Monday 1 September 2014

August has flown.

July and August flew by, with high temperatures and very little rainfall, which meant spending alot of time watering our bean and tomato plants down at the vegetable plot and a few evenings cooling off at the reservoir.

The White Storks left towards the end of July, our family hanging around for a few days more but no longer roosting by the nest as the young ones had at first.

We watched as one of the Booted Eagle chicks flew from their tree, the other one perched on a higher branch but unwilling to leave for the moment. A week or so later we saw a pair flying over our vegetable plot. I like to think it was them and they'd come to say hello.
Two together

The last Booted Eagle chick
We saw a Bonelli's Eagle fly overhead one evening as we left the reservoir, after having watched groups of Sandpipers, Little Ringed Plovers and a couple of Redshanks feeding on the shores. Amazingly the reservoir is still pretty high for this time of year: due to a very wet spring, so it's only recently we can see waders in any number. We often saw Black Kite circling above before lunging down into the water and capturing an unsuspecting fish.

We missed our Black Storks this spring: their usual spot for feeding was under water until the end of June, so they probably headed for somewhere more shallow. A few days ago huge numbers of Great Crested Grebe and Mallard were out in our branch of the reservoir, and I had a wonderful swim watching and being watched by one Grebe which changed direction whenever I did, like some kind of avian mirror.

Our local reservoir
In mid August we were at Rutland Birdfair, representing our group of Birding guides and Rural Hotels and Casas at the Castille and León stand. Despite having the same birds as in Extremadura and very stunning and diverse ecosystems our region is virtually unknown to the general birding public, perhaps because up until recently nobody had thought to promote it. Hopefully this will start to change soon, bringing welcome clients for the hotels and local birding guides, as a much needed stimulus to the local economy.

I enjoyed Rutland Birdfair very much but wished I could have been in several places at once – I didn't get the chance to go to any lectures or events and probably only saw about a quarter of the stands. But, hey, I was there to promote us and I hope I did it well. Only time will tell...
Our team at the Castille and Leon stand
We spent a week visiting family up north and enjoying cloudy weather and the odd shower. I'm not joking: you can have too much of sunshinezzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Sorry, that was my cat trying to tell me to go to bed. Well, she sort of put her paw down on the keyboard and got a claw stuck.

Anyway we got back to find that the Spotted and Pied Flycatchers have arrived, and the Black Kites seem to have gone. When we went to water our thirsty veggies there was a lot of activity down at our plot - flying ants having just left their holes - with the Bee-eater, Spotted and Pied Flycatchers, flocks of Serin, Long-tailed tit, Blue tit, Great tit, Stonechat, Woodchat Shrike, Iberian Grey Shrike, Willow Warbler, Cetti's Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Chaffinch, Swallow, House Martin, Crow, Raven, Buzzard and Short-toed Eagle, all within sight of our tomatoes!

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