Now we see more!

19 12 2012

“Learn: [with object] gain or acquire knowledge of or skill in (something) by study, experience, or being taught.”

– Oxford Dictionary

There are a few birders in Spain and therefore most of the rarities leave the area without being found. Comparing our numbers with those from Britain, where more than 300 yellow-browed warblers are found each year, is ridiculous. The best years, no more than 15 yellow-browed warblers are detected in Spain and I get nervous when I think how many may be wintering in the vast “dehesas” from Extremadura.

Passerines and gulls are for sure the most underrated rarities in terms of numbers and it seems this would stay the same. However, sometimes it’s possible to sense a small change, little by little, almost imperceptible. 2 weeks ago, Eduard Batista, who works as a teacher in a school just in the middle of Barcelona, noted a strange gull feeding on student’s sandwiches. Ha had assisted at an introductory course of birding imparted by the ICO (Catalan Institute of Ornithology) and the bird he was seeing coincided with a rare species he had been told about. He put the sighting with some poor shots in ornitho.cat, asking if it could be a herring gull. The bird was an adult, but the photos were not good enough to be sure.

Today, I’ve been together with Eduard (who kindly ask the director about…) in his school, during the playground time, waiting for the gull. The bird soon appeared and we enjoyed it at a close range, confirming its identity. It’s only the third sighting for Barcelona and maybe the most unexpected. In fact, that story only demonstrates birds can be everywhere and the more we are, the more rarities would be found. While waiting for more birders, the only we can do is to increase our time in the field.

Larus argentatus Lestonnac3

Larus argentatus Lestonnac  Larus argentatus Lestonnac4

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