Sunday, 16 September 2018


After going on migration myself in August to England, where I was lucky to see both Curlew and Whimbrel at Pagham Harbour RSPB Reserve, on to Birdfair and then on to Yorkshire, before spending a few days in the Pyrenees walking and seeing Bearded vulture, I’ve returned to base and am now enjoying seeing the autumn migrants as well as the summer breeders and young birds who are getting ready to leave. 
At around 200om in the Sierra de Candelario there are plenty of Ortolan buntings and you can still catch a Short-toed eagle hanging in the air. Further down Redstart, Spotted and Pied Flycatchers are abundant and in the valleys Whinchat are everywhere.
Spectacled warblers, Iberian Chiffchaff, and Melodious warbler decorate the brambles and rose-bushes as they fuel up for their southern journey, and there are still some Wheatears, Northern and Black-eared, swooping down on insects or feeding on the ground.
There are gatherings of Egret and Black stork on lagoons and reservoirs, and Barn and Red-rumped swallows and House martins appear in large groups and whizz around snaffling up the mosquitoes or roosting on the power lines in the village and appear to say their last goodbye for the year…
Ortolan bunting

Short-toed eagle

Spotted flycatcher


Spectacled warbler

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Iberian Chiffchaff

Black-eared wheatear

Egrets and Lesser Black-backed gulls
Barn swallows

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Strange Springtime

After an 18 month drought, we had the wettest and coldest winter and spring, which was great for the water reserves, but no so good for business.   In fact the spring happened with most of us indoors, but on the days it stopped raining it was truly spectacular.
This year very few numbers of Harriers arrived to breed here, we suspect that after last years’ terrible heat and drought in which many chicks died, and possibly an equally dry and hot winter in the Sahel, numbers have been seriously reduced.  We hope that this year’s greener crops and slower harvesting will have helped those that did breed and weren’t found on time by our local group of volunteers.  This year we tried to locate nests in a new area where there were both Montague and Hen harriers hunting, but we never saw the tell-tale handover of food nor found any nests. 
I’ve also been unable to drive for five weeks after an operation for Carpal tunnel syndrome, which meant I couldn’t take part in much of the campaign.
Here are some highlights of the past few months….
Terracing in Arribes
Iberian shrike

Ocelated lizard

Short-toed lark

Strange place for a nest

Sangusin river

Neighbours - Bee-eater & Rock sparrow

Gredos Mountains 
Golden oriole

Trapeeze artist


Iberian magpie
Montagu in flight


Woodlark with grub

Cardinal Argynnis pandora
Feeding time
The harvest

Wild flowers
House sparrow

Young Yellow wagtail

Black kite with prey

Turtle doves

Dinner time for Griffons

Alagon river
Batuecas Natural Park

Stork apartments

Young Woodchat shrike
Badger oak

Mantis oak

Stone marten oak

Turtle oak

Me with my sculptures at the Casa del Parque Batuecas Natural Park in Sierra de Francia