Category Archives: Nature

What night time visitors do we get in the garden?

Have you ever wondered what night time visitors you get in your garden? Well I did, I know we have them, they leave evidence behind, some more so than others! So I set up a camera trap that I’m lucky to have and hope never to have stolen.

wild boar

The original idea of having the camera trap was to locate where my Booted Eagle was nesting and attach it near there (obviously before nesting season so as not to disturb them), but that is still work in progress. In the meantime to learn how to use this I set it up … Read the rest

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Sunset – the ever changing colours of the sky over Lanjaron

As you know living here in the Alpujarras, the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, we are often treated to spectacular sunsets over Lanjaron (the gateway to the Alpujarras). March 8th was one of those evenings that didn’t disappoint. I took so many photos I thought I would share some of the forever changing colours. I have collected photos of the skies here for quite a number of years, you can view them at this link.

sunset

sunset

sunset

sunset

sunset

sunset

sunset

sunset

sunset

sunset

I even took a short video.

Why not come and see for yourself and maybe take a walk. Spring is the perfect … Read the rest

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A trip to Penon de la Mata

We had a recent trip to Penon de la Mata in the Sierra de Huetor north of Granada. From here you get spectacular views of the Sierra Nevada. So while a group of friends went off scrambling, I went off with another friend to see how much Spring had sprung and if I could locate my bogey bird the Ring Ouzel.

Crocus nevadensis

Crocus nevadensis

The Crocus nevadensis can grow above 2000m. It was once thought to be endemic to the Sierra Nevada, but it also grows in the Sierra de Huetor.

Crocus nevadensis

Crocus nevadensis

The 3 highest mountains in the Sierra Nevada. Left to Right Alcazaba, Mulhacen and Veleta

The 3 highest mountains in the Sierra

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The day I met an Ocellated Lizard

Me – Oh hello
Lizard – I smell banana

Lizard – Don’t mind me I’m just heading over here

Lizard – Ha fooled you, I’m going this direction instead

Lizard – I’m not sure I like having this camera in my face

Lizard – Change of direction again, I’m heading over here now, don’t mind me

Lizard – I can can’t I, I can smell banana

Lizard – Just pretend you can’t see me

Lizard – I’m smiling for your camera

Lizard – I don’t want banana anymore, I’m off to see what’s over here
Me – You be careful

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On the trail of the Quebrantahuesos!

The Quebrantahuesos (bone breaker), Gypaetus barbatus, Bearded Vulture, Lammergeier, Lammergeyer or what ever you want to call it, is one of the rarest birds in Europe. Once upon a time it was a common bird in Andalucia, but thanks to poison, poaching and hunting the bird became extinct in Andalucia during the 80’s. This left a population only in the Pyrenees.

Lammergeier

Lammergeier


There has been a successful but slow (takes many years for these birds to reach maturity) re-introduction programme based in the Sierra Cazorla, you can read more about it here Gypaetus Foundation. The Bearded Vulture lives mainly … Read the rest

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An incredible encounter with Golden Eagles

I had the most amazing Golden Eagle encounters yesterday. I was driving up on the Ventura track to extract some Spanish Highs Mountain Guides clients who had been on a 4 day winter mountaineering trip in the Sierra Nevada. On the drive up a Golden Eagle flew right over the car so close, I stopped the car and took some photos BUT the eagle was in the cloud so I have some great silhouette shots as you can see!!!!

I arrived at the meeting point at 2000m far to early so sat on a rock taking in the view in-between … Read the rest

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A fascinating live Bald Eagle Webcam

Thanks to one of Khumbu’s twitter friends (Norwoodsworld) mum who sent me a link to this incredible live webcam of a Bald Eagle nest in America. It belongs to an organisation called the Raptor Resource Project who do a great job and specialise in the preservation of falcons, eagles, ospreys, hawks, and owls. Established in 1988, they are a non-profit organisation who establish and strengthen breeding populations of these raptors by creating, improving, and maintaining nests and nest sites. Find out more about the Raptor Resource Project and read their blog.

The Bald Eagles have laid 3 … Read the rest

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White-throated Caracara in Patagonia

Thought you might like to see one of the characters I met whilst in Patagonia recently. Its a White-throated Caracara (phalcoboenus albogularis). We had walked to the Laguna Torre to get a nice close view of one of the most iconic mountains in the world, Cerro Torre, whilst admiring the view the Caracara came along and gave us a great half an hour or so of entertainment. Even people who had no interest in birds were taking photos and video. In the books it is described as shy and wary, well I can say I think the books need to … Read the rest

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Thread-waisted Wasp (Sceliphron spirifex)

Living here in the campo of Lanjaron in Andalucia you get used to seeing some strange insects. I photographed this one the other day. It is a Thread-waisted Wasp. No need to worry about these they are solitary and non-aggressive unless mishandled.

Thread-waisted Wasp (Sceliphron spirifex)

Thread-waisted Wasp (Sceliphron spirifex)

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Scorpion! – Buthus occitanus or Buthus ibericus

So there I was minding my own business weeding away in the veggie garden, when I felt a sharp pain in my finger. I took my glove off to investigate what the problem was but noticed movement to my right. . . . .  a scorpion making a run for it! I think I had been stung by the scorpion but luckily because I had gloves on they stopped the full impact.

These scorpions are not deadly but can produce a very painful sting.

From Nature

So after my encounter with the scorpion I started using a trowel to dig … Read the rest