Red Kite 2 1 of 1The nights are drawing in and the temperature is cooling, at least in theory (in some years - October 2011 for example - it may feel more like August!) but in a "typical" year it is in the mid 20s right through most of the month. There should be some rain too (2011 again bucking the trend) and this produces a green flush in the country. The first rains prompt a greening-up of the landscape, and curiously the first thing to show new growth is the lichen on the rocks. Baked by the summer heat, it appears all but dead yet responds in a couple of days. It is like a second spring and a lovely time to be out and about.
The main event is the arrival of the Cranes. It is wonderful to see the first groups dropping and calling as they come into their winter quarters. Within a couple of days there are many thousands.
As the Black Kite depart south their place is taken by Red Kite coming mainly from the north.
Passerines start forming mixed flocks with Goldfinch, Serin, Linnet sometimes in good numbers plus the odd Greenfinch which are not common here. Larger flocks of House, Spanish and Rock Sparrow form up too. Duck and geese numbers start to build. 50 years ago, prior to the construction of the reservoirs and the irrigated fields, there would have nowhere to attract them, but now Extremadura is ranked only after Doñana and the Ebro Delta as a top wetland destination.