Sunday, May 6, 2012

They're back!

Who's back I hear you ask. Well it's those beautiful birds the bee-eaters, who come here to build their nests and raise their young before moving on, to I know not where. I know they usually arrive towards the end of April but there was no sign of them a couple of weeks ago. However I was over near their nesting ground at the end of last week and I could hear them calling, they have a very distinctive sound, so I  popped round to see, and sure enough there were a few up on the overhead cables. There are not many yet, but more will follow shortly I am sure. I don't know how far they travel to get here, but they looked quite small and thin to me, but there are plenty of bugs on the campo to fatten them up. Their first job will be to excavate last year's nests. These are small burrows in the mud banks along the road side, and although we had less rain than usual this winter, what we did have was quite heavy, and most of the entrance holes had disappeared. It was getting late and I needed to get home so I didn't stop to watch them. Anyway, it is important not to disturb them, so I pulled over to the side of the road just long enough to take a couple of quick photos and drove on. This was a chance to use the zoom lens on my new camera, and although the birds were quite high up, I was pleased with this shot.
While on the subject of birds, here is a picture of a magpie who was flying around in the green zone behind our house, one evening last week. He appears to have a very brown chest, but as I can find no reference to such colouring on a magpie, (and I am fairly certain that is what he is), I think it is a trick of the light, and his chest has caught the rays of the setting sun.
 We often read that sparrows are becoming more rare in UK, but here they abound, and they seem to like to nest in and around our yard, showing no fear of the dogs or cats. Next door is usually an empty house, and they nest in all the tiny ventilation holes under their roof. Most years they make an untidy, rather squashed nest behind our air conditioning box, but we have hung a shiny CD there to deter them, in case we need to turn it on before their babies have flown the nest. Instead, this year they chose to build in the small opening in the 'elbow' of the support pipe for our satellite dish. Their young are hatched and they are so noisy!! I sat for ages trying to catch the moment that the parents went in or out of the nest, but without success, so here is mum keeping an eye from our roof, and dad watching from the overhead cables. 
 I love to see them all in the garden.
 Even the babies will come down to ground level to drink the fresh water when Chris has hosed down the yard, and even then the dogs don't pay them much attention. Our cat Luna would catch the babies but she spends most of her day over in the green zone, or asleep on her favourite chair.
And that brings me to some amusing shots of some of the Perry zoo. These three show Arwen and Paco.
 In the first one, Arwen was peeved because I was sitting in 'her chair', so she climbed onto my desk and curled up there. It is hard to see which end is which, but she has a lovely furry paw wrapped over her nose. In the second one it was siesta time. Chris didn't know she was there at first. She isn't allowed in the bedrooms but the door had been left open and she crept in. She was fast asleep when I peeped in but she lifted her head when she heard my camera click on. In the third one, Paco is drinking from our swimming pool. I can't believe the chlorinated water is nicer than the numerous bowls of fresh water dotted throughout the house and yard. Fortunately the chlorine level is not high enough to do her any harm at this time of year.
And here are some of the dogs. 
 Miki likes to poke her head through the back railings to watch the green zone where children play, birds squawk and fly, and sometimes the old man brings his herd of goats to graze. Foxy knows it is tea time and is trying to squeeze under the gate to get to the back door where I give them their tea. She'll get stuck there one of these days. And finally, Miki is just making a statement about who is top dog!
Last but not least, another month has come and gone so here is my photo board for April. It is the raw file, before I printed it. 

The chequered background is just empty space which is the white borders in the print out. This time I used a board with even sized frames and I combined some to give two longer pictures and one larger square one, but when I do this you can still see the divisions across them. I was able to get around this, and to see the edited board, and what I then do to it before putting it in my album, please click HERE to go to my other blog.


  1. Lovely photos of the birds, and the other animals too. Jean x

  2. Hi Kate . . . just been browsing your blog . . . lovely photo's. Those Bee Eater birds are so pretty. I'm sure that the bird you think is a magpie IS a magpie . . .so it must be the light making him brown. xxxx


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