If ever I had a spirit animal, the fierce Little Owl would be it. It may be brown and commonplace, but it's my favourite bird. Ever. Just look at that face! Anyhow, I won't be sharing all 93 species of the birds that we saw— just a few nice shots that we both took throughout the Big Day. So, without further ado, I would like to introduce you to the lovely Atlas Flycatcher (looking rather heroic):
And just above: the fabulous European Roller, and a dapper little Serin, singing his heart away... Next, we have the ubiquitous Corn Bunting, a pretty Thekla Lark (which I still can't tell from a Crested Lark), and an inquisitive Mistle Thrush who hopped so close to us I thought she might land on my boot:
Lastly, Seebohm's Wheatear and Moussier's Redstart— two birds that beg to be painted. Behold their bold and graphic beauty:
It's an amazing thing— before Pedro came into my life, I was a bird admirer. I made a small effort to learn some of their names, but really didn't know much. I had never seen a Little Owl, let alone any owl, but now I know exactly how to find The Fierce, and I've seen twelve other species. My world has expanded.
How wonderful it is to learn new things! I see and hear birds everywhere— I know that some of them have particular tastes in trees, I have a general knowledge of some of their habitats, and I've learned about the extraordinary journeys they take during their lifetimes. Birds have since taken me to each of Turkey's borders (except the Iraqi), into an extinct volcano and up the sides of mountains, to forests, deserts, and seas.
I can't think of a more beautiful gift that anyone has ever given me.