Thursday, February 12, 2015

Alentejo plains

Raptor activity has been great on a day-tour to the Baixo Alentejo-area last week - we observed at least three different Spanish Imperial Eagles (Aquila adalberti) one of which was an adult, an immature Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) and a pair of adult Bonelli's Eagles (Aquila fasciata) were among them. Further the first two Short-toed Eagles (Circaetus gallicus) of the year, near the Guadiana river, a pair of Black-winged Kites (Elanus caeruleus), as much as 70 Red Kites (Milvus milvus) some Hen Harriers (Circus cyaneus) and a Peregerine Falcon (Falco peregrinus). The rather cold weather might have delayed the arrival of Lesser Kestrel and also Great-Spotted Cucckoo for a few days this year.

Common Cranes (Grus grus) - background and Great Bustards (Otis tarda) in the foreground - are sharing the same habitat in winter.
Castro Verde-area, 03-Feb-2015. Foto: Georg Schreier. (click the photo for magnification).

Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aquila adalberti) and Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) in a little "airbattle" - can you tell by the silhouette, which is which? Note the difference in wing-shape, for instance.... Alentejo, 03.02.2015. Foto: GS.

Spanish Sparrows (Passer hispaniolensis) are aback around their nest sites now.