Orchids, other flowers, birds in Extremadura, Spain


Italian orchid, 13 April 2016

After 12 April 2016 in Extremadura, Spain came 13 April. Where we saw this beautiful Italian orchid.

That day, we went to Monfraguë national park. Before arriving there, a red-legged partridge along the road.

Near a lake, a serin, a white wagtail, and a common sandpiper. Barn swallows and house martins. A cuckoo calls.

As we continued, a sparrowhawk flying.

Italian orchid, detail, 13 April 2016

We arrived at a meadow where many Italian orchids grew. A woodlark singing. A great tit calling. A griffon vulture circling in the sky. A nightingale singing.

Yellow bee-orchid, 13 April 2016

Besides Italian orchids, also other, smaller, orchids flowering. Like this yellow bee-orchid.

Sawfly orchid, 13 April 2016

And this sawfly orchid. And mirror orchids.

Bee-eaters call.

Also non-orchid flowers, like rosy garlic. And starry clover.

Tassel hyacinth, 13 April 2016

And the tassel hyacinth on this photo.

We continue. Two bee-eaters and a corn bunting, together in a tree.

A little ringed plover along the road.

Griffon vultures on a meadow. A male northern wheatear.

A greater short-toed lark. A crested lark.

A chaffinch sings. A buzzard flies.

We continue along the Camino natural del Tajo dirt road.

Tongue-orchids, 13 April 2016

Tongue-orchid flowers.

Tongue-orchid, 13 April 2016

Dipcadi serotinum.

Spanish lavender, 13 April 2016

Spanish lavender flowers.

A blackbird sings. A white stork in a meadow.

In the next blog post on Extremadura we will arrive in Monfraguë national park.

Azure-winged magpie and hoopoe in Extremadura, Spain, 12 April


This video is called Pictures of birds, during our holiday in Extremadura, Spain (23 April – 1 May 2011).

After 11 April 2016, came 12 April for us in Extremadura.

We went for a walk. A beautiful hoopoe sitting on an electric wire.

Unfortunately, like on many days, it then started to rain. Harder than yesterday. We had to go back.

Spanish sparrow, 12 April 2016

Later, sometimes the rain stopped; making it possible to photograph birds on the holly oak trees. Like this male Spanish sparrow.

Azure-winged magpie, 12 April 2016

Or these azure-winged magpies.

Azure-winged magpie, Jaraicejo, 12 April 2016

Cows, plants and rain in Spain


My last blog post on Extremadura in Spain before this one was about the rainy day, 11 April 2016, in Trujillo town. However, rain was not limited to that day. Or to Trujillo. Eg, this video is from a few days after 11 April, in Jaraicejo village. It shows cows, while some barn swallows fly past.

This video is about holly oaks near Jaraicejo in the rain.

Raindrops on flowers, April 2016

Many raindrops on flowers as well.

Holly oaks, 11 April 2016

This photo shows some sunlight on holly oaks again.

In my next blog post on Extremadura, chronological order will return; so, it will be about 12 April.

Lesser kestrels, nesting storks, old buildings in Trujillo, Spain


Trujillo main square

Still 11 April 2016. After the bullring of Trujillo in Spain, to the town center. The main square is called Plaza Mayor. Rain. The statue in the photo is of Francisco Pizarro, the best-known person born in Trujillo. His conquest of the Inca empire brought much bloodshed to South America.

Cuesta de la Sangre, Trujillo

While it kept raining, we went to the higher parts of the town. The photo shows the Cuesta de la Sangre; literally, ‘hill of the blood’. The ‘blood’ does not refer to the blood shed by Pizarro, or in the medieval wars in and around Trujillo between Christian and Muslim princes. It refers to the seventeenth century Holy Blood Church here.

Trujillo, on 11 April 2016

As we went still more uphill, the rain stopped for a while.

Trujillo, 11 April 2016

White stork, 11 April 2016

On church towers and roofs were several white stork nests.

White storks, 11 April 2016

The birds looked muddy on this rainy day. They greeted each other with bill-clattering, when a shift on the nest ended. In at least one nest there were at least two baby storks.

