The Horseshoe Whipsnake and the Eagle. The weather has broken and I went for a walk around my local area. I spotted my first snake of the year as well as my first big bird.
Due to the Coronavirus lockdown rules, movement is very limited. The weather is bright, warm and sunny and will continue to be so. It is past the fiesta of San Marco, this is usually the start of the shorts instead of trousers season.
Keeping 2 meters apart, my wife and I set off for a short walk around our area. We had gone no more than 50 meters and we cam across a whipsnake.
The Horseshoe Whipsnake
The horseshoe whip snake (Hemorrhois hippocrepis) is an aglyphous colubrid that, even if it may bite if touched or grabbed, it’s not considered a venomous species. It presents a transversal mark on its head from one eye to the other, and another mark in the shape of a horseshoe on its neck, which gives this species its common name. It’s a species typical of rocky habitats. Thanks to Allyouneedisbiology.com
I have seen quite a few of these Whipsnakes during my time in Spain. They can move like lightning. This was my first encounter of this year. Maybe due to the fact we cannot get out and go very far.
The Golden Eagle
Having left the snake to its own business, we carried on uphill. We were met with the wondrous sight of a bird of prey. It was a bit far away to get a decent photo or video, so we stopped walking and waited.
Eventually, the bird came with a few hundred feet of us and we saw it was a Golden Eagle.
In Spain lives the Aquila chrysaetos homeyeri subspecies. These impressive and large eagles need remote mountainous open areas far from human disturbance to stabilise their populations. Adults are sedentary and they build their nests either on trees of cliffs. See more information on Golden Eagles and other birds of prey resident in Spain from wildandalucia.com
Andalucia, Malaga and the Costa del Sol, including Nerja, are excellent places for viewing the wildlife of Spain whilst out walking. If you have binoculars, keep them handy, you never know when you will need them.