Sunday, March 29, 2015

When its Spring again I’ll sing again…

Flowers from the Serrania de Ronda! Yep, it’s that time of year again and don’t you just love it. My mountains are coming into bloom, colours everywhere and some fine orchids already reaching for the sky (Photo: Sawfly Orchid). We recently had rains and now there is glorious sunshine, warm temperatures and lush greens carpeting the valleys. Toss in arriving migrant summer resident birds, migrating raptors cruising overhead and you have just about the most intoxicating mix of wildlife you can imagine. Welcome to my backyard!

Laneria sp.
The area is so rich in plant life and birds, of course butterflies, dragon and damselflies, that a visit to this veritable wonderland is an absolute must. With the euro now at a low against the US Dollar and British Pound it is also an attractive economical proposition too! Been here already, thought about coming? Then now is the perfect moment, good accommodation is plentiful in the area and should you need a recommendation just contact me.

Ophyrs fusca - so many orchids!
Anyways onwards with a few photographs taken in the last couple of weeks to entice you. If you can’t make it to the Serrania de Ronda, just keep an eye to this blog for fairly regular postings of what graces this wonderfully scenic part of Andalucia. Hope you enjoy this latest pictorial?

Wonderful scenery - Serrania de Ronda
Fan Lipped Orchid
Bumble Bee Orchid
Yellow Bee Orchid
Sub.species - Ophyrs fusca bilunulata
Lizard Orchid (from last year and coming soon!)
Another Ophyrs fusca such a variable orchid, in fact downright confusing!
Another O.fusca see what I mean?
Early Purple Orchid
Italian Man Orchid
Woodcock Orchid
Mirror Orchid
Did I mention there are other flowers too?
So many orchid species to show, so many birds, dragonflies, butterflies, reptiles there just isn't time to show you them all. Why not join me on a guided tour in the mountains of the Serrania de Ronda?

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


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

HELP! Blog by Mark Avery

Mark Avery friend and a well known campaigner for 'our' nature makes a case for signing the e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting.
I've signed and would put on my friendships here and ask you to do the same. Hen Harriers and other wildlife need your help. PLEASE DO SIGN.

Our e-petition passed 21,500 signatures yesterday, with less than two weeks to go (and after less than 10 months). HM Government e-petition Ban driven grouse shooting
The e-petition is on the Westminster government website which means that it has political clout. Already it is one of the most successful e-petitions ever – being in the top 0.5% of all e-petitions on this site.  The e-petition applies to England, but any UK citizen is entitled to sign it.
Driven grouse shooting, where lines of beaters chase the Red Grouse across the hills to fly past lines of ‘guns’ who pay large amounts of money to shoot at them, is the source of wildlife crime (killing of birds of prey), damaged wildlife sites (burning of blanket bogs), increased carbon emissions (from heather burning and soil erosion), increased water bills (through water discolouration requiring water treatment) and increased home insurance (through increased flood risk caused by land management in the hills).  It is of trivial economic value to the economy but your taxes are helping to subsidise this field sport. We’d be better off without it.
All attempts to negotiate a more sustainable future with grouse shooting interests have failed through their intransigence. The only way forward for the wildlife enthusiast, the taxpayer and the many, is to ban this unsustainable practice of the few.
This e-petition has already sent a message to grouse shooters that they need to change and to politicians that they need to act.  Your signature will help strengthen that message.
I am grateful to Chris Packham, the Green Party of England and Wales, Birdwatch magazine, the League Against Cruel Sports, Rare Bird Alert and a host of raptor workers and wildlife enthusiasts for their support in getting this e-petition so far. One last push and surge of signatures before the 30 March will strengthen that message.
But it’s up to you!
Thank you for your help.
Dr Mark Avery

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Serranía de Ronda, birds, mountains and things..

Dramatic scenery, dazzling wildlife, great hiking trails, amazing facilities and just one those places you have to visit at least once in your lifetime. In fact, once you’ve been to this stunning area, you are likely as not to return! Sound like a travelogue? Well, the area is precious and one of the ways to preserve it is to introduce elements to sustain it. One element, and not the least important, is nature tourism. Andalucia, and particularly rural Andalucia, is largely unspoilt but economically challenged! Tourism can bring incomes into the rural communities and not only help sustain local communities, but also encourage them to conserve and preserve their natural surroundings. Two birds with one stone so to speak.

The area known as the Serranía de Ronda is a natural gem and surrounded by natural parks, two of which are UNESCO Biosphere Parks, Sierra de las Nieves and Sierra de Grazalema. The diversity in habitats and hence wildlife is immense, in just ten minutes you can be driving through Mediterranean Forest and suddenly be in dramatic limestone mountains, contrasts easily reached and enjoyed by the many tracks and roads that make the whole area accessible. The area is a network of quiet country roads each leading to a famous ‘White Village’ which the area has become so well known for. It is an explorer’s delight; hidden valleys combine with a cultural heritage that beckons the adventurous tourist. Then of course there are the many local vineyards that seem to tug at the steering wheel as you drive by, my advice is not to resist, go and taste those fine wines and enjoy!

On the basis that a picture can paint a thousand words, and thus save my labours on this keyboard, I have compiled a pictorial of scenes from here during January 2015 until now (March 11th). I hope it gives food for thought and might help you decide to contribute to the conservation and preservation of the Serranía de Ronda by visiting this wonderful part of Andalucia, Spain. At the very least I hope you enjoy the photos.

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