Written by Lucy Brzoska
Poo-poo. Poo-poo. Perched on one of the tall Cyprus trees that surround Montjuïc cemetery, a hoopoe is calling, a peaceful sound of spring. But a rival takes objection, and a bout of fierce hissing ensues, as the aggressor tries to claim the territory. Feathers are spread wide – the wings, tail and crest – making the birds appear double in size.
A common visitor to Barcelona on spring migration is the Willow warbler. This one was thoroughly grooming a blossoming Judas tree.
A much rarer migrant is the Vagrant emperor dragonfly. Like the Willow warbler, it had paused on Montjuïc to refuel, after probably beginning its journey in North Africa. It was hunting by the ponds in the Jardins de Mossen Cinto, a male recognisable by its blue saddle.
The discrete presence of pheasants has been detected on Montjuïc this winter, but spring is making them bolder. This one was strutting in full view along the cemetery wall.