Thursday, August 9, 2012

Strange beginnings!

A weird year so far!

It had been a busy spring, full blown tours and never a dull moment on my local day trips around my mountains here in the Serranía de Ronda, no complaints from me, its been a record year for bookings, but it certainly made time fly by and already we are in the summer months under blue skies and a very hot sun. Certain things stick in mind from April through to the middle of May, namely the unpredictable weather, a strange year so far. Flowers were late, orchids were patchy and some of our migrant birds also chose to delay their appearance, or at least in anything like their normal numbers.

Cold days and rain punctuated the passing of April and a tragedy unfolded as the month wore on. Sure the rains were welcomed by all, the flowers certainly livened-up and the countryside began the transition from multicoloured hues to more greens, but together with the rains, the cold meant a severe lack of insects. I picked-up several dead Bee Eaters around local areas, all showed signs of starvation with breast bones needle sharp and no visible fat, I can only surmise the lack of insects, after such long uninterrupted journeys, led to these beautiful birds perishing at the final hurdle of their migration.

Although it has to be said it was an enjoyable experience for all concerned, it remained a strange mixture of good and bad news for wildlife this year. A very dry winter meant late flowering plants leading to a lack of insects, which led to food shortages for early arriving birds reliant on a good food sources after their long passage from Africa, an unusual year so far…. and now we have birds arriving early on their journey south for the winter, in large part due to such a wet summer in Northern Europe, who said life is dull?

See full illustrated article on this link: Back over my shoulder

To join me on day tours here and learn a little more about my area, please visit my tour page: Serrania de Ronda

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