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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wildlife of the Gredos Mountains

My previous post about the Gredos Mountains described some of the botanical delights. Here are some examples of the vertebrate wildlife that we enjoyed seeing.

Monster from a horror movie? Just a Fire Salamander! These amphibians are rare and secretive: to give an indication, this was only the third that our tour guide had seen in his life!

A group of beautiful Spanish Ibex appeared from the forest. When one of the males appeared to take an alarming interest in us, we decided that discretion is the better part of valour, and backed off a little! Those horns are not just for decoration!

For the birdwatchers in the group, this rare Rock Thrush (a male) singing from atop his lofty boulder, was a real gem!

How many White Storks can you see nesting on this mountain village church?


Blogger lorenzothellama said...

Oh my favourite storks! I really liked the look of that salamander too!

7:22 pm  
Blogger Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

Goodness.... I saw quite a few storks nesting on churches when I walked the Camino- but never ever this many on ONE church!!!!

8:13 pm  
Blogger Maalie said...

I reckon there are at least 24 nests visible there, and several more on the other side out of view!

8:33 pm  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Wow. Quite a lot. Twenty four. They've taken it over. Interesting pics, and especially the salamander.

11:54 pm  
Blogger simon said...

love the salamander! is a rock thrush like a rock warbler?

I mean does it behave in a similar way?

1:22 am  
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

No Simon. A rock thrush is called a rock thrush because it eats bits of rock, stones and pebbles. It has a special stomach that can cope with all sorts of odds and ends. Some say, that once a man stayed in the stomach of a rock thrush for three days.

9:24 am  
Blogger Charles Gramlich said...

Man, I'd like to see one of those fire salamanders. Cool.

6:15 pm  
Blogger Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

I love the salamander! Lovely that he stayed still long enough for you to capture a picture!

Do you suppose all the stork nests weaken the roof? How very strange for them to nest up there. Do they just like to be up high?

4:06 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hallo and thank you for your visit and comment. I have just made an amazing journey through your blog and it is enough to make a girl self conscious about her own poor efforts with a camera. My word you have taken some fanastic shots...The horned beasts, the birds and that salamander...I am sure I spotted one when we lived in France, in the Haute Province, is that possible.

The Brandenburg gate always produces a shiver of...fear...dread, something strange. I suppose because I lived through the war and then the cold war...the Third Man...Zithers, or was that Vienna? Anyway, to me it is massive, and black and white with men in trilbys.

4:44 pm  
Blogger Martin Stickland said...

MMmmm spitfire ale in a nice English pub.yummy.

Wow, I have never seen a cross between a froggy come lizardy thing. Some great pics here. Give my regards to your sis!

Cheers mate!

8:36 pm  
Blogger HALFMOM said...

Hi Maalie - I finally manged to merge the two blogs, so hopefully you'll be able to find me at "halfmom" from now on.

1:30 am  
Blogger T and S said...

WOW...fantastic series. The images of the salamander and the ibex are awesome

9:09 am  

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