Showing posts from July, 2010

Waders moving through

In my last blog I described hearing a Green Sandpiper over the garden in the middle of a warm night..this morning I visited my favourite spot in the nearby rice fields to see what waders were starting to appear. I left the house before dawn, seeing a Red-necked Nightjar settled on the road leading out of the village. I reached my destination just as the sun was rising, showering a golden light over the lush green paddies. Practically all of the fields are deep in growing rice and apart from White Storks, Cattle Egrets, Little Egrets and a few Black-winged Stilt and Lapwing, it is hard to see very much amongst the crop. It is deceptive, because large flocks of Mallard with a few Teal flew up from these fields, where they had been feeding overnight, quite invisible. Much more productive would be the the few fields which for some reason had been left muddy with no crop. Open wet mud...ideal for waders. These indeed were thronging with birds...lots of Black-winged Stilts (I counted at leas

Sleeping under the stars

After our short holiday to see family in England, we are now back in Extremadura. It is the height of summer and the hottest time of the year. At the moment we are hitting daily maxima of 38 degrees Celsius and at night time it is staying around 26 degrees. Life is very different when it is like this. There is plenty of work to do, (although July is always very quiet as far as bookings are concerned) what with the garden and catching up with chores and maintenance of the house. The vegetable garden is having a great year and since returning from holiday, I have been busy picking and freezing dwarf beans and runner beans. It looks as if we will have a bumper crop of tomatoes, so each evening I need to tend and water them. However, any outdoor work needs careful planning and days here when it is hot follow a clear routine. Up with the sunrise (around 6 am) and try to get as much outdoor work done as possible before late morning. The dawn chorus is now reduced to the sound of our huge Hou