Other birds seen and heard here were nesting pairs of both Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker, but although we saw and heard them they were too wary to be photographed.
Moving on then, and after a restful night in a super hotel in the historic heart of Trujillo, we headed North to Monfrague, first stop the iconic Pena Falcon. Amazingly we were the first to arrive as the resident Griffon Vultures were only just showing signs of life with a few trying to catch an early thermal. Also the World's most watched Black Stork's nest had three very advanced chicks, and a couple of Egyptian Vultures took flight & wheeled around the rock face. Otherwise there was little to see.
.....and here a newly fledged Woodchat Shrike shows well, a common sight at this time of year as they have no fear of humans.
The photo below is one of a group of at least six Kingfishers that we enjoyed observing on the banks of the Rio Tamuja, to the west of Trujillo.
That evening I passed time watching the Lesser Kestrels nesting on the roof of the Bullring. This site attracts birders from far and wide to watch and photograph these amazing birds bringing food to their young, reared between the terracotta tiles of the roof. This fact has not escaped the attention of authorities and it is now designated a special conservation site. It also enhances tourism and brings much needed visitors to the Town.
Evidently, their use has meant an increase in competition in the more solitary Lammergeier and a consequent decline in breeding success. Similarly, the increase in crows opportunistically using the ‘restaurants’ has cause a sharp decrease in the breeding success of passerines near these sites. Furthermore, it’s altered the habits of vultures who, rather than cruise the skies in search of food, are now more likely to loaf around near the more certain sources of food. There’s also been a worryingly large increase in the levels of veterinary drugs in Spain’s vultures. Presumably, this reflects the change in the origins of available carcasses and it’s not yet clear what the long term impact of this might be (although, fortunately, the banned drug, diclofenac, which has decimated Asia’s vulture population, is not amongst the drugs found). The days of these ‘restaurants’ may yet be numbered since a recent report suggests that the current tight regulations regarding the disposal of carcasses should be relaxed or even abandoned.