Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Memories of an Iberian lynx and the magnificent Donana

In the first decade of this century I visited the Donana nature reserve in southern Spain almost annually. The first visit was in the spring of 2000 when I experienced a huge spring passsage of northern bound migrants. All of the other visits were in winter when there were large numbers of wintering birds, including flocks of up to 2000 common cranes, 3000 black-winged stilts, tens of thousands of wildfowl, a good variety of raptors including black-shouldered kites and Spanish imperial eagle, plus hundreds of flamingos, egrets, ibis and storks. In one field alone I came across a flock of 200 purple gallinules! A really impressive experience, perhaps I'll write an article about it one day! For now I thought I'd share this photo which I came across today whilst having a clear out. At the time it was taken in April 2000 there were thought to be little over 100 Iberian lynx left in existance. Now thanks to conservation efforts it's up to 400 individuals. No time to be complacent though, the species is still teetering on he brink of exinction.

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