The European Serin, or just Serin, Serinus serinus, is the smallest European species of the finch family, Fringillidae, and is closely related to the Canary and it breeds throughout southern and central Europe and North Africa.
It is a small short-tailed bird, 11 to 12 centimetres in length. The upper parts are dark-streaked greyish green and it has a yellow rump, streaked yellow breast and white belly. It has darker patches under the eyes and on top of the head. The male has a brighter yellow face and breast and yellow wing bars.
It eats seeds, buds and small invertebrates.
Species: S. serinus
It is a big, colourful duck, its size being in between that of most other ducks and the larger geese. Both sexes have a dark green head and neck, a chestnut belly stripe and a red bill.
The Shelduck has a loud goosey-like ‘honk’ rather than a duck-like ‘quack’.
It eats invertebrates, small shellfish and aquatic snails.
Species: T. tadorna
It has brown upperparts and black-spotted cream or buff underparts with very little difference between the sexes. It is, in many ways, quite similar to another member of the thrush family, the Redwing.
The Song Thrush can be found wherever there are trees and bushes ahnd they are quite frequent visitors to gardens.
They eat snails, worms and fruit. They open up the snails by whacking them on the ground with a simple flick of the head.
Species: T. philomelos
The Spotless Starling, Sturnus unicolor, is basically the Iberian answer to the common Starling found elsewhere in Europe and, as the name might suggest, it has, for the majority of the year, no spots.
The Spotless Starling is basically restricted to the Iberian Peninsula, northwest Africa, southernmost France, the islands of Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica and is largely non-migratory.
The Spotless Staring is slightly larger than its common counterpart and has a more oily appearance (or shiny as I prefer to call it). In winter, the male has a bluish base to the beak and the female has a pinkish base. The only time this bird has the vaguest semblance of spots is during part of the winter and this effect is caused by the tips of the wing feathers.
Like the common Starling, the Spotless Starling walks rather than hops along. Also like most starlings it is a hole-nesting species, breeding in tree holes, buildings and in cliff crevices. It typically lays three to five eggs.
Species: S. unicolor
It has a short tail, pointed head, triangular wings and a glossy, almost metallic sheen of purples and greens.
Starlings eat insects and fruit.
The Stonechat, Saxicola rubicola, is a small, robin-sized, passerine bird that was also formerly classed as a member of the thrush family, Turdidae, but is now considered part of the Old World flycatcher family Muscicapidae.
Males have striking black heads with white around the side of their neck, orange-red breasts and a mottled brown back. Females lack the male’s black head, but have brown backs and an orange tinge to their chests.
Species: S. rubicola