Kiersten returned from a mountain drive to Puente Palo with news of an encounter with another fantastic local species today. The Green Woodpecker Picus viridis is a year-long resident across the whole of southern Spain, and given the range of habitats down here in Andalucia it was a species that I always felt confident we’d see eventually.
We waited a long time…and our first sighting in November of last year was the highlight of the month. The Iberian sub-species Picus viridis sharpei lacks the black eye-mask of the northern race but it’s still a beautiful bird, and a flash of lime green in the trees along the roadside left her in little doubt as to what she’d seen. It passed from tree to tree and disappeared behind a trunk to watch suspiciously, but Kiersten had seen enough. Our second Green Woodpecker in southern Spain, and a terrific tick for the month-list!
I really can’t wait to post our first photos of this species…just a glimpse today, but it’s great to have them on the list again. Kiersten faired rather better with another of our woodland favourites today, with some more great views of a Short-toed Treecreeper Certhia brachydactyla.
These animated little birds are constantly moving as they work their way up the trunks of trees, probing for insects as they go. Their intricate, cryptic plumage offers superb camouflage against the bark and they can be a difficult spot…as the first of Kiersten’s shots amply prove!
The clean white of the throat and chest help locate it though, and the light caught the profile of the head in the shot above. With a bit of patience however a great moment sometimes comes around, and Kiersten snapped this fellow as he moved on to the next tree. Note the white throat and the white stripe over the eye in the image below…and that delicately curved, insectivore’s beak. Fantastic!
We’ll be bringing you some of the best birdwatching southern Spain has to offer as another wonderful birding season gets underway.