Sunday, August 01, 2010
Up in the natural park on the side of Monte Coto the local environmental service was letting loose some beasts. We had a Kestrel, three Little Owls and a Northern Goshawk. The chief ranger person was pretty good and told us stuff. Did you know, for instance, that owls can't move their pupils which is why their heads are articulated as they are? I also learned that Spaniards say that people have eyes in their backs rather than the back of their heads. Being Spain everyone who wanted to stroke the owls before they were released got to and they were then let loose by children from amongst the thirty strong crowd.
There were toads too. Apparently the Common Toad can live for about 20 years, is pretty big and isn't at all common in this part of Spain partly because it is being slaughtered by a fungus that we carry on our hands. Then there were Natterjacks and finally some tiny Midwife Toads. From the man's imitation of their sound this may well be the beast that makes an electronic beeping noise that we heard whilst we were sitting on a friend's terrace last week.
Just so I can remember the Spanish names after tonight and so any Spanish readers have a chance the animals were cernicalo (kestrel), azor (goshawk), mochuelo común (little owl) , sapo común (common toad), sapo corredor (natterjack toad) and sapo partero (midwife toad.)