The wind has been very strong and gusting for the past few days but it doesn’t seem to affect the gulls who maintain their graceful flight as they fly in and out, gliding, swooping and diving with apparent ease. They even maintain great decorum when they come in to land, although it does look like a lot of extra effort is sometimes required.
The Guinea Turaco, Tauraco persa, also known as the Green Turaco, is native to the forests of West and Central Africa, ranging eastwards from Senegal to DR Congo and south to northern Angola.
On top of Monte Calamorro in Benalmádena is a Falconry and Conservation Centre with a variety of birds of prey. While I was waiting for their daily exhibition/display to start, an Osprey decided to drift in and made several dives onto the mountainside for prey. The Osprey was a visitor and not part of the centre.
I would say that these are fairly young Gouldian Finches, Erythura goudiae, both by size and their plumage. The very young birds have grey heads and necks before developing the magnificent, almost patchwork feathers. Males have a purple chest, females are mauve.
Rather a cute youngster learning to fend for himself, although the parents were not far away and keeping a watchful eye on proceedings.
As I arrived by the riverside this morning my attention was suddenly caught by the almost unmistakeable wingbars and crest of a Hoopoe as it swooped down and landed. Unfortunately I was totally unprepared – wrong lens, camera still at my side – so I just watched and admired this impressive creature before it flew off a couple of minutes later.
I set off to see if I could find any of the Alpine Accentors which had been spotted in the area in the past few days but alas, no luck. At least some of the regulars were about, including this lovely female Black Redstart, Phoenicurus ochruros.
A couple of days in the UK and good to see the usual suspects on the pond in Woodford Park, Woodley – Swans, Canada Geese, my favourite Mallards, Black-headed Gulls and Moorhens. Plus all those beautiful Red Kites soaring effortlessly overhead, often very low.
A couple of Wagtails, one Serin, a Blackcap and two Sardinian Warblers, but Black Redstarts by the score on Sunday morning.