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Showing posts from August, 2012

As summer ends

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As August ends we always have the sensation of a turning point. We have just returned from our annual visit to Britain, taking part in the magnificent British Birdfair and staying on for a few days with my parents in North Norfolk. The British Birdfair is not just easily the best place to catch up with my old friends and colleagues, spanning dare I say well over thirty years, but also a shop window for Extremadura. Over the three days of the fair, we speak to hundreds of people and almost immediately emails start coming in as people start to take in what they have heard and start planning their next holiday. Our booking schedules start getting filled as we impart advice on the best time to come to meet the expectations and dreams of those who we hope will soak in the pleasure of birding in Extremadura as many have done before them. A few days then to relax on the Norfolk coast, meeting old birding friends again, this time in the field itself and renewing aquaintance with species that…

Bands of Bee-eaters

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Another heatwave, fiercer than before with temperatures now over 40 degrees in the shade by our kitchen door for most of the afternoon and evening. There is a seemingly still mood everywhere. People are indoors for most of the day, getting work done outside first thing in the morning and taking the evening walk (el paseo) with neighbours. I have completed another annual tasks, always in my August to-do list, chopping off the shoots from the bases of the olive tree trunks. Over the late spring these have sprouted to form first a stubble and then by August a dense mass of vertical shoots. Over the last couple of mornings, using a small hatchet, I've cleaned the bases of the trees and there are now sheep in the paddock to nibble off the little shoots. It is a satisfying, pleasing task, leaving the broad bases of the trees clean, their wonderfully gnarled outline now defined and precise. What wonderful old specimens they are, with numerous holes and niches, one having provided a nest…