Bird, bug, butterfly and a wild variety of photos from Belarus, Cyprus, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Scotland and Spain by Irish wildlife photographer Patrick J. O'Keeffe and invited guests

Showing posts with label March. Show all posts
Showing posts with label March. Show all posts

Sunday, 7 April 2019

GREY HERON (Ardea cinerea) Port Oriel Harbour, Clogherhead, Co. Louth, Ireland

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The Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) is of the  family Ardeidae which is in the genus Ardea. It is resident in the temperate regions of Eurasia as well as parts of Africa. The more northern populations are migratory and move south for the winter. It occurs mainly in wetland habitats where a wide variety of aquatic creatures are preyed upon.
 
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Saturday, 8 August 2015

CREAM COLOURED COURSER (Cursorius cursor ) Pájara, Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands, Spain

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World-wide, there are eight species of Courser and they occur in arid semi desert type habitat. Five are confined to Africa, Burchell’s Courser (Cursorius rufus), Heuglin’s Courser (Rhinoptilus cinctus), Temminck’s Courser (Cursorius temminckii), Two-banded Courser (Rhinoptilus africanus) and Violet-tipped Courser (Rhinoptilus chalcopterus). Two are mainly restricted to the Indian sub-continent, Indian Courser (Cursorius cormandelicus) and Jerdon’s Courser (Rhinoptilus bitorquatus) which was thought to be extinct but was rediscovered in 1986. The Cream-coloured Courser (Cursorius cursor) has a scattered distribution across North Africa, the Middle East and  South West Asia. It is also resident on the Eastern Canary Islands where some authorities recognise Cursorius cursor bannermanii as an endemic subspecies. Text © www.rawbirds.com


Monday, 3 August 2015

BARBARY GROUND SQUIRREL (Atlantoxerus getulus) Betancuria Marker Mirador, Municipio de Betancuria, Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands, Spain

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The Barbary Ground Squirrel (Atlantoxerus getulus) is native to the North West African countries of Algeria, Morocco and Western Sahara. Due to their isolation, less than twenty land mammals which include six species of bat are found on The Canary Islands.  Over 50 years ago Barbary Ground Squirrel was introduced onto Fuerteventura where it is quiet commonly encountered. Text © www.rawbirds.com

Sunday, 26 July 2015

BARBARY PARTRIDGE (Alectoris barbara subspecies A. b. koenigi) Las Parcelas, Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands, Spain

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The Barbary Partridge (Alectoris barbara) is a North African gamebird. It is also native to the Mediterranean island of Sardinia. On the Iberian Peninsula there is a small colony at Gibraltar. The endemic subspecies Alectoris barbara koenigi occurs on the Canary Islands. On Fuerteventura, although uncommon, it is found throughout the island where at times it can be difficult to locate.
Text © www.rawbirds.com

Saturday, 25 July 2015

CANARY ISLANDS CANDLE PLANT (Kleinia neriifolia) Barranco de Betancuria, Betancuria, Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands, Spain


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There are nearly 1300 species of plant found on the Canary Islands but fewer than 800 of these occur on Fuerteventura Island. The Canary Islands Candle Plant (Kleinia neriifolia) is one of 43 plants that are endemic, 13 of which are confined to Fuerteventura. This perennial succulent is found in scrubby semi-arid type habitat and can grow up to 3 meters in height. Also known variously as Mountain Grass, Verode or Berode. Its Spanish name is Vero de Canarias. Text © www.rawbirds.com

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

RUDDY SHELDUCK (Male) (Tadorna ferruginea) Los Molinos Reservoir, Las Parcelas, Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands, Spain

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Central Asia is the main stronghold of the Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) where it is a summer resident which winters predominantly on the Indian sub-continent and in South East Asia. There are five other species of shelduck, none of which are found in the Americas. The Common Shelduck (Tadorna Tadorna) occurs in Europe, North Africa and Central Asia. Four species are resident in the Southern Hemisphere, Cape Shelduck (Tadorna carna) in southern Africa, Australian Shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides) in south east and western Australia, Radjah Shelduck (Tadorna radjah) in the East Indies and northern Australia and Paradise Shelduck (Tadorna varigata) in New Zealand. A seventh species the Crested Shelduck (Tadorna cristata) was found mainly in northern Korea and was last reliably reported in 1964.There was a further report in 1971 but it is now probably extinct. Ruddy Shelduck has recently been discovered breeding in the Ethiopian Mountain. In the Eastern Mediterranean, the stronghold is Turkey. In the Western Mediterranean, there are two small populations in North West Africa, one in Tunisia and the other in western Morocco. Formally a vagrant to the Canary Islands, it first bred on Fuerteventura in 1994 where it has now become established. Text © www.rawbirds.com

Saturday, 18 July 2015

SOUTHERN GREY SHRIKE (Lanius meridionalis subspecies L. m. koenigi) La Oliva, Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands, Spain

