Friday, 29 May 2020

May days birds and beasts.

Spring has rushed on irrespective of our situation, nature taking advantage of our absence to display in all its splendor, indifferent to a human public but there for all to see, even in cities, just as long as we know how to look.
We are lucky: we have it on our doorstep, and never have I felt so grateful than during this period of confinement.  Now we can go for walks and very recently move within the province, but we’re doing very little of that, preferring to stay home and walk locally.
We should have had several groups from Britain and Denmark but it wasn’t to be. Instead I’ve been out discovering all that has appeared over the last few weeks. 
We've had some major surprises.  
I leave you with the photographs of the birds and the beasts of our local patch.

 Visiting Red-backed shrike
 Red-striped oil beetle laying eggs
Berberomeloe majalis

 Calandra lark

Clouded yellow Colias crocea 
 Northern wheatear
 Thekla lark
 guess who! Cuckoo

European pond turtle Emys orbicularis rescued from the road

 Western dappled white Euchloe crameri

 Feeding time
 Greenfinches and nesting material
Queen of Spain fritillary Issoria lathonia
Sooty copper Lycaena t. bleusi
Meadow brown Maniola jurtina 
 Great spotted cuckoo
 on Harrier watch
 Spanish sparrow 
 Lesser spotted woodpecker

 Bath white Pontia daplidice
 Psammodromus manuelae
 Serin serenade
 Singing on a satellite
 Spotless starling
 Stonechat Linnet Wheatear
 Thekla lark
 Painted lady Vanessa cardui

 Our stork
 Woodchat shrike at sunset
 urban Wren
 Young Stonechat
 Young Woodlark

Melodious warbler

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Highlights from the balcony, and the first post-confinement walks.

Confinement is slowly coming to an end, and yesterday evening and today I went out in different directions and reveled in the birdsong, the wildflowers… and just being there amongst it all. The lack of sheep around here lately as the local shepherd stayed in his village has meant that there are flowers bordering all the tracks that would normally have disappeared, and the rains over the last few months have of course helped. Everything is just gorgeous, and more so for being able at last to enjoy it directly.
Having said that, I’ve discovered that balcony birding is actually quite remarkable and I would never have guessed that I could see birds up close quite as amazing as some of our recent visitors. So here are a few photographs of the highlights and the recent walks…

Great Spotted Cuckoo

White stork

Food queues Spanish sparrows


Champagne orchid Orchis champaneuxi and Tongue orchid Serapias lingua

Stonechat couple

Stork and chicks

View of the village

View to the mountains

Woodchat shrike

Woodlark amongst the orchids

Iberian shrike

Iberian shrike supper: Mole cricket Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa

Field of Tassel hyacinth Muscari comosum

Tiny purple flowers in the middle of the track

Thekla larks

Wild rabbit

Flowery verges
And here's a little concert from last night's walk and a link to my video of the Great Spotted cuckoo.

Be safe and enjoy the spring wherever you are!