Living here gives us amazing views, not just of the beautiful scenery, but also of the local wildlife. At this time of year some beautiful birds return, and there’s nothing better than sitting in the roof terrace watching the bee eaters do their final flight before bed, followed by the acrobatic swifts that sometimes fly so close to us they make us duck in our chairs!
So I thought I’d share some of the wildlife that we’ve seen over the last year that were new to us – by the way, I can’t take credit for the photos below! We never manage to catch any of these as we don’t have our phones on us when we’re outside!
1. Wild pig
These have caused us a few problems over the last year, and we had to set traps (but secretly hoped we would never catch one – they’re pretty bad tempered!). My close encounter with one the other week hasn’t done anything to improve my opinion of them! When the river dries up in the summer they come digging around the roots of the trees for water.
2. Spanish fox
A visitor a few months ago – the main difference to the foxes in the UK is these look better fed, and are huge! But they are just as bold as the ones in the UK!
3. Spanish carpenter bee
This is one of only three insects to make it on the list – obviously we have hundreds of insects here, but this one is spectacular – they are enormous and frequently fly into the window with a colossal bang! Initially we nicknamed them ‘what the f@&?k are you’s’ which to be honest is a better name than carpenter bee!
4. Ladder snake
I’ve only seen two of these – they’re not poisonous, but I still wouldn’t fancy getting bitten! We did have a snake in the house last year but we struggled to identify it – Rog remembers it having a diamond pattern on its back, which matches a very venomous viper we get here, but let’s not dwell on that or I’ll be having nightmares!!
Now initially I was nervous of these, but not any more – they’re really sweet , eat mosquitos and are terrified of humans – hilariously they think you can’t see them if they don’t move!
6. Iberian blue tailed lizard
I’ve struggled to find a picture of these – they’re small and move that quickly that it’s impossible to get a picture! Their tail is electric blue, very pretty! The one below is similar but the tail isn’t quite the right colour.
7. Bee eaters
These birds are beautiful – they do a big show as the sun starts to set behind the mountain, and the last few rays show off their iridescent colours fantastically
8. Benelli’s Eagle
Fabulous to watch circling above our house! When they arrive all the other birds take cover and hide!
We don’t see too many of these but have spotted a few over the last year
We watched two babies growing up and being taught by mum how to hunt last year – it was fabulous seeing them grow and learn
11. Golden oriole
This is such a beautiful bird – in the summer they come in the morning and sit in our trees to sing to us while we have breakfast!
Very striking bird – they nest just a hundred metres from our house down the hill, and we can see them coming and going during the day. Lovely call too!
So pretty, and I love the way that finches fly – it’s not so much flying as occasional mad flapping to stop themselves from falling out of the sky!
Finches are very traditional birds to keep in small cages in Spain – you’ll see them in lots of cafes – personally I prefer to see them flying around in the open air.
These drive us to distraction in the summer – the noise becomes unbelievable in the afternoon – when they finally stop the silence is almost deafening, but in a really good way!
I hate these things – Luna loves trying to catch them and toys with them until they die. They don’t so much fly as fling themselves about, and they’re huge. As you walk along the spring past you – ugh! They also seem pretty resistant to insecticides – I’d happily take a flame thrower to them!
So there we are, some of the best and worst creatures we share the finca with!