Rumbo al Norte – Day 4: flora and fauna of Cies

Yesterday, when we visited the Islas de Cies, I also took kazillions of photos of birds. And reptiles. And flowers. And insects.

In the evening, however, our very cool hotel (no sarcasm) had mediocre internet and I wasn’t able to upload all the photos.

Now, in some tiny little village somewhere in Asturias, the photos have uploaded and I am ready to share with you the joys of a Naturalist that finds herself in a natural park surrounded by her favourite thing: nature.

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This little yellow flower was everywhere. Lovely to see such a bloom in December!
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And butterflies! In December!
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The guide told us that there was a flower that had magic powers. If you touched the flower, the next person you touched would fall in love with you for ever and ever. Sadly, she said, they only bloomed in Springtime. I looked and looked and looked … and found one. 😉
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A Peregrine falcon, in flight. Swooping in the strong winds, it looked pretty happy.
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Another shot of the falcon, keeping an eye out for potential prey
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A young ocellated lizard, found mainly in the Iberian peninsula with some populations reaching southern France and Western Italy
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Eucalyptus flowers. Imported in the past, they have long since settled comfortably in most of Europe. I don’t think I’d ever noticed how fuzzy and funny their flowers looked, though!
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A great tit that flew into my frame while I was taking photos of the flowers!
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The largest breeding colony of European Shags in here, in the Cies Island. Every year about 2,500 pairs build a nest – roughly 25% of the world’s population
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A pair of cute cute cute Kentish plovers skimming the waves!
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When I saw the Gannet fly by I was so excite I yelped! A Gannet!

I had never seen a Gannet before. Also called the missile bird, they can reach speeds up to 100/120km per hour. 100km per hour. Did you read that? Has it sunk in?

Good. Now watch this video. In awe.

I saw only one dive, and was so concentrated I forgot to take a photo. hehe.

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And finally, my favourite sighting: a whole row of perfect, textbook otter tracks. After years of absence, a pair of otters has returned to the island and apparently is also reproducing.
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