Robins return and autumn butterflies
There is no more sure sign of autumn here that hearing the liquid song of a Robin breaking into the first glimmers of light at dawn. The last few days of September or start of October is when I will hear this for the first time as a newly arrived Robin establishes its winter territory in the garden. Our Robins are winter visitors, turning up at the start of autumn and staying with us until March. When they are here they seem as fully part of the garden birdlife as our resident species, and as winter visitors they are very common across Extremadura, in gardens, woodland and olive groves.I love to hear their ticking call from the shady undergrowth and their evocative autumn song on a still dawn when there just a glow of red showing over the mountain of Pedro Gómez, 1100 metres high just a few kilometres to the east of us, brings a deep sense of nostalgia.
So we have this fascinating re-arrangement of species at the moment as the seasons change. The weather remains hot and dry, and the garden is alive with butterflies. The impressive Cardinals fly around the nectar sources and glide across the garden as a whole, with an air of entitlement, almost proprietorial, whilst in a far more subdued fashion (until they start a spiralling dispute over food-patch) Long-tailed Blues and Lang's Short-tailed Blue. They are rather similar to each other, with the Long-tailed Blue showing, as you can see on my photo above, a more striped as opposed to blotchy underwing of Lang's Short-tailed (photo below).