Monday, 6 April 2009

A Day in Doñana

We spent yesterday in and around Doñana National Park across the border in Spain. Although we drove through thick fog on the way there, the day turned out warm and sunny, thankfully lacking the cold wind that has been a feature here recently.

We always enjoy Doñana. We regularly see there species such as Red-knobbed Coot, White-headed Duck and Marbled Duck that are found only rarely in Portugal and others such as Glossy Ibis, Purple Heron and Whiskered Tern that occur there in greater numbers than we ever see them in the Algarve. Yesterday we also saw five Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, a species that we have never seen in Portugal.

Purple Heron

It is difficult to think of a day when we saw over 100 Black Kites and more than 50 Griffon Vultures as a poor day for raptors, but numbers of the other regular species were fairly poor.

Black Kite

On the other hand, we saw plenty of migrant passerines, a nice selection of waders and four species of larks - a total of 87 species in all.

Greater Short-toed Lark

It is impossible to do justice to Doñana in a one-day visit but we never come away disappointed.

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