Not a lot to shout about lately after three weeks in England visiting family over Easter, where it rained almost every day. However I was pleased with these shots of a beautiful Jay when we returned, taken in the woods at El Robledal in the north of the Axarquia region. Elena and I went specifically to get a shot of this bird which has always eluded me. Jays are very wary and they do not normally allow you to get within about 100 meters, however I put the car in 4wd and drove off the beaten track into the woods where I knew they forage. Sure enough after sitting quietly for ten or fifteen minutes with the engine off, a pair settled in a nearby tree allowing me to get a good photo. This was taken with my 500mm lens with a 1.4 extender fitted, giving a focal length of 700 mm. It worked well.
While seeking out the Jay we enjoyed the spectacle of a Green and a Great Spotted Woodpecker foraging together in the same trees. We watched them staying together for some time which is rather strange for separate and competing species behaving like a nesting pair. Pehaps they are lonely and the only ones of their kind in the area? Unfortunately I didn't manage to get a good shot of the Green Woodpecker. I might try again later.
Prior to leaving for England I picked up a long range shot of this Spotted Crake which had been seen regularly in the new scrape at the Guadalhorce. Not a great photo but a decent record shot of a smart bird.
I had previously tried unsuccessfully to capture the Spotted Crake that had been seen recently at the Charca de Suarez. No luck there with the Crake but this rather handsome Pintail made up for it. One of the most elegant of ducks, they are not common here in Andalucia.
As I was in the area I decided to check the picnic site on the Rio Guadalfeo near Velez de Benedaulla to see if the Dippers were active around their traditional nest site. Sure enough I was fortunate to capture this one perched at the side of the water cascade behind which the nest lies. It's a bit early to expect them to have eggs but it was encouraging to see at least one bird in situ. Hopefully there is a mate and breeding will take place.