Busy herons in the peak of summer
|Purple Heron (Raymond de Smet)|
These glimpses into the private lives of these birds were special moments and more than made up for the much harder work required finding birds on the now parched plains. Just to get an idea of how the landscape has changed, just compare the two photos below of the same spot. One taken on 1st May (when the grass is already turning brown, but the flowers were abundant) to that from 27th June.
The plains by late June are a much quieter location, hardly any lark song, but we did watch two male Great Bustards feeding belly-deep in the tall dry grass, two Pin-tailed Sandgrouse flew over on their way to a water-hole, a male Montagu's Harrier was hunting and White Storks were busy collecting grasshoppers to take back to feed their young.
Looking back on the whole season, I have had the fortune to share moments like that with guests on over 90 days this year. Over that time I have shown people 210 species of birds, all but three of which have been found within an hour's drive from the house. It has been another memorable season in wonderful Extremadura.