Silves. Algarve. 31 January 2020

Ruin. #109

 Linnet lift and fall between vetch and nettle. Frantic wing flapping to remain in stationary positions. Stripping fine seed from below new growth.

 Amongst their ranks other figures compete with the mass binging. Slighter but more nimble Serin hold their own to share the bounty.

 Monosyllabic Greenfinch call from nearby trees, an incessant drawn out dirge. Flashes of bright yellow primaries just emphasise the disparity.

 From nearby castle walls, Kestrel glide and hover between screeching 'kee-kee-kee-kee' display calls. Ever widening the arc before returning to ancient 'cells'.

 White Stork stand in oversize, intricate stick nests. Clacking and gesticulating 'gossips' across broken invisible fences. Reflecting the time, the place, and life below...

Parque do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vincentina. 24 January 2020

Enseada. #108

 After leaden skies and soft rain, the landscape is washed anew. Peace and solitude lifts from damp sands and polished igneous rock. Scent wafts on drying winds.

 Common Waxbill flock: colourful escapees; now unstoppable residents, alighting briefly on invasive beachside eucalyptus. Irony lost as the scene merges with low winter sun.

 Weathered post, jammed between a clifftop fissure. Holding court to a lone Iberian Grey Shrike; silently watching and waiting for prey to dispatch and impale on thorn. Ritually macabre 'butcher bird'.

 Flitting between tumbled boulder and crumbling rock face, Black Redstart silently move from view. Appearing briefly further up the escarpment before flying to crevices unknown.

 Sea stack nests, precariously perched but safe from mammalian predation. Holding host to endless bill clacking and sky pointing. No city birds these but their rare coastal cousins; truly manic but ever engaging Cegonha-branca...

Praia da Boca do Rio. Algarve. 17 January 2020

Void. #107

 Evening gathers as 'follow-my-leader' Gannet fly through; instantly recognisable, even far out to sea. All pristine adults with no scruffy 'subs' in tow.

 Every edge defying; precariously clinging box scrub, seemingly holding an agitated scratchy voice. Unmistakable and irascible Sardinian Warbler.

 Dancing on uplifted air, Crag Martin glide and swoop in an all too brief feeding frenzy. A combination of air pressure and temperature optimise potential.

 Twinkling bells announce the arrival of Goldfinch flocks. Bouncing in unison as they lift and fall between sparse grasses and arid patches.

 In the valley below cow bells ring as toffee brown beasts lazily graze. In and amongst the herd, Cattle Egret feed as the 'beaters' flush their prey... 

Puerto Deportivo Mazagón. Andelucía. 07 January 2020

Pasmoso. #106

 I see you here, with your white trailing edge and your 'string of pearls' against black tipped wings. Instantly recognisable, it's you.

 One of the worlds rarest; but here in some numbers, a grey-green foothold in the Mediterranean. Still hanging on, but locally common.

 All adults abound; typical hierarchical 'club' system of 'Larus'. Plumage beautiful to behold, along with that bold dark eye and striking tri-coloured bill.

 Elegant in form and action: longer and slimmer, easily standing out against 'coarser' relatives. The proverbial 'silk purse'.

 No scavenger you: serial surface fish hunter or plunge diving assassin. Palagic feeder. The ever enigmatic and enchanting Audouin's Gull...

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