24th October 2016
The previous day, I had landed in Madrid, the capital city of Spain. On this day, before visiting the many museums the city had to offer, I noticed small birds, which looked much like our native House Sparrows, but had slightly different plumage. As soon as I turned the pages of my Collins guide, I knew they were Spanish and Rock Sparrows.
A male House Sparrow
House Sparrows about to take off
After visiting the Reina Sofia Museum, We stopped at El Retiro, 125 hectares of park and garden.
A male Blackbird searches the banks of a lake for worms
A Great Tit forages a bin
a juvenile House Sparrow sits on a tall fir tree
House sparrows slowly congregate on the trees
It's not all birds here: a Wildcat prowls the undergrowth
25th October 2016
I woke up early to catch a train to the ancient city of Segovia. Spotless Starlings and Goldfinches darted around the the carriages, and when I got there, a vast Roman aqueduct stood before me. Above it, a lone raptor soared. a Buzzard? An Osprey? Once again, the Collins guide saved my life. It was a bird I had never seen before, probably scanning for carrion: a Griffon Vulture!
A blurry image of my first Griffon Vulture
It just happened that I came on the right day: the locals were celebrating the patron saint of birds! The shops were selling bird-themed food, caged birds were for sale (which I was against) and there was even a brass band performing! I walked along the cobbled streets to the city's castle, which had breathtaking views of unchartered landscape.
Black Kites glide in the distance
After exploring the castle, I noticed a great spectacle from the battlements: due to strong thermals, hundred of Griffon Vultures circled, allowing them to glide gracefully over the Segovian landscape.
A small area of the spectacle
I retreated into the town centre, where the Vultures were closer than ever!
I managed to snap this Black Vulture before I left
26th October 2016
My last day in Spain was spent at a small city called Toledo. Before visiting the city itself, I found its only area for wildlife, its river. Mallards, Tufted Ducks, Moorhens and Coots were the only birds on the river, while three Grey Herons soared above, one landing on a tree.
I apologise if this isn't a great Heron photo!
The next day, of course, I left. I saw the Wetland Centre at Barnes from my plane window, thinking if I should go there next....
(I actually visited Norfolk next, which was my first ever post. It had amazing photos, but terribly tiny text, which when I try to change, a glitch occurs and it stays the same! Use a magnifying glass if you want to read it).