Betic midwife toad video


This 21 May 2016 video shows a Betic midwife toad. It was recorded in the Sierra de Burete, Murcia region, Spain.

This toad species is endemic to mountainous areas in south-eastern Spain. Its scientific name is Alytes dickhilleni; after Dutch zoologist Dick Hillenius.

Bullfighting to be banned in Spain?


This video says about itself:

5 February 2013

Hundreds of anti-bullfighting protesters gathered in front of the Monument to the Revolution in Mexico City to call for an end to the sport. Smeared with fake blood and with banderillas (bullfighting spears) in their backs, protesters lay on the ground to highlight the bull’s suffering.

From Associated Press:

Spain: Bullfight tensions rise with new political landscape

By ALAN CLENDENNING

May 13, 2016, 1:58 PM EDT

MADRID (AP) — As matadors face half-ton bulls this month during Madrid’s most important annual series of bullfights and Pamplona gears up for its chaotic July bull runs down cobblestoned streets, tensions are building between anti-bullfighting forces and the tradition’s defenders, who have launched Spain’s first pro-bullfight lobbying group.

At least 17 Spanish cities and towns have slashed municipal funding for bullfights and bull runs or passed measures condemning or banning them since the new leftist Podemos party won its first seats in local and regional elections a year ago.

The Podemos party finished third in an inconclusive December national election that splintered the country’s traditional two-party system into four. It will be repeated June 26, when Podemos could overtake the No. 2 center-left Socialists.

Bull spectacles are expected to be banned this summer on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca by the regional Balearic Islands parliament ruled by a coalition including Podemos — six years after northeastern Catalonia prohibited bullfights but enshrined as cultural heritage bull runs and events featuring bulls running around with flaming balls of wax or fireworks affixed to their horns.

Animal rights activists say the gory fights are among the planet’s most blatant forms of animal cruelty, with bulls lanced and finally stabbed through the heart. Matadors are praised for killing with a single stab, though some don’t succeed in finishing off the animal with repeated thrusts. Foreign tourists attending fights for the first time often leave stunned.

“Now that the political scenery has changed, there is a window of opportunity at the local level to promote the anti-bullfighting agenda,” said Antonio Barroso, an analyst with the Teneo Intelligence political risk consulting firm. “The far left has gained political power and this tends to be an issue leftist voters care about.”

But the new Fighting Bull Foundation of breeders, matadors, ring workers, groups of aficionados with thousands of members and event organizers is pushing back with a prominent Madrid law firm that has filed five challenges so far this year to decisions against bullfighting by four Spanish municipal governments and one provincial administration.

It’s also pressing for criminal charges in five municipalities against animal rights protesters who disrupted bullfights, mostly by jumping into the rings.

An appeal is planned for the Mallorca ban after its anticipated approval in June or July. The foundation also has requested that Spain’s Constitutional Court act quickly on an appeal against the Catalonia ban filed in 2010.

Fighting Bull Foundation co-founder Juan Pedro Domecq, a famed breeder from a family renowned for producing wine, sherry and top-grade Spanish ham, said the bullfighting community had felt under attack with no one to defend it. …

Shouting matches often erupt between bullfight supporters and protesters at bull events. A May 2 confrontation captured on video at a small Catalonian town turned ugly when two animal rights activists taking video were beaten up by three men and a woman. The crowd cheered and applauded after one attacker grabbed an activist’s camera and hurled it into the bullring, shattering it.

The assailants were arrested, and the AnimaNaturalis animal rights group called this week for Catalan regional police to boost security to protect activists planning to video a weeklong bull event starting Saturday.

“We think a minority of the pro-bull sector uses violence to defend their ideas,” said AnimaNaturalis director Aida Gascon. “But it’s very common for the hardcore fans to try to prevent us from recording.”

Pablo Iglesias, the leader of Podemos, has said he would cut off government funding for bull spectacles, but wouldn’t ban bullfights. None of the leaders of Spain’s other three main political parties are against bullfights.

