And before I forget, would Marie from Vera who wrote through the comments section please get in touch with me at : andy.birds (at) gmail.com
(a) 27 July : Sierra de los Filabres After a couple of weeks break due to family visits and a distinct lack of enthusiasm to burn in the oppressive heat, it was good to get out and about again with four other members of the group. Dave, Myrtle, Gilly and I headed up into the Los Filabres behind the town of Tijola. At the bridge in the valley we met up with Brian and Mary who had thankfully recovered from her recent fall. We'd spotted Common Swift on our way up as well as 100s of House Martins on one of the power lines. A Golden Oriole had been heard prior to our arrival and they'd also seen a Grey Wagtail. Above us there were lots of Crag Martins and Red- rumped Swallows. Up on the ridge we saw Black Wheatear and Blue Rock Thrush. A Kestrel also made a brief appearance.
(c and d) Pear-shaped. Due to circumstances beyond my control but with which I have total sympathy, the two seabird books which few have been awaiting with bated breath will not be published this year. However, I have found a home for the water-proof pelagic guide and have been busy redrawing and tarting up some of the illustrations, not a lot but it is an amazingly time consuming task and one really does have to be in the mood - and I'm not talkng about artistic sentiments, and between that and other pear-shaped events and going shopping (I hate bloody supermarkets!) and thinking about food and shopping (even worse) the time has been well absorbed and I've still got three sheets to finish redrawing before I go off to the UK in mid August to upset Yorkshire, present pear-shaped circumstances permitting.
(e) Birders to avoid. Last Saturday was the golden wedding anniversary of Bob (he of the Axarquía Group) and his long-suffering wife Jenny. As I understand it is the custom, there was a huge bash and they very kindly invited, without thinking how they might lower the tone, a few of the birders who I mention from time to in this blog.
So, in order that you may learn how to identify us and flee before getting mixed up with us, you will now be able cast your eyes upon the photo and see what we look like! (l-r) Dave Elliott-Binns, Mick Richardson, self, Stephen Daly and Bob Wright himself. Photo by Patricia Daly who did the best of a bad job lot who would be more suitable on the antiques programme 'Going for a song'. As at least three of us like Gilbert and Sullivan, it could be a case of 'a wandering birder I, a thing of threads and patches ....etc.' ! I wish to point out that my lurch is because Bob and myself were supporting Stephen and his mass is greater than mine.