|Spanish Imperial Eagles|
|Adult Bonelli's Eagle displaying|
|Pallid Harrier, 2nd year male © Yeray Seminario|
After checking on the big eagles I made my way through La Janda finding a good number of birds. There were lots of Common Buzzards which is normal most winters and Common Kestrels were also very much in evidence. A pair of young Lesser Kestrels were also watched as were some Hen Harriers and lots of Marsh Harriers, mainly juveniles. No sign of the Pallid Harriers this time but my friend Yeray Seminario from Whitehawk did manage to get some recent great photos of a young male, in fact there are two males in the area.
|Male Pallid Harrier © Yeray Seminario|
I met up with some other birders at different areas going through the main tracks, which incidentally are all are passable with a family car. There were six or seven Black-winged Kites around La Mediana and two young Bonelli's Eagles were seen in the distance, one sitting on a pylon and the other in flight.
Down at the main collector canal I met up with more birding friends watching Great Bitterns that have recently 'come in from the cold' (remember that expression). The photo below shows the kind of view you get looking through the harvested rice-stubble. This shot from Juan Migel González shows the head of the bittern lit up nicely in the winter sun.
|Great Bittern at La Janda|
Leaving the bittern watchers, I headed for home along the main collector canal just as the sun was beginning to dip below the horizon in front of me. Just ahead in the distance I saw a glimmering light... no hang on that's Hotel California... Ahead of me I saw an owl on a post silhouetted beautifully with the sunset as a backdrop. I was already gently braking, opening the window, reaching for the camera and turning off the vehicle's ignition all at the same time (who says men can't multi-task?). Just as I stopped the bird flew off and started hunting along the grass edges by the canal.
|Barn Owl Hunting|
As I followed the bird along the canal track I managed to take a few shots of it in the fading light with some nice effects through the glare. Owls are such lovely creatures and we don't see too many of them here but in winter they arrive here when temperatures drop and like the other owls from the north that also arrive around this time find ample food supplies.