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walled city

2014-03-06 - 12:52 p.m.

The cold but clear morning was devoted to the nesting pair of Spanish Imperial Eagles. We saw the eagles soar, bring in a vole, bring in green branches, visit together in the nest tree, and chase off Griffon Vultures. One of the local Sparrowhawks even perched for awhile to give us a closer view.

Our host thinks I have an eating disorder. As we were checking out, we were informed that since "we" ate so little, our wine was comped. OK. That's pretty hilarious.

In the afternoon we went driving around toward the next hotel. Along the way we had great views of a soaring Short Toe Snake-Eagle and a not too impressive view of a very distant Golden Eagle.

I'm not keeping track of every non-raptor species we see, but the Red-Legged Partridge and Short Toe Lark might be life birds for me when I review my list. One of the partridges was particularly cooperative, posing and strutting in the sunny road right in front of us.

We visited the old Roman walled city of Trujillo but didn't enter the walled part. Instead we headed for the bullfighting arena, where we observed the entertaining antics of a flock of at least 22 Lesser Kestrels. They would come and go, sometimes parking on the tiled roof and often circling right over our heads. The funniest antics came when two birds would decide to scuffle. Often the bully would feint two or three times before actually hitting his victim. On a few occasions, the victim would grapple with the attacker and they would drop scuffling for quite a distance before breaking apart.

The lodge features an old broken-down building that has been colonized by a group of White Storks that have built several nests. There is also a Common Kestrel nest in hole in the side of that building.

Truly an atmospheric day.

later

OK, two things: In the evening we had the foo-foo dinner with the pork only allowed to forage on acorns. Some kind of tomato/potato appetizer, flan for dessert. The guys had a shot of some homemade grappa-ish thingy. I had one tiny taste. Not too shabby but I'd already sampled enough of the fancy wine with wires on the bottle.

Also, about the grappling Lesser Kestrels. I was wondering about this and now the photos have revealed the answer. The battling kestrels were male and female pairs, so the silly fights were really little flirtatious, similar to when eagles lock talons and tumble down through the sky.

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