Alpine SwiftMany nestlings have now fledged, and the landscape is starting to look drier by the end of the month. Early morning and evening are now the most pleasant times to be out, with time for a mid-afternoon siesta.
On the steppe of La Serena the rising temperature and shrinking water reserves mean that excellent opportunities arise to see birds coming in to drink at the pools and ponds made for the sheep. Black-bellied and Pin-tailed Sandgrouse are popular birds to see bathing and drinking, along with Wheatear, Black-eared Wheatear, Calandra and Short-toed Lark, and ubiquitous Corn Bunting.
In the riverside vegetation Purple Heron, Night Heron and Little Bittern join the groups of Cattle and Little Egret. The Bee Eater colonies in gravel pits may have over a hundred nesting pairs in one location.Roller juveniles may be seen perched on telephone cables in the steppe. Parties of Alpine Swift wheel around their territories, which may be an old bridge, or maybe a modern one, or perhaps a mountain-top castle.
There is a colony of Gull-billed Tern on the Orellana reservoir, and Black and Little Tern are regular further to the north. Red-necked Nightjar make their strange hollow song after sunset and can be found sitting on dusty tracks.
There is exuberant new life everywhere.