Spot the mountain goat!

Reader Piet spotted an Iberian mountain goat (Capra pyrenaica) while cycling; can you see it too? I consider this medium to easy, and so won’t give a reveal. Here’s Piet’s notes:

At about the 900km mark of a cycling tour I am making along the Spanish coast from Barcelona to Cadiz I came across this curious fellow.
He lives just south of Almería town on a mountainside with an enviable view of the sea.  I’m not sure if he was amused or annoyed at the clicking biped but the moment we shared was special to me at least!
Click the picture to enlarge:


  1. Serendipitydawg
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    That goat is striking a pose 😀

    Definitely on the easy side of medium.

  2. alexander
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    It looks like the goat spotted the photographer first, staring into the lens.

  3. Posted April 20, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    What a defiant stare.

  4. Christopher
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Nice photo but why the heck is the hillside covered with netting? Seems dangerous for the wildlife, not to mention ugly.

    • alexander
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      I think what you see is a water supply tube, not a netting.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted April 21, 2019 at 6:17 am | Permalink

        More likely a gravity sewer pipe. IF it slopes gradually downwards away from the buildings (hard to be sure from this perspective), that’s almost certainly what it is.

        A water supply pipe, being under pressure, has no need to follow the contours like that.


    • Michael Fisher
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      From the direction of the sat dishes & it being coastal – it’s a south-facing slope so I’m thinking the netting maybe is for young vines, but perhaps it’s too salty so close to the Med. The ‘bodegas’ are mostly inland there. With luck it’s very fine netting which is used to cut down on plant sunburn & doesn’t tangle birds.

      Almería & a lot of other Spanish places is the land of farming under polythene [can be seen from space] & plastic-choked rivers so I reckon the birdies are seriously inconvenienced overall.

      • alexander
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

        Sorry, I didn’t see the nets on the right of the image. I think their function is to prevent rocks falling down on houses down the slope. This is a quite common view in the Alps.

    • ploubere
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      Probably to control falling rocks.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      The netting I can see is below-right of the sewage pipe.
      There has been a considerable expansion in the use of netting in the last few years to prevent birds nesting and thereby delaying building projects going through the “planning permission” pipeline, and a lot of fuss has been kicked up this year about it (it’s not a new phenomenon though).
      However, this is quite coarse mesh netting, several cm, and looks to me more likely to be there for controlling stonefall onto something below – either a road or another bank of buildings. Probably the “something” which the photographer is on. In colder climes, we use it a lot to protect against frost-heaved rocks, and I can tell you there is a big difference between hitting a 3cm rock in the road, and hitting a 20cm one.

      • rickflick
        Posted April 21, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        Years ago, on a 4 lane route I took to work, a woman was killed by a falling boulder that hit her car. The steep, rocky, hillside above the road seemed quite well netted with cable webbing and a fence along the roadside, but something massive must have broken free. It made me wary for the next few months as I passed the area of the accident.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted April 22, 2019 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, coming round a corner on a frosty morning, and having to stand on the anchors, dig in the deadman and generally decelerate to the brink of losing adhesion … an “educational experience”.

          • rickflick
            Posted April 23, 2019 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

            an “educational experience”. Just so!

  5. Michael Fisher
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Cycling that coast road Piet is brave! 1,200-1,300 km total? The goat is clearly shocked, rock jumping might be safer.

  6. Joe Dickinson
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    There is no goat. That is a bighorn sheep. Indeed that could have been inferred from the setting.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      I thought that bighorns were an American species, not Spanish.
      Unless some “extras” from a spaghetti Western escaped.

  7. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Yeah the horns are smaller than male Ibex, I’d bet on a female Ibex. Where was this taken?
    (I rate this one ‘easy’)

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      You are right I think – see the comparison below, the Southeastern Spanish ibex or Beceite ibex Capra pyrenaica hispanica is a goat that is endemic to Spain where the photo was taken. Note the dark patches on the front of the legs & overall colouring & coat length:


      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        Yes Michael, no doubt anymore now.

      • rickflick
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 2:43 pm | Permalink


  8. J
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    All that wire fencing to contain falling rock can’t help the goat’s footing.

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