The month had been varied and untypical in so far as weather was concerned. Cold spells, plenty of rain, cool nights and all interspersed with the more normal warm days and balmy evenings! A noticeable bonus to cooler temperatures and decent rainfall has been the prolonged season for the native plantlife. Of course this translates into bumper harvests for insects and seeds, thus our precious birds are thriving. Some notable birds there are too, first timers on the backyard breeding list are Roller and Black-winged Stilt, with Pied Flycatcher seen throughout May and also likely! Sightings included Long-legged Buzzard (adult seen 2 times) and the elusive Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin present in 2 secret locations.
|Hoopoe - Another good and successful breeding season|
Dragonflies and Butterflies are thriving, variety as well as abundance confirming the benefits of an extended flowering season. Late arrivals to the scene, as always, are Spotted Flycatcher, who seems to occupy all known sites this year. The prolific insect hatch will satiate this handsome visitor as well as assist Barn Swallow in raising good sized and more broods, this is particularly necessary as numbers are certainly down this year. Wonder why? Could it refer to unforeseen, untold problems at their wintering grounds?
|Spanish Festoon. A great year so far for many species of butterfly|
In all years there are good and bad things to report, as well as some worrying trends. The increasing use of systemic herbicides is baffling, why use these on verges? More especially their use in the areas of so-called Parque Naturals, protected areas, together with strimming verges at their peak with flowering plants is criminal! Despite the mismanagement of these roadside wonders, nature has conspired, so far, to thwart the destruction of one of the most attractive and colourful spectacles of our area. You would think the number of tourist that come to view wildflowers and add economically to this area, might have some influence on the decision makers on rural affairs, but so far there is no sign of it! Who would believe we have problems in paradise?
|Roadside flowers under threat from Parque Natural mismanagement?|
A pictorial review for May. Hope you enjoy the view?
|Pied Flycatcher - A new breeding species for the area?|
|Barn Swallow numbers are down this year - they need a good year!|
|Broad-bodied Chaser among many dragonflies enjoying a good spring|
|Knapweed Fritillary another insect enjoying prolific plantlife|
|Bug Orchid enjoying the climate, one of many orchids this year.|
|Iberian Grey Shrike - slow decline in occupied territories is of concern!|
|Crested Lark one of our more common birds in cultivated areas.|
|Echium a great favourite with butterflies and other insects.|
|Roller - a first record as a breeding bird in this area|
|Black-winged Stilt another bird 1st breeding record in the area this year!|
|Spotted Flycatcher present again on all known sites|
|Southern Gatekeeper - one among many butterflies this spring|
Why not join Peter on one his Day Tours? See Links below.
Serranía de Ronda – My Mountains – for further information read HERE
Osuna – Steppe Country – for further information read HERE
Campillos - Mountains to Lagoons - for further information read HERE
Strait of Gibraltar - Migration, wetlands and so much more read HERE
Coming Soon! Tour to South Africa beginning November 2014, fancy joining me?
|Blue Crane - one of the many birds we will seek during our tour|
Introduction to the tour HERE
Full Tour Itinerary HERE
Photo Gallery from our 2013 tour HERE
I very much hope you can join me for this tour and also the optional tour extension to Cape Town.