My view:

This blog has been created to share the beauty of Extremadura, one among the last paradises in western Europe. My pictures and videos are not high quality; they intend to show that with inexpensive means and an aficionado approach one can get hold of amazing experiences in this region, full of bio- and territorial diversity. I hope you enjoy what I love sharing. Unless stated otherwise, all the pictures and videos shown here have been shot by and belong to this blog's author.

domingo, 22 de febrero de 2009

An osprey catch on a save-the-Sierra-Brava day

WE went on a demonstration to save the most important wintering area for Common Crane (grus grus, Sp. grulla común) in Extremadura (Spain), using the Via Verde to walk from Madrigalejo to the Casas de Hito reservoir. It was organized by SEO/BirdLife.

The regional authorities have approved a development of a huge two-solar power plant project (one will fill up the entire rice-field background behind some of the birdwatchers/ demonstrators above). We wonder whether the regional authorities want them as the new hip on a nice "green" type of scenery, the panels to be built. These solar panels will literally wall this birdwatching/walking tract of the Via Verde (Spanish for "greenway"), the only one in Extremadura?! For God's sake, it is a ZEPA, Spanish for SPA, the area we are talking about.
BESIDE the solar farm themselves, what about the power lines to be built from there to Valdecaballeros (in the Extremadura southern province of Badajoz). Isn't Extremadura one of the less populated regions in Europe (26/km2)? An area of a quarter bigger than Belgium (density 345/km2). There is so much space for clean energy in Extremadura..., c'mon!
POLITICAL wit apart, we were at our scopes and binoculars, watching cranes feeding, others in "V" formation crossing over our heads, and lots of wild fowl on the reservoir, red avadavat and other passerines all around us... when we suddenly saw an osprey approaching. The video and our comments there tell the rest:

An Osprey finally gets a catch and escapes from a doggedly insistent pair of Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus, Sp. Gaviota reidora) who were apparently annoyed by its company.
The day ended with an impressive sight, a huge concentration of well over 4,300 Black-tailed Godwit, (Limosa limosa, Sp. Aguja colinegra) in the rice fields of the Santa Amalia area. They were in company of a well over a hundred Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus, Sp. Archibebe oscuro) concentration (one of the greatest, I am told, ever recorded in Extremadura), some Black-winged Stilt (himantopus himantopus, Sp. cigüeñuela) and Golden Plover in the tens (pluvialis apricaria, Sp. Chorlito dorado). The list could never end, anyway. Jesús Porras lead us to them as wisely and wittily as one can. Thanks, Jesús, as always.

domingo, 15 de febrero de 2009

Field Trip: the Monroy-Trujillo (Cáceres-Spain) road: cranes, dehesa and snow backdrops

IN the picture you can see some wintering cranes, full of expectation in a break from feeding from acorn and other, under the canopy of holm-oak dehesa. Their pic was taken on Valentine's Day, this year. A shiny one after the long, hard winter in the Southwest of Spain, in Extremadura. They will soon be going back to their breeding havens in northern Europe: Germany, Scandinavia, Russia...

See the video here:

Link for more pics: album of the trip. I took them on a journey full of great surprises, nice weather after the hard winter days of this seemingly never-ending season and good company. Dehesa, cranes and some of their azzure-winged magpies as companions, a red-legged partridge, kestrel, griffon vulture and some nice backdrops of snow capped mountains of the La Vera district with holm-oak dehesa on the foreground.

I hope you enjoy it as we did!



Videos taken in the past:

Always curious and playful to the layman eye, these azzure-winged magpies (Cyanopica cyana, Sp. Rabilargos, local: Rabúo, Mohino) are actually looking for breadcrumbs and leftovers of fruit and the like that visitors to Monfragüe National Park leave there. After a while, flocks of them will range the area and come closer enough and ready for a snapshot or a video recording like the one here. This was taken during the FIO '06 International Birdwatching Fair of Extremadura, Spain. During a visit to the fair and the park by 1st year Tourism students at the Faculty of Business Studies and Tourism, University of Extremadura, Cáceres, Spain.

A Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea, Sp. Garza real) swallowing a catch, a carp maybe at "El Salor", one of Cáceres nearby reservoirs, Extremadura, Spain.