Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The end of Spain

This long drawn out blog ends tonight after a few busy evenings. Plus some free time, now I've been to Bockhill Farm late this afternoon and found the bird Nancy saw earlier and didn't recognise. Her description suggested Ring Ouzel, and so it was, a female. Sorry no pics, but here's one of a singing male taken through my telescope high in the Pyrenees in May 2004

Now back to 2014
After all the excitement over that Spanish Festoon, this thing appeared when out in the Steppes. At first I thought it's a moth but Phil reckons it's a Skipper of some sort, anyone got any ideas please - Josele couldn't put a name to it

Thanks to Phil Smith and his book, I can tell you this is a Mallow Skipper

On Friday I was able to take advantage of a day's guided birding with Josele, starting in the hills North of Loporzano - first stop and the lady guest ( who must put something miraculous in her tea) immediately found this Wallcreeper - see what I mean about the stuff in her tea?

There it is, look

long thin beak, too

the while we were being watched, as in "the One above sees all", maybe I looked a bit peaky?

This is a very high irrigation dam, ever so spectacular but the weather turned against us here

but not before I found this Alpine Saxifrage, not in flower. I understand they take years to produce a single spike then die - aaaa-aaah

More Vultures licking their lips

Cloud mist and no thermals = no raptors so Josele took us down to the steppes

but not before we found this group of several tens of Black Kites riding the wind up into, and presumably, over the mountains

 Typical of the dry open Steppes is this Thekla lark

The place we were taken was composed of sandrock outcrops, the strata of varying hardness hence this spectacular erosion resembling a grumpy fat old man

nearby was this blue Rock Thrush

and as the day fined up and warmed, another large group of hitherto unseen Black Kite lifted off this outcrop and soared away at height

This place had been used as a source of stone by the Romans apparently, as evidenced by these cart tracks worn into the rock

The sand varied a lot in colour, a bit like Alum Bay on the Isle of Wight

another weird wind sculpture

and a more recognisable Hoopoe

The lady in the group asked to see a White Stork so we were taken to a small colony

undercarriage down, doors to manual, prepare to land!

Because of the improvement in the weather Josele took us back into the hills where the air was clear as a bell, fabulous, enabling us to watch Vultures as they came in to roost

and a final picture of Feral Goats, otherwise Vulture food if they slip

Superb trip, well worth the effort of getting there, including the flight cock-up!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Pete
    checked in my book almost certainly a" MALLOW SKIPPER",cheers