Egyptian vultures, imperial eagles, rock buntings in Extremadura, Spain


This video from Spain says about itself:

Program for the protection of threatened birds of prey in the Monfragüe National Park

18 September 2015

ACCIONA has introduced a selective feeding system that provides an additional (and secure) source of food for species such as the red kite. More information: here.

Still 13 April 2016 in Extremadura. After the orchids and other flowers just outside Monfragüe National Park, and the fish inside the park, now the birds of Monfragüe.

We see one of the Spanish imperial eagle nests. A grey heron flies just above the river.

Petticoat daffodils flowering. Rather late, as they sometimes start in February. Probably because of the relatively cold spring.

We walk on to the vantage point Mirador de la Portilla del Tiétar.

Griffon vultures at nest, 13 April 2016

On the other side of the Tiétar river are various griffon vulture nests. Like the one on this photo, with a young bird present.

Above them, on the highest mountain ridge: a male blue rock thrush.

Red-rumped swallows have a nest in a hole in a rock. A crag martin flies past.

A blackbird calls.

A male rock bunting on a leafless tree.

We go back to the eagle nest. This time, we actually see a Spanish imperial eagle.

Griffon vulture and Spanish imperial eagle, 13 April 2016

The male flies along the rocks, showing it is smaller than the griffon vulture on the left of the photo.

Spanish imperial eagle, 13 April 2016

Then, the eagle, as he flies to his nest, passes another, much smaller, bird.

A Cetti’s warbler sings.

Egyptian vulture, 13 April 2016

A few hundred meter further, an Egyptian vulture on its nest on the other side of the river.

Still further, two Egyptian vultures flying. A bit later, four griffon vultures.

A jay.

A short-toed snake eagle flies.

Subalpine warbler, 13 April 2016

A beautiful male subalpine warbler.

A booted eagle flying.

Conical orchid flowers.

Salta del Gitano, 13 April 2016

We reach the famous Salta del Gitano vantage point.

Rock bunting, 13 April 2016

A male rock bunting sings.

Griffon vultures, 13 April 2016

Griffon vultures gather on a rock, while others fly around.

Black stork nest, 13 April 2016

Black storks nest here.

A bit further, an Eurasian black vulture nest in a tree.

Fish of Monfragüe national park, Extremadura, Spain


This July 2015 video from the Guadalora river in Andalusia, Spain shows Tropidophoxinellus alburnoides (or: Squalius alburnoides) fish. This species lives a bit more to the north, in Extremadura, as well.

Still 13 April 2016 in Extremadura, Spain. We had arrived at Monfragüe national park. Before blogging about birds in that park, first about fish: based on a park sign, and this source.

Indigenous fish species in the park waters include the two barbel species Iberian barbel and Luciobarbus bocagei.

Also autochthonous: Iberian nase. And Iberochondrostoma lemmingii. Both species are related.

And Tropidophoxinellus alburnoides. And Squalius pyrenaicus.

All these autochthonous species mentioned here are endemic to Spain and Portugal.

This video from Spain says about itself:

20 January 2015

Brown trout (Salmo trutta), Iberian barbel (Luciobarbus bocagei) and Iberian nase (Pseudochondrotoma polylepis) ascending the vertical-slot fishway model built in Hydraulics Laboratory (Centre for studies and experimentation on public works, CEDEX).

Fish species of Monfragüe, introduced from elsewhere, include carp.

And Prussian carp (introduced from, originally, Asia).

And largemouth bass, pumpkinseed and black bullhead, all three from North America.

And northern pike. And zander.

And big wels catfish.

And much smaller eastern mosquitofish.

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.