Egyptian vulture, snake eagle in Extremadura, Spain

Crested larks, 18 April 2016

After earlier on 18 April 2016, we are on that day still in Extremadura, Spain. We go back, uphill from the river valley. Crested larks on the dirt road.

Egyptian vulture, 18 April 2016

An Egyptian vulture flying.

Egyptian vulture, on 18 April 2016

It flies closer to us.

A hoopoe calls.

Red sandspurry, 18 April 2016

Many red sandspurry flowers in the middle of the road.

Gum rockrose, 18 April 2016

Later, along the road, gum rockrose flowers.

In the dehesa behind a fence, a red deer.

Short-toed snake eagle, 18 April 2016

While we walk in the dehesa, a short-toed snake eagle flies past.

Jaraicejo church, 18 April 2016

In the distance, we see the church of Jaraicejo village already.

Common water-crowfoot, 18 April 2016

In a lakelet, common water-crowfoot flowers.

Holly oak flowering, 18 April 2016

A bit further, a holly oak flowering.

Blue jays versus screech owl in the USA

This video from the USA says about itself:

Blue Jays Harass Screech Owl

1 May 2016

Screech Owl uses newly documented scary daytime defensive posture against annoying Blue Jays and Mockingbirds consist of wide-eyed blinking and open mouth snapping to look more intimidating.

Mother red morph Eastern Screech Owl is trying to take a break outside the nest box in the daytime and let the fast growing owlets have some room and air to cool down. Ordinarily she would never expose herself in the daytime except for nesting season. The Blue Jays are not going to let her rest – they want to harass her until she leaves their nesting area, but she is not going to leave her nest box – thus a standoff.

Father Screech Owl sometimes kills songbirds roosting in the trees at night to feed the owlets so you can’t blame the Blue Jays. Screech Owls are very small owls and have different techniques to deal with threats including making themselves very skinny like a branch when a real dangerous threat is around like a hawk or big owl or puffing themselves up for some threats they can intimidate like squirrels. These behaviors can be seen in this documentary:

Eastern Screech Owl Camouflage and Defensive Survival Techniques

Ex-circus lions freed in South Africa

This video from South Africa says about itself:

Roaring rescued lions free at last

1 May 2016

Thirty-three abused circus lions arrived at OR Tambo Airport from Peru and Colombia, en route to their new home in Limpopo.

Animal Defenders International co-founder Tim Phillips describes the difficulties of rescuing the 33 lions who were scattered around in 12 different illegal circuses.

For more about this story click here.

Also related to the arrival of the lions – read here.

This video from South Africa says about itself:

Rescued Circus Lions Given Freedom In South Africa

2 May 2016

Thirty-three lions rescued from South American circuses landed in South Africa. Tasting their new freedom, the lions were released into a bush sanctuary for big cats.

Animal Defenders International said it rescued 24 of the lions in surprise raids on circuses in Peru.

In the statement released by the organization, the company said, “Nine were voluntarily surrendered by a circus in Colombia. Almost all of the rescued lions have been mutilated to remove their claws, one has lost an eye, another is almost blind, and many have smashed and broken teeth so would not survive in the wild,” the organization.

The president of Animal Defenders International said it was their largest airlift in history.

Mining bee video

This Dutch video is about Andrena vaga mining bees.

Andrena vaga are solitary bees. However, they make their nests close to each other.

This video is from North Brabant province in the Netherlands.

Great spotted woodpecker drumming

This video shows a great spotted woodpecker drumming. In the background, we hear another great spotted woodpecker, and a blackbird singing.

Michiel Mos in the Netherlands made this video.

Young night heron video

This 28 April 2016 video by Luuk Punt in the Netherlands shows a young black-crowned night heron, looking for food in the water.

Stonechat, lark and beetle in Extremadura, Spain

This video from Spain says about itself:

More than 128,000 Common Cranes counted in winter 2013-2014 in Extremadura! Even more than last year. Large concentrations on rice and corn stubble. Amazing spectacle! Easy to watch from the car or with a short walk.

Sierra de Gredos snowy mountains, 18 April 2016

After 17 April in Extremadura came 18 April for us. Not winter any more; unusually cold spring weather. That meant still snow on the over 2,000 m high Sierra de Gredos mountains.

Sierra de Gredos snowy mountains, on 18 April 2016

Corn buntings singing.

Tongue-orchid, 18 April 2016


Quail sounds. Three bee-eaters flying.

Crested lark, 18 April 2016

A crested lark takes a dust bath on the dirt road.

A chaffinch sings.

Red-striped oil beetle, 18 April 2016

An unusual insect crosses the road. It is a female red-striped oil beetle. One of the largest European insects, this species is unable to fly.

Stonechat male singing, 18 April 2015

Next, a male stonechat.

A goldfinch on the road.

At a bridge across the river, the public road stops. We hear Cetti’s warbler, great tit and Iberian green frog sounds.