13.5.17

The Natrix

Today I went to Chinchilla for the first time in too long. I caught the bus, bought a few unhealthy snacks and some water and the shop, and set off for what was to be quite a long wander. In terms of birds, many were heard but not so many seen, however amongst them were Serins, Goldfinches, Mistle Thrushes, (and a Short-toed Treecreeper on the way to the bus station in Albacete). 
        The flora was out in full force, with some amazing blooms like the enourmous Asphodelus scattered amongst the 'espartal', and beautiful Cistus clusii, along with many Helianthemum and a single flower of Cistus albidus. 
        The highlight, however, other than two very interesting inverts (one of which I was able to photograph badly, the other not at all) was my best ever views and my second experience of seeing a Viperine Snake Natrix maura. As I zoomed in with my camera on what I had believed was a frog, I saw it was in fact a snake's head. What was bizarre was how the snake seemed to be almost bathing in the water, on a day that was warm but not exactly hot. After a few minutes observing, it disappeared beneath the water, coming up to the surface some seconds later for a quick dose of air before returning below. I decided to leave it be, and after about an hour or more's walk decided to return to the village to rest before catching my bus home. 
        Waiting at the bus stop I was lucky enough to see two Spanish Ibex (always a treat), before hopping on the bus back to Albacete. Overall, a pretty good afternoon though I've struggled to get my eye in and see the little things I used to be so great at spotting, but I'm going to try and change that with more Saturday afternoon trips to Chinchilla over the coming weeks. 

Viperine Snake - Culebra viperina - Natrix maura
Serin - Verdecillo - Serinus serinus
Asphodelus sp.

Romero macho - Cistus clusii
Asphodelus sp.
Lino blanco - Linum suffruticosum
Lino blanco - Linum suffruticosum
Spanish Blue Flax - Lino azul - Linum narborense ?

Thanks for reading!

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