20.3.15

Birds in our Spanish garden


I thought you might like to know a little more about the kind of birds we have here in Spain.

 









These wild red legged partridge are the latest guests to visit us in our garden. They are so beautiful and happily feasted on the olives that had dropped on the ground.

The Black Redstart male looks a little like a wagtail with a black chest and face. The female is grey but both have a flash of red under their tails. Their call is a distinctive tseep tseep tseep followed by tak tak tak.  They're very fond of insects and larvae so useful to have around. They are more often seen in northern Spain but we have quite a few pairs in our neighbourhood.


Our favourite bird is the Black Wheatear. It is quite rare and the only all dark wheatear in Europe with a white flash under its tail. It has a hard scratchy call with coarse rolling sounds like schrl rl rl rl and thin shee or stee noises. It's very tame and rather cheeky, like the robin who also comes to stay with us for the winter. One we call Willy, spends most his nights nestling in our space heater on the back terrace. He has a friend we call Winnie.
 


The Crested Lark is rather stately in appearance and very common in the Mediterranean. They like to sing on our electricity lines and feed on insects and seeds.
 

We also have the Hoopoe with its far carrying poo poo poo call. Looks quite spectacular in flight with its black and white wings and orange body but can often be quite difficult to see on the ground. It has an orange crest with black and white tips.
 



 

Bee Eaters visit us in quite large flocks in the early summer. They make a lot of noise when a flock settles in a tree or on overhead wires. The mature bird is very colourful in blue, yellow and reddy brown. They feed on insects on the wing.

 


There are various warblers including the Orphean Warbler, Pied Wagtails, Yellowhammers, Robins, Swallows and House Martins, and Kestrels and Buzzards of course. Sometimes we're fortunate enough to see a Bonelli’s eagle. The adult is black and white with a five foot wingspan. It happily feeds on all these small birds and small mammals. Oh dear! It is more usually seen in the larger mountain ranges nearby but comes visiting occasionally.     

    



9 comments:

  1. I have just seen a hoopoe sat on the road,in Bigstro ,Alicante.
    never seen one before ,google pics of Spanish birds and eventually saw it on your site, cheers,

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  2. I live north of Alicante in the Sierra Mariola and we have what we now know are Hoopoe's thanks to your site. Many thanks Debs Wardman

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  3. I was searching the internet for information on the Black Wheatear and came across your site. We have a pair here on Monte Pego which must be nesting nearby. I have managed to be able to feed the female mealworms within a metre of me but it won't take them from my hand like the Robin does. The male watches from afar not even coming into the garden.

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  4. Hallo Freda, we have slim little birds here with a black head and grey body, which make a chi-chi-chi-chi-chi call. Braver than sparrows to come to the feeder. I thought they were Iberian chif-chaf, but the pics online don't look like them. Do you have any ideas? Many thanks, Julia - Costa del Sol.

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  5. Hello Julia. From your description, it is likely it is a black redstart or if the head is very black a Blackcap.

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  6. Hello. I live in southern Spain with quite a lot of land and birds of course. I was looking for a small !black bird with red tail and found your blog. Of course black restart but the interesting thing is he comes every night to sleep on a mail on our patio. We also have black wheatears who act like blackbirds commanding the high point to sing. Also hoopoos,green woodpeckers,tits,beeaters,red timed swallows, little owls, and many others. Isn't it a wonderful world?

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  7. We used to have a black wheatear who slept on a space heater on our terrace. He got very cross if the heater was on and we were eating outside. We lived in the lovely house with interesting land in Almeria for a long time, now live in a village house with lots of sparrows and other birds.

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