Friday, April 06, 2012

Good Friday (Spain)

View From The Terrace!
Although primarily our Easter break in Spain was to catch up with my buddy Dave and especially to check out his new house, birding was obviously going to take centre stage at some point. Little did we realise that in fact our birding was going to take on a slightly different aspect.

After picking us up at Malaga airport the 20 minute drive seemed to take us higher and higher into the local Sierra's, finally reaching our destination after Dave had negotiated a series of roundabouts, at what I thought was breakneck speed, the Spanish way Dee tells me! I'll leave you to decide on what you think of the new house says he.

What greeted us as we made our way up the steps to the terrace was simply stunning. Behind and to the right stood mountains, part of the Sierra range and still extending higher from our vantage point, lights from other villas in the town of Mijas still higher still. From the centre and to the left panoramic views of the town of Fuengirola, the lights of Malaga away off in the distance. This all compounded by a clear moonlit night, the light of which was shimmering off the Mediterranean which lay directly ahead. In fact I could use several more superlatives but I simply can't describe the beautiful setting of his new house, well done Dave!

Up with the Larks on Good Friday morning and an hour on my own on the terrace in beautiful early morning sunshine. It wasn't long before my birding (Obsession), sorry instincts, took over and after leaving the UK in early spring migration, summer had suddenly arrived overhead with Swift, House Martin and Swallow in excellent numbers. A tour of the grounds also produced Sardinian Warbler, Serin, which are a constant, Jay and House Sparrow.

Rock Bunting (Record Shot)
After breakfast Dave took Dee and I on a mini tour of his grounds, which contains a whole diverse habitat of flora and fauna. Some small Lizards were scurrying around, a few Butterflies on the wing (too distant for id) and suddenly directly above two Booted Eagles, possibly a pair! Dave tells me regular visitors to the area. As if this wasn't enough for me to digest another large Raptor soaring overhead after we'd returned to the terrace turned out to be Short-toed Eagle, could this get any better?

In the afternoon a leisurely walk further up the mountains at Refugio de Juanar a vast esplanade of Pine, Olive Trees and stunning views. Unfortunately, being a Spanish holiday the place was extremely busy and noisy too, the Spanish are not known for their subdued conversation. The best of the birding on the walk was Crested Tit, Rock Bunting, Coal Tit and an unknown Raptor which flashed quickly through!

Apologies for the late post but computer problems prevented me from blogging while in Spain and there are more posts to come!