Birding targets  >>  1 to 16 July

This page contains my personal birding targets for the coming days. It is intended to keep me focussed. You can off course make your own and better version!

Common Quail Coturnix coturnix
Not a rarity but still a cool bird to find on my patch. I think I best give it a try on a calm morning during a warm spell. Any open terrain with low vegetation is worth checking. Or perhaps I will hear one migrating at night.

Balearic Shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus
An early morning seawatch in calm weather might produce this much-desired species. I will definitely spend some time on it.

Black Stork Ciconia nigra
Although this species is already even on my house list, with three birds flying over on 25 July 2018, any new encounter with it will surely make my day. I will be scanning from a dune top.

Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarius
A mega rarity! Checking flocks of Northern Lapwings V vanellus on (mowed) fields will eventually pay off. July certainly is a good month for it.

Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis
Always a nice find and a fine reason to visit the local wader sites on a regular basis.

Audouin’s Gull Larus audouinii
A good excuse to spend some time on the beach (even though the chance of finding this species is actually close to zero).

Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus
A near-impossible job, but someone has got to do it… It has been seen before in July along the Dutch coast (in 1989). So why not?

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Merops persicus
This unmistakable species is very rare in north-western Europe. Nevertheless, I believe that learning how to separate its calls from those of European Bee-eater M apiaster can make a difference. After all, bee-eaters are often observed in flight only.

Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla
This species easily escapes detection and my local patch has got more than enough suitable habitat. So I must be prepared. Knowing how to identify its calls is where to begin. Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis and Common House Martin Delichon urbicum are two likely confusion species.

Western Bonelli’s Warbler Phylloscopus bonelli
There are, without a doubt, better months to search for this species than July, but its regular breeding grounds lie close enough to at least have a chance. Perhaps a dispersed juvenile. Who knows?… I will be listening for its calls (those of juveniles are, on average, a bit shorter and more variable than the better-known adult version).

Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis
Identifying the song of a Zitting Cisticola is pretty straightforward. However, being sharp enough to pick it up from a distance is a different story. Wish me luck!

As always, I will keep an eye on the weather charts and plan from there.