In the summer, water is very important to birds as much as it is to us humans. The heat makes it easier to see birds in certain areas: for example at natural springs around Grazalema in the morning where birds gather for drink, food and a bit of socialising. June, July and even August are the months when one can see particularly great numbers of juvenile birds, something that also makes the parents easier to observe as they fuss over their clumsy and inexperienced offspring, feeding them on tree branches and on the ground, teaching them by example about the world and survival. Bold birds get even bolder, such as the colourful Woodchat Shrike whose families move from one Hawthorn bush to another as the greyish- brown young make hissing and chattering noises demanding food. It is pure joy to be able to observe the normally shy Hoopoe when the parents and the young probe the ground under trees for tasty morsels. Continue reading June – SUMMER MEADOWS AND MOUNTAINS – Numerous butterflies, reptiles, dragonflies, delicate thread-winged lacewings and other interesting insects.
Spring is in full swing during the month of May and the plants in flower are so numerous that it is difficult to choose which ones to mention here. You will see that the waysides and meadows hold a tremendous variety, pause to count how many species you can find in just one square metre! Note that there is a subtle difference between the flowering times in the sheltered valleys to that of the exposed higher pastures. Look below the featured plants here, to see a condensed list to whet your appetite! (Grouped by colour). Continue reading Flowering plants – May in the Sierra de Grazalema
Colour is spreading into every corner as now, according to the calendars, spring is official. Our surroundings become a painter’s paradise as lush plants vie for attention, their soft edges contrasting with the sharp mountain landscape. Botanising amongst the orchids is sheer pleasure as more species are appearing in bloom and photographers beware – extra memory cards and batteries are advised! Continue reading The Grazalema Natural Park – Flowering plants in April
March brings more migratory birds back to their breeding grounds, with large groups of Short-toed and Booted Eagles passing through to the Central and Northern Spain, and then “our” breeding pairs settling back home. This is also the time when you have a good chance to spot the beautiful white and black Egyptian vultures, which are progressively rarer here in the South of Spain. There are a few breeding pairs in the Grazalema Park, however in March good numbers can be observed refuelling and resting on their flight northwards.
LIMITED PLACES LEFT FOR 25TH FEB TO 3RD MARCH! PLEASE CONTACT US NOW FOR DETAILS. Continue reading March – Bird migration is in full swing. Wild narcissi, beginning of wildflowers and orchids, plus a growing selection of butterflies.
A fine way to close the year is to enjoy the fresh air and the views from a mountainside, surrounded by a fabulous natural park, with distant views towards the Mediterranean sea and Atlantic coastline. Above there will be soaring Griffon vultures, and perhaps chattering Red-billed choughs. Continue reading December – CHRISTMAS SPECIAL – Red berried mistletoe, Spanish Ibex, resident / wintering birds and landscapes.
On a clear, crisp day the rewards are high in the mountains. Walking along a narrow path surrounded by mature trees, you will be steadily gaining in height, take a moment to look back over the valleys and white villages, now scattered beneath. The vistas will have you stopping at every turn to breathe them in. Above is an array of rugged peaks and grazing on the slopes, camouflaged amongst the rocks and shrubs, are Spanish Ibex. The males are standing proud as the test begins to see which one will become head of the herd. Continue reading November – EARLY WINTER – Landscapes, Spanish Ibex, wintering and resident birds.