I had already planned a trip to the area where Barbara and Derek Etherton photographed a wonderful little Scops Owl. Elena was away walking the Pilgrim Trail to Santiago de Compostella so I was alone when I went looking for Ring Ouzel, a bird that continues to elude me, but I would also keep my eye out for the Owl.
I could hardly believe my eyes then when deep inside the very first bush I scanned I caught sight of some feathers ruffled by the wind. That was the elusive and enigmatic little Scops Owl.
For those who have never seen a Scops Owl, which is almost everybody, it is no bigger than a starling. In addition it is perfectly camouflaged so is incredibly difficult to locate. I had been extremely lucky.
I think I did see a few Ring Ouzels but always from a distance, equally I did glimpse a nice male Rock Thrush perched high up on a ridge, nice to see but not within camera range.
It was a little disconcerting when a distant group of fifteen Griffon Vultures came down to have a closer look at me, do they know something I don't?
All three Wheatear species were about, the most handsome of which I think is the Black Eared Wheatear which can be surprisingly easy to photograph.
Probably the most numerous bird today was the Red Legged Partridge. The colourful male pictured below stood nearby calling loudly, presumably for a mate. I doubt if he would have a problem, the females would surely go for such a handsome specimen.
It was encouraging to see so many of these attractive partridges which we birders tend to overlook as they are so numerous. We would certainly miss them if they were gone.
It is so much better to hunt with a camera than a gun. look at my trophies.