Collared dove, Trujillo, 11 April 2016

There were other birds as well, like this collared dove on a roof.

And a goldfinch in a tree. And a serin in another tree.

Lesser kestrel, Trujillo, Plaza Mayor, 11 April 2016

We went back to the Plaza Mayor square. Lesser kestrels flying around.

Lesser kestrels, swallows, bullfighting in Trujillo, Spain


This video is called Lesser Kestrel, Trujillo, Extremadura, Spain, 8 March 2011. It shows a male: with even more blueish-grey on its head than a common kestrel male. Females of both species have brownish heads.

After 10 April 2016, on 11 April, to the lesser kestrel nesting colony in Trujillo.

Trujillo, bullring, 11 April 2016

That nesting colony is in the bullring of Trujillo town. Special roof tiles enable the lesser kestrels to nest.

Trujillo, lesser kestrels sign, 11 April 2016

In front of the bullring is this information sign about the birds, and about the insects and other food which they eat.

There is less bloody bullfighting in Spain nowadays than there used to be. In Catalonia and the Canary Islands, it has been banned.

In Trujillo it is much less frequent now: about once a year. However, that infrequent bullfight would be soon. Male and female maintenance workers went in and out through the gate. That meant we could pass as well through the normally closed gate. A man rode around in the central, low part of the arena, leveling the ground. One could see that bullfighting is not only always dangerous for bulls, but sometimes for humans as well: there was a special infirmary room for injured matadores, picadores and banderilleros.

Mock bull, Trujillo, 11 April 2016

In another room, there was this mock bull for rehearsing toreros.

Barn swallow, 11 April 2016

Barn swallows used the catacombs of the bullring for less bloody activities: they nested there.

Barn swallow nest, 11 April 2016

Trujillo, inside the arena, 11 April 2016

We had unusual access to the center of the arena.

Spotless starlings, 11 April 2016

Spotless starlings, a south European and north African species, on the roof.

Spotless starlings, Trujillo, 11 April 2016

Lesser kestrels flying around, sometimes landing briefly on the bullring.

Lesser kestrel, 11 April 2016

They had not started nesting yet. As this was an unusually cold, rainy day in an unusually cold, rainy spring.

After the bullring, we went to the town center of Trujillo. Stay tuned!

Birds, orchids of Extremadura, Spain, 10 April


Flowers, Jaraicejo, 10 April 2016

This 10 April 2016 photo shows some beautiful flowers near Jaraicejo village in Extremadura in Spain.

After our arrival on 9 April came our first full day in Jaraicejo, on 10 April.

Corn bunting, Jaraicejo, 10 April 2016

Early in the morning, corn buntings sing from wires. Or from holly oak trees.

A collared dove calls.

A woodchat shrike in a holly oak tree.

Griffon vultures circle overhead.

Long-headed poppy flowers.

Two great tits.

Bee-eaters, Jaraicejo, 10 April 2016

Bee-eaters are back from their spring migration.

A black stork flies past. Like the bee-eaters, it is back, all the way from Africa.

Crested lark, 10 April 2016

A crested lark on the footpath.

In the afternoon, we walked a little further, towards the Almonte river.

Sawfly orchid, 10 April 2016

Along a dirt road grew these beautiful orchid flowers: sawfly orchid.

Sawfly orchid, white, 10 April 2016

Their usual colour is pinkish, but some flowers are white.

We saw a flock of about a hundred goldfinches.

Azure-winged magpie, 10 April 2016

When we had arrived back, there was this azure-winged magpie.

Hoopoe, 10 April 2016

And this hoopoe, looking for food in the soil.

Holly oaks, 10 April 2016

And these holly oaks.

Stay tuned, as more blog posts, including photos, from Extremadura will appear on this blog.

Dutch wildlife photography and video


This video from the Netherlands says about itself:

Nikon P900 – First test video nature photography by Michael de Vries

24 April 2016

Just bought the new Nikon Coolpix P900 camera. These are the first images (photo and film) that I made. The 83x zoom is amazing. During the filming there was extremely much wind.

The video shows wheatear, whinchat and other bird species.