Tuesday 1 April 2014

New arrivals in March

One of our most beautiful and agile eagles has arrived: the Short-toed Eagle, or Culebrera. It's such a pleasure to see them coming to a virtual standstill in the air whilst they scan the ground for snakes. This one landed on a pylon about a hundred yards away while I was looking for a Cetti's warbler in the undergrowth. I turned around and there it was: perfectly calm and aware that I was watching it. Trying not to tremble, I held my camera over the telescope, and managed these shots. I always feel that I've been given a wonderful gift after these encounters.   

Short-toed Eagle - Ɓguila Culebrera
Black Kites also arrived in force this month: we saw five of them flying one after the other, coming over the hill from the south. Now they're as abundant as the Red Kite: go for a walk and you're bound to see one or the other.

Black Kite

Earlier in the month we were in the Arribes Natural Park in western Salamanca. We had the privilege of watching a pair of Bonelli's Eagle doing some amazing dive-bombs, and following one another before swooping down the valley towards their nest. There are only two known nesting pairs in the Arribes so we're hoping that this year they'll be successful.

We saw the recently arrived Egyptian Vultures alongside a colony of breeding Griffon Vultures.
And we were wowed by a resident Peregrine Falcon performing a fantastic swooping flight as if to show off it's incredible flying skills.
Nesting Griffon Vulture

Egyptian Vulture - Alimoche
We also came across some rather glamorous caterpillars, so I'm looking forward to finding out what they'll be when they grow up.

Very hairy caterpillars

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