birds and flamencos in the natural parks of andalusia, southern Spain
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This web page is for those interested in birds and flamencos in the natural parks of andalusia, southern Spain. For those searching the word flamenco, it also means flamingo!

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In Malaga province the Laguna de Fuente de Piedra (the pink lagoon) is the largest lake in Andalucía, and flamingoes have long made it their favourite stop in southern Spain.

Between Cadiz and Malaga you will find the Sierra de Grazalema natural park covering some 52,000 hectares with marvellous ecological and geological opportunities. The greyish limestone leaves an uneven landscape below solid sharp mountains which are highest in Cadiz province. The predominant vegitation is Mediterranean woods and scrubland, given the summer drought, although there is an abundance of water, sometimes even 4000 litres of rain in a year.

The extraordinary variety of birds makes this area an important ornithological route. There are also many ancient Mediterranean tree species such as the holm oak and cork tree, carob and mastic trees, providing an ideal habitat for the chameleons. Cork oaks, round-leaved oaks, pines and wild olive shrublands combine with mixed woodland to provide a dense category of wildlife.

 

 

 

Identify your birds by a process of elimination! Look for size, colour, shape of wings and type of flight path, as well as their geographical location.

Around Jerez, a major centre of flamenco song... you will find hoopoes and, most noticeable of all, the vultures (buitres) soaring high above the mountain peaks, catching a thermal current to maintain their circular reconnaisance of the ground.

 

hoopoes (abubilla)

 

 

 

 

 

hoopoes

A striking bird in flight but not common in summer but noticeable in the woodlands and open fields when migrating.

 

griffon vultures (buitre leonardo)

griffon vultures

A very visible resident of the rocky cliffs. The natural park of the Sierra Norte de Cadiz has about 290 breeding pairs now.

 

Doñana and its flamencos

 

 

natural parks

 

The jewel in Huelva's crown, The Doñana wildlife reserve is the most important ecological reserve in Spain. Sometimes described as "Noah's Ark" because of its enormous ecological significance, it is home to many endangered species, including the iberian lynx, the imperial eagle, mongoose, deer and wild boar. It is a sanctuary for 80% of Europe's migratory birds. There is a massive influx of flamingoes in winter, turning the vast flat marshes into a sea of pink. The Doñana is situated on the northern side of the mouth of the river Guadalquivir. The landscape is a mixture of humid forests, desert areas and salty marshes, which support a variety of ecosystems and makes it an ideal enclave for endangered fauna.

 

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