21 August 2013

Iberian Diversion...SPAIN (21 Aug)

I will get back to my Indonesia adventure in Sulawesi and Halmahera shortly, but for now, here is something completely different. I am currently visiting my mother in Andalucia in Spain, and snuck in several hours of birding in the early, cooler hours today. I took a walk along the Rio Genil in Loja, and enjoyed a great couple of hours birding. The songs of Cetti's Warblers exploded from the banks of the river; and Blackcaps were out in conspicuous numbers, shuffling through the creeping hillside vegetation; while several parties of European Bee-eaters "prewked" softly overhead, making acrobatic aerial displays in pursuit of insects on the wing. I saw my first Spotted Flycatchers for years, several of which were haunting the riverside snags. 
At one point a roost of Night-Herons must have been disturbed as five or six birds took to the air, and nearby a Common Sandpiper took a low flight on typically bowed wings, as it disappeared downstream. In the underbrush Eurasian Serins foraged along with European Goldfinch. In the skies above several Red-rumped Swallows were significantly outnumbered by the more common Barn Swallows. The surrounding hills were alive with the songs of Crested Larks, regularly given in flight, as they made short ground to air forays. Other birds in the near sierras included a couple of Hoopoes bouncing along in flight on conspicuous pied wings, while small marauding troops of Iberian (Azure-winged) Magpies moved through the olive groves, which held a fair number of churring Sardinian Warblers, giving their staccato calls at regular intervals.
Another half day of birding beckons tomorrow in Andalucia...

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