It is a time of year when a winter’s Sun casts a golden veil across my landscape and deepening shadows soften the rugged mountains. Temperatures rise and fall under clear skies producing patchworks of white and green on grassy slopes. It is a time of wonder as I am amazed at the tenacity of nature as it adapts to the changes of our seasons, small insectivores eke out a living, surviving another winter to welcome the promise of another year. Fan-tailed Warbler is such a bird, tiny but tenacious, surviving against all odds along with the beautiful Firecrest.
The snow covered peaks of the Sierra Nevada and the high area of the Sierra de las Nieves mirror the bright light of our winter Sun against a blue sky. The scenery alone acts as a magnet that draws us out from our comfortable slumber, venturing into our wild and remote areas to enjoy our nature. We have so many options, so many great places to explore at this time of year. From the steppe and low plains to mountains and then our coastal wetlands. The diversity of birds compliments the diversity of habitats, ever productive, ever an attraction to our birding community.
For those of us fortunate enough to live here, there can be little doubt about as to why we are joined by such great birds for these cold to temperate days. Andalucía is such an important wintering ground for so many species including Common Crane, Ring Ouzel, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Song Thrush and so many waterfowl and waders. It is an all year round paradise for birds, but an essential region for the survival of many species. Indeed the region is a paradise for us birders too. Brave the winter and venture out to find those birds and enjoy immersing yourself in our wild places.