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Sunday, 15 September 2019

Migrants on their way.

It's raining here at last, just the tail-end of the terrible weather front causing deluges in other parts of Spain.  Winged ants have been flying, and the Swallows and Martins can afford to take a break under the stormclouds to preen, I imagine they've had a good feed today.


Red-rumped and Barn swallows and House martin
Travelling companions
Winged ant, possibly a Queen, may become a nutricious meal for migrant birds
Barn swallows with one Red-rumped
The drought was making our local landscape look ever more African, helped by the stately cows with their huge horns.  Now on just about every walk there's a Whinchat perched on a fence or a shrub, and Spotted and Collared Flycatchers either on a post or a twig of a Holm oak. 
Cow
Whinchat
Spotted flycatcher


Pied flycatcher
In the prairies, or 'Salamanca savannah' as I call it,  the occasional yellow wagtail flutters at insects around cowdung and vultures wait patiently for the air to rise or a cow to die.
 

Whinchat in heat haze
Yellow wagtail
Lapwing and Green Sandpiper
The few ponds are a magnet for passing waders.  
In the very Mediterranean area of the Sierra de Francia, the vegetation is much more lush.

Medieval bridge 
Grey wagtail
Cottage gardens
Lunaria annua
Willow warbler
Pistachia terebintus Turpentine tree
13 Serin
 Up in the hills there are vestiges of ancient wine presses, possibly pre-Roman, and living amongst them the beautiful Spiny-footed lizard,  the Cardinal butterfly and the Blue-winged grasshopper.
Ancient wine-press

Spiny-footed lizard

female Cardinal butterfly
Meanwhile in the mountains of the Sierra de Bejar at 1km higher up, 1600m or so, the young Rockthrushes are busy catching insects. Parnassius palustris is in flower as is the ubiquitous Autumn crocus, and Wall brown, Cardinal and Grayling butterflies abound.



Rock Grayling butterfly

Juvenile rockthrush
Glacial lagoon
Parnassius palustris

Wall brown butterfly









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