Lots of very colourful birds in the park, including one of my favourites, the patchwork-like Gouldian Finch. The Green Turaco is another of those birds which has great expressions.
I really enjoy my periodic trips to the Butterfly Park in Benalmádena, such a relaxing place as well as being great for getting up-close and personal with the butterflies and other critters. And hot! Going from an outside temperature of maybe 6 degrees to a tropical and humid 30 degrees, it wasn’t long before I was peeling off the layers as I went from ‘chilled’ to ‘boil-in-a-bag’
The Red-footed Tortoise, Chelonoidis carbonarius, is a medium-sized tortoise found natively in the northern part of South America. They are popular for food and the pet trade and this, along with habitat destruction, has apparently resulted in them being classified as ‘vulnerable to extinction’.
The sun may have put in an appearance but it was still quite bracing as I went for a quick check on the local wildlife. Plenty of activity, with Goldfinches, Spotless Starlings, Sardinian Warblers, Blackcaps, Blackbirds and Wagtails being quite abundant.
The focus of my attention for this shot was the interesting and splendidly colourful bloom on a tree, and I was quite happy with the result. However, a later and closer inspection revealed a bonus.
As the light began to fade, something caught my attention on a distant lamp pole. My first thought, partly because of the pale green colouring and the back and forth gait, was a chameleon. Wrong. Heading to the lamp I saw that it was a largish Praying Mantis. Very similar movement to the chameleon.
There are around 200 species of Chameleon at the last count and these come in a range of sizes and colours, with many of these able to change their colouring. Their swaying gait is amusing to watch.
Lizards are fascinating creatures – I think so anyway – with distinct mannerisms, actions and expressions. They are also great to have in your room as they keep down any insect population. From the large Monitor to the much smaller Agama lizards, there are plenty of them around in The Gambia.
It really was a very good, albeit cold and windy, early morning at the wetlands and, in addition to the Cormorants and Flamingoes, there were Stilts, Ringed Plover, Sandpipers, Sanderling, Redshank, Greenshank, Stints, Ruddy Duck and Shovelers.