After a four month drought it’s finally started to rain, sadly too late for many southbound birds who missed the winged ants, and had to make do with other insects fortunately plentiful because of the remaining ponds from our very wet spring. So the Flycatchers stayed very little this year, mainly pied, Spotted flycatcher only spotted a couple of times. There were lots of Whinchats and Redstarts around from mid-September but most appear to have moved on. The Wheatear have held on until mid-October, which goes to show there must still have been plenty of food for them.
Our village was filled with House martins for several days on their southerly migration, stopping off to rest and refuel, catching small insects in flight with superb agility. What a privilege it was to be able to watch them from my window!
Upstream at Puente del Congosto on the River Tormes we were treated to hundreds of Housemartin feeding on the church wall and later mobbing a Hobby who tried in vain to gain height over them. The Blue Rock thrush showed itself peeping from the castle tower and later on a rooftop: such a special bird, so very beautiful with it’s fine vermiculated feathers.
On a walk nearby we came across two interesting creatures: Eresus kollari the Ladybird spider and the Iberian or Bosca’s newt Lissitriton boscai. A tiny creature, and endemic to Western Iberia.