In this guest post by our local ornithologist, Peter Jones, he talks about the joy of the Serrania de Ronda, the mountainous area surrounding Cartajima where we are located. When referring to the glorious photograph above, he likes to call himself the “old codger” which, in his typically self effacing way, hides his incredible skills as a guide not only ornithological but cultural and much more. A day out with him adds exponential value to your holiday.
Springtime has to be one of the most exciting times of the year for me. It is a time of renewal, rebirth and freshness, to both the landscape and local wildlife. Birds are starting to arrive from their faraway winter quarters, flowers are raising their heads to be noticed and our daylight hours are stretching to allow more of our time spent in the big outdoors. It is a busy time as bird song resonates throughout the Serrania, a ritual by males to attract and entice females for an inspection of their new dress and chosen territory; insects are in a hurry to emerge and harvest the richness of pollen and greenery. Of course it happens to be a busy time too for the intrepid wildlife guide as visitors arrive to be shown the wonders of my mountains.
Most days now are spent either guiding groups for various tour companies visiting here or guiding as an independent day trip guide. Even on those rare days when I am free to do my own bidding, I choose to indulge myself by visiting favourite and hidden gems for birds and flowers, accompanied by cameras and wallowing in the tranquillity solitude can afford. After winter it is exciting to explore the area to see if the familiar has reappeared and find new places, sometimes making new discoveries! Each year is different and each produces rewards for anyone who loves nature, scenery and just being, feeling and breathing our wonderful natural heritage. Most of all, it is such a privilege to share my experience and knowledge of such a beautiful part of our world with so many friends and like minded people.