Monday, March 14, 2011

Winter #28: Three a Day

6:35am-8:00am, vineyards/playground/Sant Pau Hill, Vilafranca del Penedes, Catalunya, Spain
windy, misty, mix of clouds

The sky was enormous, and suspended in an exceptional, potent shade of blue when I entered the vineyards this morning.

I love the constant transition of dawn, the colors evolving from moment to moment. The remarkable blue lasted just a few minutes before lightening into a more dusty, cloud-strewn hue.

The post-rain freshness and tangible quick breeze were enlivening, and again it was a festival of birds-new-to-me.

There was a playground near the hilltop, which I dubbed "The Playground on Top of the World". OK, so it's probably only a couple hundred meters high, but a swing set and slide overlooking a vineyard-checkered valley give one a sense of majesty and invincibility.

At the playground, these two birds seemed to be variations of the same species, but listening at home I felt less sure:
Playground Bird 1

Playground Bird 2

It was exciting to actually spot a few birds today. This super-sonic high twittering comes from a very small, yellow bird with sparrow-like markings**:

Then I approached the pines of Sant Pau hill and found Today's Bird : a singer with an astounding array of songs. He reminded me of the maybe-mockingbird from yesterday, but his calls were spaced further apart:

The question of the day was, while squinting skyward in dim overcast light, "Is that a bird or a pine cone?" The answer was, invariably, "Pine cone".

However, at one lucky moment my bird changed trees, and I got a glimpse of a rosy-chested, slightly larger-than-sparrow fellow.

Here, an audio close-up:

**Little yellow bird has been identified as a "European Serin". Thanks, Jim!!**


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