Portugal was full of storks. They nested everywhere: on houses, trees, light poles. Everywhere. Very elegant when in flight…much less so when hopping around on the ground, in search of just about anything they could eat. The chicks were like baby Elvises, with their fluffs of hair standing on end and their large ugly beaks perpetually open for food.
One day, we went to an abandoned house. More like a mini-castle. On a hill close to Cordoba, where we were based.
There was a family of Lesser Kestrels that flew out of it when we arrived, and soon we found out why: at least one couple (were they a family? Or just couples living together?) had a teeny tiny little chick resting in the eaves of the house. I managed to take lots and lots of photos – they were obviously very worried and we left without wasting time. I picked up a few feathers walking out … and only when I was home saw that they probably belonged to the female bird I had taken a photo of.
A painting was a must.
During my time as a field assistant in Cordoba, Spain (the south. The hot, hot south), we worked with quite a few species of birds. One was the Blue Tit. Their song was also quite cute, and they spent a lot of time staring at us while we checked their nests!
Here’s the call (with a nice sheep background)