Sunday, July 14, 2013

Spending time with me!

Its been a pretty hectic first half of the year, always fun, but also it is good as a guide to have the odd day alone, time to investigate other areas and sites, time to indulge yourself with a camera or the more common birds here in my mountains. I have been desperate to spend a little more time getting used to my new Canon SX50, it has been frustrating seeing so many great birds, butterflies, plants and animals whilst guiding others, but not having time to photograph these and at the same time give my full attention to paying guests. Of course another huge bonus for being on my own is I do not have to listen to myself talking all day!

Orobanche amethystea - Broomrape - Jaro
The year seemed strange from the offset with continual rains during the first 4 months, but then again each country I visited in this period had strange abnormal weather. Not only did we have record rainfall, we also had cold temperatures. The affect on wildlife was noticeable, although plantlife flourished in the wet conditions; insects were slow to emerge in the cool spring temperatures. Birds were late arriving, although certain species, such as Bee Eater, catch-up on themselves and soon are in sequence with a ‘normal’ breeding cycle. Bonelli’s Eagle have certainly suffered with many nest failing and others less successful than normal, not entirely sure why this is other than there must have been a lack of prey earlier in the breeding season.

Gull-billed Tern a beneficiary of high water levels on local lagoons
A bonus to the constant rainfalls in the winter and early spring has been the water levels in most lagoons this summer. Most lagoons here are water table fed and so the fact many have good levels is testimony to the record amount of rains experienced in winter and spring. So its been a case of win some loose some, waders, terns and other water loving birds have had a highly successful breeding season. Even the ill fated Little Ringed Plover, who’s first attempt at breeding on dry river beds soon got washed away in times of spring floods, but soon they were able to brood and successfully raise their young as more seasonal dry weather returned and river levels dropped.

Greater Flamingo are yet another species having a great breeding season
Anyway a few more photographic efforts with the Canon SX50 appear above and below, I very much hope you enjoy them, although I accept there is much room for improvement as I get used to using this versatile camera.

Red-veined Darter although late emerging they are abundant now!
Little Ringed Plover successful second time around after early floods
Marbled White have now emerged in huge numbers, such a spectacle.
Joining the large emergence of butterflies were Sage Skipper

You can read more about Peter's tours on Spanish Nature's website or if you want a day's trip in his mountains read about the details here


Oretani Wildlife said...

It was an odd start to the year indeed. However, as you say, the rains have kept our wetlands wet, especially here in Castilla la Mancha, such as the Tablas of Daimiel as you saw yourself. Regards, Mike at Oretani Wildlife

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