08 April 2013

Galera Photodiary April


Galera is a traditional Spanish village in north-east Granada Province, bordering Almeria about 1000 metres up on the 'Altiplano', an ancient dry lakebed surrounded now by sierras. The village nestles into sedimentary rocks soft enough to create the traditional eco-friendly Cave Houses of the area. Home for Kathy and I is Cueva Abejaruco - Bee-eater Cave (none back in early April though). Some of the characteristic birds in the rocky and desert-like region around the village are Black Wheatears, Rock Sparrows, Rock Buntings and BlackRedstarts, though they haven't all been photogenic this April as it happens. The Rio Galera flows year-round through the valley below the village and is quite heavily cultivated, as is the nearby Orce Valley. Golden Orioles, Cetti's Warblers and Nightingales are common in both. There are extensive prairies in the region, cultivated with cerials and other crops where several colonies of Lesser Kestrels can be found foraging. Great Spotted Cuckoos are common, parasitising the abundant Magpies in the valleys and almond orchards.

Calandra Lark

Yellow Wagtail

Female Lesser Kestrel

Male Lesser Kestrel

The sierras are forested in Pine and Holm Oak until reaching the higher crags. The gorge at Castril allows access to the crags as well as producing typical upland river birds such as Grey Wagtail and Dipper. Blue Rock Thrushes are common and on the day we were there lots of Blackcaps were passing through, as were Black Kites. The sierras are also great for butterflies.
Female Crossbill

Short-toed Treeccreeper

Booted Eagle

Male Blue Rock Thrush
And again
A typical pose
In a tree to be different

Female Black Redstart

Crag Martin

Birds of open and scrubby areas are easy to find around the outskirts of the village and out onto the plain again.
Iberian Shrike
Male Subalpine Warbler
Griffon Vulture
Short-toed Eagle
Corn Bunting
Rock Bunting

Feeding time
Griffon Vulture


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