Lucia and I travelled through the flooded rice fields of La Janda early yesterday morning. She asked me if we could have a couple of hours photography. Although I encourage her and her sister about wildlife, I don’t drag the kids around rubbish tips or sewage farms or to gull roosts but rather respond to their enthusiasm about wildlife photography and off we go.
We took the Vejer end entrance into la Janda along the main collector canal track, then turned left over the bridge along the wooded avenue that leads over the bridge towards Benalup. This huge site of the vast ancient laguna of La Janda is now a massive agricultural area and is left deliberately drained in winter to make it easier for rice planting in May. Only then do the fields turn green again so it limits drastically the number of breeding wetland species. Taking in all the sights and smells from the Cattle Egret nesting colony, we travelled the avenue and found that there were at least two nesting pairs of Squacco Herons in amongst hundreds of egrets and the ten or so pairs of Glossy Ibis that chose to nest there this year.
It’s such a remarkable sight to see breeding Squacco’s in this area as we were already delighted with the Glossy Ibis nesting there for the first time. The unusually dry winter and spring has left the wetlands of the Coto Doñana and other traditional nesting areas parched. If only one small part of La Janda could be managed properly and returned properly, it would be one of the best migration stopping off places and breeding areas for many species of birds and other creatures. Squacco Herons are always special birds to watch and to have them breeding on your own doorstep is something quite special.
Glossy as ever – the ever expanding bird that numbered but ony a few pairs in Spain and Portugal when we first decided to live here eleven years ago. From ten pairs over in the Coto Doñana in 2001 they have virtually exploded in population terms to around fifteen thousand today.
Poised to strike – the stunning male Sardinian Warbler out hunting. Other birds included Bee-eater, Black-winged Kite, Common Buzzard, Black Kite, Short-toed Eagle, Booted Eagle, Common and Lesser Kestrel, Griffon Vulture, Black-winged Stilt, Gull-billed Tern, Mallard, Green Sandpiper, Woodchat Shrike, Nightingale, Purple Swamphen, Great Egret, Little Egret, Night Heron, Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Purple Swamphen, Moorhen, Red-legged Partridge, Common Pheasant, Cetti’s Warbler, Great Reed and Reed Warbler, Melodious Warbler, Western Olivaceous Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Crested Lark, Common Stonechat, Zitting Cisticola and Corn Bunting.
There are plenty of rabbits along the road to Benalup and now that the old tarred road at the Benalup end has been repaired, traffic can move quicker. The downside is that not only rabbits get killed but Red-necked Nightjars, Little and Tawny Owls as well as Moorhens are also victims. On the other hand Black Kites, Egyptian Vultures, Weasels and Rats capitalise on this quite well.
Visit my website to learn more about my activities as a guide in the Andalucia region of Spain.
You may also like:
Leave a Comment
Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days
- Poll: Should badger culls be continued in the UK? » [908 Views]
- Poll: Should hunting of black bears in Florida be allowed? » [890 Views]
- Fishermen get crafty to circumvent shark fin ban » [676 Views]
- Weasel photographed riding on a woodpecker’s back » [673 Views]
- Viral Video: Stealthy Octopus Leaps From Water and Attacks Crab » [587 Views]
- Poll: Should UK towns and cities be allowed to clip seagulls’ wings? » [503 Views]
- Blue-Bearded Helmetcrest Rediscovered in Colombia, Photographed for First Time » [493 Views]
- After a cruel attack, an injured toucan will get its beak back, thanks to 3D printing » [487 Views]
- Owl attacks prompt Dutch town to arm itself with umbrellas » [467 Views]
- Appeal to all birders and wildlife enthusiasts: add your name to the list in solidarity » [454 Views]
Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months
- » POLL: Should the ban on fox hunting be relaxed in the UK? [10680 Views]
- Petition: Stop Lion Canned Hunting in South Africa – Shocking Video » [4231 Views]
- Komodo and its Dragons » [3770 Views]
- POLL: Should lion canned hunting be banned in South Africa? » [3558 Views]
- POLL: Should bear hunting be banned in the US? » [3555 Views]
- POLL: Should the slaughter of wolves in British Columbia be banned? » [2926 Views]
- Poll: Should hunting of black bears in Florida be allowed? » [2886 Views]
- Join the 1st World Giraffe Day and help save these gentle giants » [2822 Views]
- POLL: Should the wolf hunting contest in Idaho be stopped? » [2645 Views]
- POLL: Should the trophy hunting of giraffes be banned? » [2644 Views]