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Great Grey Shrike comprises nine subspecies. Nominate excubitor occurs in northern and central Europe whilst homeyeri (sometimes known as ‘Steppe Shrike’) breeds from south-east Europe through the Ural mountains into western Siberia. Further east, sibiricus (‘North Siberian Shrike’) breeds in central and eastern Siberia, with leucopterus, mollis, bianchii and funereus occupying restricted areas in Central and East Asia. Two subspecies – borealis and invictus (known collectively as ‘Northern Shrike’) – occur in North America. A further eleven grey shrike forms are currently treated as ‘Southern Grey Shrike’ Lanius meridionalis (Cramp et al. 1993).The taxonomy of the ‘Great Grey Shrikes’ is in a state of considerable flux. DNA evidence fails to support the current two species split, and at least six potential species have been identified though not formally proposed (Olsson 2010). In particular, a deep genetic divide is identified between a clade containing (amongst others) excubitor, homeyeri and leucopterus and one containing (amongst others) sibiricus, mollis, bianchii, funereus,borealis and invictus. This suggests a split between a new more tightly-defined ‘Great Grey Shrike’ encompassing the former three subspecies and ‘Northern Grey Shrike’ Lanius borealis encompassing the latter five. See full text reference at  http://www.bbrc.org.uk/species-information-riact/owls-to-shrikes

Saturday, 16 May 2015

GREENISH BLACK TIP BUTTERFLY (Euchloe charlonia) La Oliva, Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands, Spain


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The Greenish Black-tip butterfly (Euchloe charlonia) is found in North Africa, the Middle East and on the Canary Islands. A closely related species, the Spanish Black-tip (Euchloe bazae), first described in 1982, is scarce/vulnerable and is only present in two regions on mainland Spain. On the Eastern Canary Islands (Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and the Chinijo Archipelago) less than twenty species of butterfly occur. Because of the bare arid nature terrain  and frequently windy conditions on Fuerteventura Island, butterflies are usually encountered in sheltered valleys and lush gardens. Greenish Black-tip on the other hand tends to favour more open type habitat where photographing it is made all the more difficult by the ever present wind. It is on the wing from December to June. Text © www.rawbirds.com

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

SOUTHERN GREY SHRIKE (Lanius meridionalis subspecies L. m. koenigi) La Oliva, Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands, Spain

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Great Grey Shrike comprises nine subspecies. Nominate excubitor occurs in northern and central Europe whilst homeyeri (sometimes known as ‘Steppe Shrike’) breeds from south-east Europe through the Ural mountains into western Siberia. Further east, sibiricus (‘North Siberian Shrike’) breeds in central and eastern Siberia, with leucopterus, mollis, bianchii and funereus occupying restricted areas in Central and East Asia. Two subspecies – borealis and invictus (known collectively as ‘Northern Shrike’) – occur in North America. A further eleven grey shrike forms are currently treated as ‘Southern Grey Shrike’ Lanius meridionalis (Cramp et al. 1993).The taxonomy of the ‘Great Grey Shrikes’ is in a state of considerable flux. DNA evidence fails to support the current two species split, and at least six potential species have been identified though not formally proposed (Olsson 2010). In particular, a deep genetic divide is identified between a clade containing (amongst others) excubitor, homeyeri and leucopterus and one containing (amongst others) sibiricus, mollis, bianchii, funereus,borealis and invictus. This suggests a split between a new more tightly-defined ‘Great Grey Shrike’ encompassing the former three subspecies and ‘Northern Grey Shrike’ Lanius borealis encompassing the latter five. See full text reference at  http://www.bbrc.org.uk/species-information-riact/owls-to-shrikes

Monday, 4 May 2015

COMMON LINNET [Male] (Linaria cannabina subspecies L. c. harterti) La Oliva, Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands, Spain


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The Linnet (Linaria cannabina) or Common Linnet is of the family Fringillidae which is in the genus Linaria.
 It derives its name from its fondness for the seeds of the flax plant which is used to make linen. This small finch occurs in Europe as well as Western Asia but is absent from northern latitudes and has a limited distribution in North West Africa and the Middle East. 

There are seven subspecies :
  • Linaria c. autochthona - occurs in Scotland     
  • L. c. cannabina - occurs in the rest of Britain, Ireland also northern Europe, eastwards to central Siberia. It is a partial migrant, wintering in north Africa and southwest Asia
  • L. c. bella - occurs in Middle East, eastwards to Mongolia and northwestern China
  • L. c. mediterranea - occurs on the Iberian Peninsula, Italy, Greece, northwest Africa and on the Mediterranean islands
  • L. c. guentheri - occurs on Madeira Island
  • L. c. meadewaldoi - occurs on the Western Canary Islands (El Hierro, La Gomera, La Palma, Tenerife and Gran Canaria)
  • L. c. harterti - occurs on the Eastern Canary Islands (Lanzarote and Fuerteventura)
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_linnet

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

TRUMPETER FINCH (Male) (Bucanetes githagineus subspecies B. g. amantum) Las Parcelas, Betancuria, Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands, Spain

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The Trumpeter Finch (Bucanetes githagineus) occurs mainly in North West Africa and the Middle East. There is a small breeding population in South East Spain and it has recently expanded its breeding range into Turkey. This stocky, heavy billed finch is normally found in arid, stony, semi desert type habitat. Bucanetes githagineus subspecies B. g. amantum is endemic to the Canary Islands and is one of four subspecies recognised. On Fuerteventura, the track which runs alongside the goat farm at Las Parcelas and the surrounding plain are well-known area for them. Trumpeter Finches normally occur in small flocks but become dispersive during the breeding season (April) and they then can be difficult to locate. This striking male is in full breeding plumage.  Text © www.rawbirds.com