Saturday, April 07, 2012

If there's a bustle in your hedgerow....

                                          Yellow Broomrape

This week has been amazing for bird and plant sightings. We now have swallows, swifts and  martins wheeling overhead as well as our friends the collared doves building a nest in the pine tree at the far end of the garden. So many small birds tweeting around its hard to keep track of what they are, crested and long tailed tits, yellowhammers and another small very yellow bird we have not yet got a definite identification on. Mr and Mrs. Blackbird are busy on the Campo and in the Garden and Mr. Hoopoe is to be seen calling away in a large pine two gardens away. Then we have the Herons that fly over on a daily basis no doubt following the river looking for a tasty meal. The cormorants of course I have mentioned before and its nice to see the egrets morning and evening. We enjoy starting the day when we can with a pot of coffee and a little birdwatching from the end of the garden. This gives us a view of a wide range of habit that attracts different species. Water, open ground, reed beds, trees and bushes as well has the hills where we sometimes see Raptors.

We have also been very lucky to find two rare plants whilst walking this week. The first was close to the river in a old olive grove, the striking Yellow Broom rape, The second was in a boggy dip in a little valley up the hill, the Gladiolus Illyricus. John spotted this beautiful flower in the shelter of an ancient olive. We have photographed both plants but are keeping quiet about their exact location. The countryside is awash with wild flowers after the recent rains and is a sight to behold. Its such a treat to live once again in an area that really does have seasons. We intend to enjoy every minute of it.

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