it is late march and the white broom has flowered all over the sierra, and in my finca, its faint bittersweet scent flavouring the air. it is fading now, as the yellow broom starts to take over, brilliant yellow and stronger smelling.

the winter has been quite wet and the sound of water starts after about five minutes walking up the camino, rushing down the steep slope in this torrent which flows under the track in a culvert, from a deep valley full of bracken and scrub oak. this morning I heard a nightingale there, as well as in several other places – near the orange groves at the top, just under the castle, nearer my finca, and in encina and boulders that make a rocky outcrop about halfway down.

we walk in the cool of the morning, in the sun it is too hot for my fifteen year old dog. the camino is all grass between the stones, and several muddy spots have water flowing through them, beautiful clear water. the pure chilly air is delicious.

on saturday we encountered two short toed eagles, fighting behindĀ  a rocky wall. first of all there were strange sounds, perhaps partridges, I thought; T looked over the wall – then came huge white wings sticking up from behind the stones – storks? but then I could see they were eagles – as they realised they were being disturbed by humans, the two birds flew off and I couldn’t get the camera out fast enough to catch them.

these white feathers in the grass were all that I could record after missing a shot behind the tree.

for a couple of weeks there has been a love triangle trying to settle and nest above the house in the steep cliffs, two males and a female. in the afternoons we can hear their seagull-like cries as they display.

nightingales and eagles, hoopoes and cuckoos, and all the usual little birds, tits, sparrows, finches, starlings, blackbirds …. a warbler I must try and identify ….. the bee eaters are beginning to arrive, I heard their bell-like calls this afternoon.