The hot summer nights have most definitely arrived in the Mediterranean Pyrenees now, together with the many tourists who flock to the area’s beaches and campsites. As well as hearing the sounds of people outside enjoying themselves on their holidays, with live music and other entertainments carrying on until late, come the inevitable mosquitos and other, more welcome forms of wildlife - bats, owls, moths and so on. This year we seem to have been battered by a lot of thunderstorms, some of which have been very dramatic, with the occasional drenching keeping our gardens in good shape, and providing everyone here with a welcome short burst of slightly fresher temperatures.
This short video is of an approaching storm in the Alberes, with the flashes of lightning that light up the clouds, and the rumblings of thunder interspersed with the insistent, repetitive calls of a tawny owl (Strix aluco) in the woodland just outside our village. Having consulted with Lesley, we are convinced that this is most likely one or more juvenile(s) who, having left the nest, are still relying on their parents to feed them. A couple of nights ago I actually saw one of them, perched on a fence post, calling loudly, before it flew right in front of me, still calling as it headed for a nearby tall magnolia tree. In the gloom I couldn’t positively identify that particular owl as a juvenile, but the call and the persistence of it makes me pretty certain that that is what we have been witnessing.
Version Française: L'approche d'un orage dans les Albères, avec jeune chouette hulotte