Wednesday, 17 June 2015
Today's trip with our guide Peter would take us around Osuna and the 'steppe' on what was a very hot dry and dusty day. Fields and fields of Sunflowers joined us on our journey a magnificent heartwarming sight and a sight that we will remember always.
We passed acre upon acre of Olive groves and it was in the shade of the Olives that we had a couple of good views of Iberian Hares and Stone Curlews sheltering from the hot sun.
A Hoopoe would fly here and there and as we drove along the dusty tracks we had views of Griffon Vultures, Montagues Harrier, Black Shouldered Kite, Black Kite, lesser Kestrels, Calandra, Crested and Greater Short Toed Larks. A couple of Turtle Doves were seen mating on the road side - you don't see that every day!
After stopping for a superb lunch in a local town we went on to a lagoon area. The lagoon was host to Greater Flamingos, Cattle Egrets, Black Necked Grebes, White Headed Ducks and Glossy Ibis. Nice to hear the cooing of a Turtle Dove here and also a family of Swallows all the young lined up waiting to be fed. From the Lagoon we drove onto an area with a huge abandoned property with old outhouses - nature really had reclaimed this area! This area was now home to at least 5 pairs of Rollers and we had great views of this stunning bird but just so hard to get a photo of! Along the way we also had some good views of a few Collared Pratincoles in a field.
Another day of fantastic wildlife, scenery, flora and company.
Fields and fields of Sunflowers - Wow!
Iberian Hare in the shade of the Olive grove
Stone Curlew - another fan of the shady Olive groves
Stone Curlew on the nest
Greater Flamingo - still amazes me that we are seeing these beautiful birds in the wild
Swimming Flamingos- this pair swimming like graceful pink swans!
White Headed Duck - a bit far off for a decent shot
Family of hungry young swallows
A flighty Roller!!!!
Our friend and Guide for the day Peter Jones from Spanish Nature picked us up from our villa on what was a beautiful hot and sunny day. We headed off towards Ronda and then into the Sierra de las Nieves a beautiful mountainous area.
The meadows and grasses were full of various wild flowers including Scabious. The Scabious in turn a great attraction for many butterflies. In one small area we saw 3 types of Fritillary, Marsh, Spanish and Cardinal. Cleopatra, plenty of Painted Ladies and Clouded Yellows, Walł, Grayling, Skippers and to top it all a beautiful Black Veined White. Four 'lifers' in one area!
We found a couple of Orchids along the way including a fine Lizard Orchid. As we drove to the more mountainous areas the floral landscape was breathtaking - like one vast rockery of various plants.
Plenty of birds also seen in this area including Griffon Vultures, Short toed Eagle, Alpine and Pallid Swifts, Choughs, Crested and Wood Larks, Crag Martins, Spectacled, Melodious and Sub Alpine Warblers, Black Wheatear, Rock Sparrow, Black Redstart, White Wagtail, Serin, Linnet, Corn, Rock and Cirl Bunting plus Stonechats. A truly awesome day from wildlife, flora, scenery and company.
Lizard Orchid - didn't realise how tall they are!
Lizard - great colours
Wow! What a tail!
Superb mountain views