Lockdown Birding Part 4
|A Barn Swallow from the balcony (Martin Kelsey)|
With the lockdown in Spain now confirmed to continue until 11th April (at least), the view from the balcony and periods spent in the garden become increasingly precious. This is my lifeline to spring. Favourite haunts, which I have shared with so many guests over the years, will flourish perfectly well without my visits. The Great Bustards will be lekking, Eagle Owl chicks hatching, Bumblebee Orchids flowering and Provence Hairstreaks nectaring totally oblivious of our absence. My markers, my solace, this spring will be everything that lives around our home.
I am struck by how confiding those birds which live closest to us really are. Birds seem to stop what they are doing and look at me, as I stand still on the balcony, The male Barn Swallow on the wire, with its gloriously long tail streamers, the Wren that pauses on the railing before setting off again to shatter the peace with its song, the House Sparrow that interrupts a good preen to observe me. These nearest neighbours are becoming valued companions.
|House Sparrow (Martin Kelsey|
More distantly, I can see a pair of displaying Common Buzzards, with laboured floppy wings, taking a bird to a chosen point in the sky from which to swoop down in a perfect arc. Booted Eagles started to appear half way through the week and I now see one on most of my balcony watches.
|Booted Eagle (Martin Kelsey)|
The weather has been rather unsettled, with fresh northerly winds and some heavy showers: dramatic skies. As it improves, there should an arrival of more spring migrants. So far I have seen 46 species since lockdown started, and I am anxiously awaiting some new additions in the next few days.
|View from the balcony this afternoon (Martin Kelsey)|