls. See photos below and thumbnails here (Juan M. Ruiz).The bird was relocated at the same restriced access dump on 28.3 (Javier Marchamalo) and 29.3 (Miguel Juan Martinez, Mercedes Fernández Lamadrid, Delfín González). See a new photo below and an SPECIAL PHOTOPAGE HERE.

Photo: © Delfín González, 29.3.2014

  • C5. Pallas's Gull Larus ichthyaetus (March, Valencia)
One of the 1st for Spain of the year, the much awaited Great Black-headed or Pallas's Gull that, as expected, arrived to the Mediterranean shores, in this case of Valencia where it was present for a couple of days.

Great Black-Headed (Pallas's) Gull Larus ichthyaetus 
(1) Valencia. On 21.3 a 2cy bird was found and photographed, in company of Yellow-legged Gulls Larus michahellis at La Foia, Sollana, P.N Albufera de València, València (Toni Alcocer). On 22.3 morning it was still present. See four photos below (Toni Alcocer).Seen later by more authors (Xurxo Piñeiro, Alex Alamán,Jana Marco,J.Miguel Aguilar,Fran Lloris et al) but not on 23.3.

Photo: © Toni Alcocer, 21.3.2014

  • C6. Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus (April, Bizkaia)
The 2nd for Spain. Only seen for a single day at Ondarroa 'gull harbour', famous for its many interesting sightings and thanks to the work of a single observer.

Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 
(1) Bizkaia . On 21.4 a subadult was photographed at Ondarroa, Bizkaia. (Juan Carlos Andrés). See photos below. Not relocated in the following days. See more information at Juankar blog here

Photo: © Juan Carlos Andrés, 21.4.2014

  • C7. Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus (April, Navarra)

The 3rd for Spain was a bird that was seen by many birders despite its short staying at Navarra. A much welcome April sighting.

Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus
(1) Navarra . On 12.4 a bird was found near Santaclara, at Mélida, Navarra (Miguel Angel Lopez de Armentia). The bird was relocated on 13.4 morning,when photographed (Ricardo Rodríguez, Miguel Grande y Juan Carlos Lorenzo). See photos below. Once relocated, news were broadcasted and at least 19 observers could see the bird (José Portillo, Javier Train, Juan Carlos Albero, José Ardaiz, Grabi De Jesus, Anna Mallol. Haritz Sarasa, Clemente Álvarez, Jesús Ucha, Emilio Salvatierra, Gorka Gorospe et al). See another photo and video below. And a 2nd video too.

  Photo: © Ricardo Rodríguez, 13.4.2014
  • C8. Pacific Swift Apus pacificus (May, A Coruña)
7th candidate is this Pacific Swift sighting that, if accepted, it could become another 1st for Spain, seen again at Galicia by a single author, skilled  enough to take a photo of the bird in flight.

Pacific Swift Apus pacificus (1) A Coruña . On 25.5 one was seen and photographed at A Frouxeira lagoon, Valdoviño, A Coruña (Xabier Prieto, José Luís Lorenzo). See more in Spanish in Xabier Prieto blog here and the photo below (Xabier Prieto).

  Photo: © Xabier Prieto, 25.5.2014
  • C9. Saharan Olivaceous Warbler Iduna pallida reiseri (June, Fuerteventura)
Yet another 1st sighting in the country of a very interesting form of warbler, the African Olivaceus which is not opaca but pallida reiseri.

Saharan Olivaceus Warbler Iduna pallida reiseri
(1) Fuerteventura. On 14.6 one individual was seen and photographed at Barranco de la Torre, Fuerteventura (Juan Sagardía). See two photos below.

Photo: © Juan Sagardía, 14.6.2014

    • C10. Abyssinian Roller Coracias abyssinicus (June, Fuerteventura)
    An unexpected but much welcome 1st for Spain coming from the Canary Islands, yet another WP scarcity recorded during June which lasted enough tobring some observers from outside the island.

    Abyssinian Roller Coracias abyssinicus 
    (1) Fuerteventura. On 9.6 visiting birdwatcher Alain Pataud found an adult at Barranco de la Torre, Fuerteventura. He took photos and contacted both SEO/BirdLife at the Canaries and this website. On 11.6, before leaving the island, he took photos again and the record was fully confirmed (Alain Pataud). Same day it was seen by local observer Marcelo Cabrera too. On 13.6 the bird remained in the area (F.Javier García Vargas, Antonio Unquiles, Juan Sagardía). Read about the finding in Spanish in Aves Canarias blog here. And see the special photopage with Alain Pataud photos in Rare Birds in Spain website here. Bird shy, behaving wild and with no traces or signs of captivity hence considered a wild vagrant. Local collections and zoos are however being contacted in the event of any escape. See four more photos from Francisco Javier García Vargas below. Last seen on 16.6 (David Pérez). Read more in his blog in Spanish here and see new photos below.

    Photo: © Francisco Javier García Vargas , 13.6.2014

    •  C11. Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata (September, Asturias)

    A bird only seen one day and identified thanks to the photos of the author. A 4th for Spain in the Atlantic coast.

    Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata
    (1) Asturias. One bird was photographed on 14.9 at El Cierrón, Ría de Villaviciosa, Asturias (Miguel Puente). Initially taken by Pectoral Sandpiper, once photos were included in author's blog here, its ID became quickly stated. Despite some attempts, the bird was not relocated.

    Photo: © Miguel Puente, 14.9.2014

    • C12. Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas (September, Cádiz)

    One of the 'blockers' of the year, this 1st for Spain was only seen by a lucky photographer that thought it was something exotic. Once broadcasted the news, efforts to relocate the bird were not successful. Coming from America, the Yellowthroat was a 1st for Spain too.

    Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas 
    (1) Cádiz . A male has been photographed at Trebujena, Cádiz, Andalusia, on 19.9 afternoon (Juandie Andrades Moreno). The bird was near the Guadalquivir river mouth and was photographed while waiting for a Kingfisher. The exact location of the site is here (opens in another window). See a photo below.

    Photo: © Juandi Andrade, 20.9.2014

    •  C13. Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca (October, Huesca)
    The 12th candidate is also another awaited species to return to the country after a single previous record of a ringed corpse. In this case this 2nd for Spain was seen also.. by nobody but an automatic recording camera!.

    Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca
    (1) Huesca. On 18.10 a 1w was videocaptured near Villanúa, Huesca (Jose Antonio Sesé/Gobierno de Aragón). See a photo below and thumbnails here. This is the 2nd record for Spain. Read a full account in Spanish on the record, bird origin and identification in the Rocín blog here. The bird had been ringed by Jozef Chavko at Stará Lehota, Nové Mesto nad Váhom, Slovakia on 27.6.2014. It was carrying ring SK 145 and reached Huesca at 1583 km distance. See more on this in Spanish in the Rocín blog too.

    Photo: © Jose Antonio Sesé/Gobierno de Aragón, 18.10.2014

    • C14. Killdeer Charadrius vociferus (November, Pontevedra)
    The 5th Killdeer for Spain reached Pontevedra in November and lasted for a couple of days giving good views to the observers that went to see it.

    Killdeer Charadrius vociferus
    (1) Pontevedra. On 13.11 a bird was found at Cabo Udra, Bueu, Pontevedra (José Ramón Gómez; Stefán Áki Ragnarsson, Tito Salvadores, D.González, David Díaz Seoana; Juan Gómez Escariz, Manuel Xestoso). See photos and a video below and thumbnails here. Also many more photos on Aves y Fotografía de Naturaleza blog here. On 14.11 it was still present (Fernando Pereiras, Xosé Manouel Carregal; David R.Sobreira; David Monticelli, José A. Gándara, Juan G.Escariz, José L.Lorenzo, Carlos Luciarte, A. Lomeña, José Ramón Gómez)

    Photo: © José Ramón Gómez, 13.11.2014

    • C15. American Robin Turdus migratorius (November, Granada)
    November still brought more surprises. One of the biggest was this smartphone shot of an American Robin, a 2nd for Spain if accepted, well out of regular rarity-birding sites: Granada.

    American Robin Turdus migratorius (1) Granada . One bird was photographed at 9:15h of 25.11 at Fuente Nueva park, Granada city (Alberto Fernández Honrubia). See a thumbnail obtained with a mobile cellular here. The single observer reported the bird and send a file with details to the Rarities Commitee too. Despite search it was never seen again.

    Photo: © Alberto Fernández Honrubia, 25.11.2014

    • C16. Blyth's Reed Warbler Acrocephalus dumetorum (November, Barcelona)
    Dream-bird for those wetland ringers that trap hundreds (or more) Reed Warblers A.scirpaceus, this in-hand ringed bird at Llobregat delta was only the 3rd for Spain

    Blyth's Reed Warbler Acrocephalus dumetorum
    (1) Barcelona . A bird was trapped and ringed at Filipines marsh, Remolar-Filipines Nature Reserve, Viladecans, Llobregat Delta, Barcelona (Joan Castelló, Christoph Weinrich, Joao Pereira i Cristiana I. Marques). See two photos and thumbnails here.

    Photo: © Joan Castelló, 9.11.2014

    •  C17. Pygmy Cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmeus (December, Girona)
    And the last candidate for 2014 was another 1st for Spain coming from December at PN Aiguamolls de l'Empordà, in certain relationship with recent records in S France, where also considered a rarity, one or another day one had to arrive. And that day came this year.

    Pygmy Cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmeus
    (1) Girona. An adult was found at La Massona, PN Aiguamolls de l'Empordà, Girona on 13.12 (Gerard Dalmau, Elisabet Tetas). Seen later by more authors and photographed (e.g. see below, Quim Martínez). On 14.12 it rested in the area where seen intermitently (José Portillo, José Gómez Aparicio, Toni Alonso, Dani Roca, Àlex Ollé, Grabi de Jesús, Joan Goy; Ferran López). See more photos and more information in the Special photopage here!. The bird remained the following week until 19.12 at least (Ponç Feliu, Joan Goy, Manel Barrios, Oriol Clarabuch, Ferran López, Eikel Delgado, Sergio Romero, Miquel Bonet, Joan Ventura, Carles Llopis; Mario Alonso) and 20.12 (Vittorio Pedrocchi) to the end of the month.

    Photo: © Quim Martínez, 13.12.2014