Posts tagged with ‘holidays’

Good bird days

I’ve had a couple of good days of birding. Yesterday we had a walk in some dry scrubby brush – cistus (ie rock rose), wild lavender, broom and flowers like wild gladiolus, orchids and so on. There were nightingales and woodlarks singing, and I also saw Dartford warbler, woodchat shrike, black kite and possibly most […]

Exciting wildlife update

The wildlife picked up a bit today: some very camouflaged geckos on the walls of the house (I’ll post a pic when I get back to England), a raven flying over, bee-eaters heard but not seen. And the treecreepers nesting in the roof, which I think I mentioned on Twitter but not here, turned out […]

Holiday update

I’m still in France; no hot news on the bird front or indeed any other front, but it’s all very pleasant. Some kind of lizard orchid. Not the prettiest orchid I’ve found, but maybe the coolest. There’s a gecko behind the sofa on the other side of the room.

Holiday

I am in France, in a villa (or at least C17th farmhouse) in the hills behind the Côte d’Azur. Cork oak, cypresses, asphodel, thyme, broom, lavender, poppies etc etc. Scarce swallowtail butterflies, Sardinian warbler. I’ll post some pics tomorrow. If I feel like it.

Araf

One of the few ways that being in Wales is noticeably different to being in England is the presence of Welsh everywhere. Not spoken Welsh — there was some of that, but not much, at least in the part of Wales I was visiting — but written. Every piece of public information — every road sign, every […]

Wales photos

I’ve uploaded a set of photos from Welsh trip to Flickr. Here’s one of them, a singing whitethroat: I somewhat felt the lack of a wide-angle lens, with all that scenery all over the place, and I’ve held back some of the best ones for my photoblog Clouded Drab (there’s a couple already posted), but I hope you can find […]

I have returned!

I am back from Wales. Debriefing, holiday book report, lots of photos, and musings on the Welsh language and widescreen television to follow. Possibly. In the meantime, here’s a shot of ox-eye daisies with cliffs and sea in the background. Not only does it illustrate some of the many pretty flowers to be seen in […]

Rain, rain go away

Don’t get me wrong, this place looks beautiful even when it is raining, but I think I’m ready for some more sun now. I would say it was no more than I expect of Wales — it’s not a coincidence that the principality is famous for sheep rather than, say, vineyards — but in fact […]

I’m in Wales

In a cafe in St David’s to be exact. I spent the last couple of days in the southern part of Pembrokeshire, in a village called Marloes; it’s the kind of place which, in England, would be one street, one pub, one shop and one church; being Wales, it has a pub, a shop, a […]

Hiatus!

I’m off to Wales tomorrow morning to look for birds and scenery and photographs. I daresay at some stage I’ll find an internet café or something, but if not, that’s why I’m not posting. Keep your fingers crossed for the weather for me…

Blogger Bio-blitz #3: Lasithi plateau

The last of the three locations in Crete that I bio-blitzed was the Lasithi plateau, where I was from the 27th-28th of April. The plateau is just the prettiest place in the world, as well as providing some good birding for me. Apparently, it’s formed by the build-up of silt from the surrounding rivers creating […]

Blogger Bio-blitz #2: Paleohora

Paleohora is a little town on the south coast of the western end of Crete. It’s an expanding resort town with plenty of tavernas and cafes, but still small and quiet compared to the established resorts. Especially quiet in April, which is really before the tourist season starts in earnest. The town sits on a […]

Books books books

I’ve posted a few thoughts on the books I read in Crete (a couple of novels by Kazantzakis, some Marquez, Seferis, books on the Battle of Crete and resistance, Aristophanes), which can be found via my ‘What I’ve been reading’ page.

Lasithi

Well, I spent a couple of days in Tzermiado on the Lasithi plateau, which is like a little chunk of Holland – flat fields and fruit trees – randomly inserted in among the Cretan mountains. Some good birds (wryneck, quail, cirl bunting, black eared wheatear, griffon vulture, peregrine, blue rock thrush), and up on the […]

Hell in waiting

Well, I’ve made it to Malia. I described this place as being a good birding site and a Minoan palace, but it’s so much more than that. In the summer, it’s a place for the youth of Northern Europe to come and get sunburnt and wasted. I’m in an internet place on the ‘beach road’ […]

Long day planned

I’m jut killing time until I get the first bus of a planned three-bus, five or six hour journey halfway across Crete. Maybe even three-quarters. I considered breaking it up by stopping somewhere for a night halfway, but actually time is a limited resource and there’s no point using up extra days of my holiday […]

Bio Blitz bust

It turns out I was a bit optimstic planning to ID flowers for the bio-blitz. There are just too many different little yellow compositidae and white umbellifers to try to ID them from descriptions of petal length and leaf shape. If I do it again next year, I’ll make sure I have a field guide […]

Red-letter day

For me, one of the nice things about birding in Europe is that, in a sense, every new bird represents a lifetime ambition fulfilled. If you live in the UK, soon after you start taking an interest in birds, you get a book of birds of Britain and Europe, and spend time looking at all […]

Paleohora

I’m in Paleohora. I don’t really know why I need to share that with you all, but there you go.

The lake of crakes

I went out to a reservoir near Hania today. The guide to birdwatching in Crete listed, among the possible birds for the site, Little Crake, Spotted Crake and Baillon’s Crake. I’ve never seen any of those before, but I didn’t get my hopes up because all the crakes are notoriously difficult to see; they skulk. […]

birding at Aghia Triada

‘Aghia Triada’ is ‘Holy Trinity’, and it’s a monastery on Akrotiri. I went there not just to look at the monastery, but mainly to do birding. It was a good birding day, I’m pleased to say. Lots of birds, but the most notable were the black-headed race of Yellow Wagtail, Golden Oriole and two which […]

Hania, still.

Well, I’ve been to the Hania Archeological Museum, the Cretan Folklore Museum and the Byzantine Museum this morning, so I’m all cultured up good. The Archeology is not doubt a pale shadow of what iwould have seen if the Heraklion museum had been open, but they had some nice stuff. The Folklore Museum was probably […]

Hania/Chania/Xania/Canea

Well, here I am in Hania, and it has to said that it is extremely pretty. Turquoise waters, picturesque buildings, bright sun on stone walls; they’ve got the whole Mediterranean thing working well for them. I’m slightly antsy about getting some actual birding done, not least because my cunning plan to go to Omalos has […]