Saturday, 13 June 2009

Rabbits, frogs and a few birds

Did you know that although it has been widely introduced elsewhere in the world, the European Rabbit is native to only Spain and Portugal where its numbers have been severely depleted by disease? In Portugal it is now classified as "Near Threatened" while in Spain it has been classified as "Vulnerable". This matters particularly to two highly dependent predators: the Iberian Lynx and the Spanish Imperial Eagle both of which have suffered population declines that can in part at least be traced to the introduction of myxomatosis in the 1950s and rabbit hemorrhagic virus in 1989. As a result, conservation measures are being taken in both countries to help the Rabbit, although you can, of course, still go out hunting them twice a week!

This individual came to drink three times this morning while we were trying to photograph birds, each time following the same route to the water's edge. We especially liked this photo of it licking its lips.

We were also distracted today by numerous, very vocal Iberian Water Frogs and sundry dragonflies.

Iberian Water Frog

Emperor Dragonfly

Crested Tit, Dartford Warbler, European Bee-eater and Hawfinch were among the birds seen during the three hours or so we spent baking in our hide. Goldfinch, Crested Lark and Eurasian Collared Dove were the ones we photographed!

European Goldfinch

No comments: