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Posts Tagged ‘Spanish birds’

Regime Change in the Cypresses

What’s a Gallinero? And why would you want to stay there?

Early-flowering Japanese quince bushSpring Again, Already?

Granada’s inspiring springtime is here again. It always takes us by surprise, first with the almond blossoms then in quick succession the Chinese quince and loquat flowers and then the songbirds returning from Africa to nest in our fruit and cypress trees.

Politics in the Cypresses

There’s been a regime change in the cypresses this year. After years of grudging coexistence between the plump wild pigeons and the predatory magpies, the former got tired of defending their eggs and their chicks from the latter and have nested somewhere else. The nests of the pigeons have been taken over by pairs of smaller, apparently more docile birds. We always think of doves as pacifists but that turns out to be a myth. They defend their nests tenaciously and are keeping the larger, more truculent magpies nicely at bay.

Other birds are appearing, as well: blackbirds, European robins, big streamlined black-and-gold orioles, friendly songful finches, wrens and the magnificent (though very plain Jane in appearance) nightingales that nest in the willows down along the river. It only takes two rival nightingale males to form a glorious all-night singing contest which is directed at The Gallinero, and in stereo.