Madrid’s leftist mayor Manuela Carmena has said she won’t ban bull events but did eliminate a 61,000 euro ($70,000) annual subsidy for the city’s only bullfighter school and ordered all bull promotional material taken off the city’s tourism website. She’s not letting anyone use a 30-seat VIP section reserved for city officials and guests at the famed Las Ventas bullring, currently celebrating the weekslong San Isidro round of bullfights.

Opponents of bull events say they are elated at the political momentum.

“Society has clearly said ‘No to bullfights.’ It’s an unstoppable movement and it’s only a matter of time until we see bullfights disappear in our country,” said Silvia Barquero, president of Spain’s Pacma animal rights political party. It didn’t win parliamentary seats in the most recent election but boosted its vote to 220,369 from 102,114 in 2011 in the country of 46 million.

While the activists hone in on bull events, the beasts roam free and virtually undisturbed at the 3,000-hectare (7,400-acre) western Spain farm of Victorino Martin, grazing in groups of four or five on verdant hills and napping in the shade of cork trees.

At a protest last weekend of about 150 people against municipal financial support for bullfights in Madrid’s suburb of Fuenlabrada, Podemos member Luisa Barrios said some in her party don’t think taking on bullfights should be a priority but said she knows no party members who support them.

Birds in Spain, new Internet site


This 2014 video is called Rare Birds in Spain.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

We are very excited to announce the release of a new eBird Portal for Spain: eBird España. In partnership with Sociedad de Ciencias Naturales Gorosti, Fundación Cajanavarra, Itsas Enara, and Birding the Strait, we’re looking forward to making eBird’s resources more easily accessible to Spanish birders. You can check out eBird España here!

Extremadura, Spain birds and rain


This video is called Birding Extremadura – Bee-eaters.

After 18 April 2016 in Extremadura, Spain came 19 April for us.

Unfortunately, the weather was not as good as in the bee-eater video.

Cows in the rain, Jaraicejo, 19 April 2016

Rain, and more rain, for cows, humans and birds.

We did hear cuckoo, blue tit, corn bunting and hoopoe calls.

Nightingale and woodchat shrikes in Extremadura, Spain


Azure-winged magpie, Jaraicejo, 14 April 2016

After 13 April 2016 in Extremadura, Spain came 14 April. In the morning, this azure-winged magpie near Jaraicejo.

Barn swallows collect mud for their nests.

A black kite flying. Hoopoe and bee-eater calling. Typical Extremadura birds.

Short-toed treecreeper, 14 April 2016

A short-toed treecreeper on a branch.

Corn bunting, Jaraicejo, 14 April 2016

A corn bunting on another branch.

Woodchat shrike, Extremadura, 14 April 2016

And a woodchat shrike on yet another branch.

In the afternoon, a walk around Jaraicejo. A crested lark.

Around Jaraicejo, 14 April 2016

A nightingale sings beautifully.

A cuckoo calls. A goldfinch on a branch.

Cork oak, 14 April 2016

Cork oaks.

Butterflies, including small heath.

Woodchat shrike, in Extremadura, 14 April 2016

Again, a woodchat shrike.

Cork oaks, 14 April 2016

And, again, cork oaks.

Jaraicejo, 14 April 2016

We saw Jaraicejo village.

Domestic pigeon, 16 April 2016

In a hole in a village wall, a domestic pigeon rested.

In the lakelet near the village, a little grebe swimming. Two cattle egrets on the bank.

Monfragüe wildlife in Extremadura, Spain


This video is called Monfragüe National Park, Spain.

This 2015 red deer video is called The doe and her fawn, on a hot afternoon in September in Monfragüe National Park. Cáceres, Spain.

This video from Spain is called Monfragüe Bird Center.

After these three videos about Monfragüe National Park, where we were on 13 April 2016, our next blog post on Extremadura will be on wildlife we saw on 14 April.