Thursday, May 22, 2014

Late spring in the Serranía de Ronda

What an absolute plethora, convergence, abundance, mass or just plain lots, call it what you like, but the wildlife here in my mountains, at this time of year, is staggering. Rising temperatures, increased hours of daylight and sunny days, conspire to produce the kind of activity one normally associates with the rush hour in many heavily populated cities. The noise from buzzing, singing and flapping wings fills my airspace as clearly as the combined colours of various creatures dazzle my vision. You probably might have guessed I love this time of year!

Coriander, Poppies and so much more!
Coriander, grown here for its seed, gives a silver wash to the landscape and helps to create the illusion of a seascape, when winds produce waves and ripples on the silvery surface of the massed flower heads. In contrast, the deep blood reds of poppies that grace our fields are testimony to a more tolerant attitude displayed by many local farmers and their appreciation of the natural flora. Although, having blown that particular trumpet, there is a worrying trend towards the use of more and more systemic herbicides! Of course, the area is becoming more and more renowned for wildflowers, something that is attracting visits from plant lovers and tour companies, so money arrives into the local economy, which then assists with banging the conservation and preservation drum!

The elusive Pimpernel or otherwise known as a Nightingale
All our summer resident birds are back in situ and have got straight down to breeding, males adding their two pennies worth to the cacophony of song already gladdening my ears from the resident birds. Nature’s orchestra were all in perfect harmony with star soloists, such as Nightingale, adding to the music in my ears. In fact, one of the main games of late spring is trying to spot ‘that bird’ singing so wonderfully from dense scrub, the browns and grey front make the Nightingale one of those extremely difficult birds to spot. Like anything else in life though, perseverance pays and this particular brown job bit the dust to my camera lens, yes! Mind you perseverance is not making any inroads for my bird photography nemesis, that bloody elusive Golden Oriole. I am still held in wonder by just how such a brightly coloured bird can simply vanish as soon as it dives into a popular tree?

Serin - a male decides to cool down in a cold stream
Anyways, here are a few photos taken during this month and as ever I hope you enjoy the nature they portray?

Iberian Wingless Mantis ( Apteromantis aptera )
Poppy Field
Collared Pratincole
Woodchat Shrike - trying saying that after a few red wines!
Truxalis nasuta - Orthoptera / or in English = Gangling Grasshopper
European Roller takes flight. Photo: Peter Bonn Erickson
Little Owl looking at me looking at him!
Yellow Bee Orchid smiles from all that find her
Red Deer - not uncommon throughout my mountains
Red Admiral - widespread, common and so beautiful
Kentish Plover - such a wonderful very small wader
Crag Martin - collecting some mud for a bit of house keeping

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

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