Lesser Kestrel 1 1 of 1April is a glorious month here. Given normal rains during the winter, the fields are full of flowers, as much of the land has not been farmed intensively and much pasture is ancient and unspoilt.
Birds of the steppe are in full breeding activity. The male Little Bustard mark their territory by throwing their heads back and making a cry which may be heard at some distance. In some parts of La Serena 3 or 4 males may be seen at once within a small area. The breeding display of the male Great Bustard is called the "rueda" - the wheel. A number of males - varying from 15 up to 70 or 80 - come together in the lecking area to display. The bird pitches his head backwards, fluffs out his neck feathers, throws his wings outwards and turns them to show the white underwing so he appears like a large white fluffed-out ball looking a great deal larger than his natural size.
Montagu's Harrier have taken up their territories and, while display activity is still under way, some females are already sitting on the nest. Lesser Kestrel are also in their breeding territories and mating activity is frequent. Groups of Black-bellied and Pintailed Sandgrouse may be seen in the steppe areas.Larks are in full song. Calandra Lark may be seen in considerable densities on the steppe with a bird every 50 or 100 metres. Also Crested Lark are marking their territories. Short-toed Lark may be seen in the steppe areas. Stone Curlew may be heard at dusk and seen in pairs during the day.
Griffon Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Golden Eagle, Bonelli's Eagle, Black Stork are now occupying nests on cliff sites and ledges. Black Kite are nesting in wooded areas, most commonly in the dehesas. Short-toed and Booted Eagle drift across the hillsides looking for prey.
Woodchat Shrike, Golden Oriole, and Nightingale are here in good numbers. The temperature is on the rise, and can reach 30° in April.