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Author Archive | José Antonio Sánchez Iglesias

orchid flower

First early orchids in February

Towards the end of February many of our winter birds have gone back to the north although there are a good number of cranes and some geese still in the marshes. Robin, song thrush, meadow pipit, black redstart, skylark and chiffchaff are also still around in good numbers. Meadows in the forests are bright green [...]
Eucalyptus with nests

What a local guide is good for

I like my job, I love it, and these days I feel especially grateful to be able to enjoy Doñana’s nature. Today’s group was integrated by four enthusiastic young Dutch. They had spent the day before birdwatching around the park, trying to get as many species as possible out of their target list, but they […]

Group of mushrooms

A ghost army

Spring announces its near arrival to Doñana, or perhaps we should say that it is already here; day by day green is taken the rest of the chromatic scale, especially in the pine woods, where the bright green grass covers it all, except in areas where trees have been allowed to grow too close each […]

Two clients next to one of our land rovers

Looking my birds through different eyes

Ingrid and Georg, keen birdwatchers just arrived from Canada, were willing to face our birds, most new for them. That day they reminded me how beautiful our birds are. That hoopoe we saw just after passing over the Ajolí Bridge, with its impressive crest balanced with its extremely long bill and its great plumage design […]

Grupo Ciervos Donana

Doñana Summer 2014

Spring is gone and with it one of the most splendid times of the year in Doñana National Park. Now flora and fauna will have to go through summer, a very long dry and hot period in our latitudes. While not the best time to visit, Doñana continues to offer summer visitors a wonderful example […]

Flock of cranes in flight

Cranes are back in Doñana

Weather is just perfect: sunny and warm, about 25ºC, ideal to go out and explore the area for birds, insects, flowers … Sand along the tracks to the marshes is wet so mammals leave clear prints behind. Wild boar, red deer, badger, mongoose, and lynx are some of the tracks we see often while driving […]

High level of water in the marshes

Winter tide in Doñana’s marshes

Streams of Coto del Rey are still running strong, keeping the fords flooded and water in the marshes continues to increase its level as if it were a great winter tide. The saltmarsh bulrush start greening over large areas and the first patches of pond water-crowfoot begin to appear here and there. Migration keeps coming […]

Brazo de la Torre reed beds

The wind helper

A cold and sunny winter day, next to a reed bed in the rice fields of Doñana, a light breeze that is not even able to swing the elegant stems of the bulrush. Its tight cylinders of brown seeds have slowly and gradually fell apart in the last few months; rare is the one that […]

Swamphen

Winter, time for photography in Doñana

Winter brings new birds to settle our marshes and inspire our forests, it also brings some unpleasant days in which we all find difficult, including them, the inhabitants of right, to enjoy its beauty, but winter also makes us the best gift every year, its light, that light… Stephen and his father, like good amateur […]

short-toed eagle on a pylon

Eagle on a diet

Doñana’s forests and marshes look beautiful under our warm sun light. Creamy sand and green meadows contrast perfectly with our common blue skies these days. Rain has not been as abundant as we need so far but still a good part of the marshes is flooded now and the area is spreading day by day. […]

tractor ploughing a harvested rice field

Doñana’s life moves out

Raptor migration is nearly over in Doñana but we managed to see to today a nice osprey resting on an electric pylon near Hato Ratón Rice Fields. Red deer are still easy to see everywhere in the pine and cork oak forests, where they already reach up for the still unripe acorns from the cork […]

Small migration

Vultures, Short-toed Eagles, Booted Eagles, Montagu’s Harriers, Hobbies and Lesser Kestrels keep on passing through Doñana these days on their way to Africa. Along with them there are a huge number of passerines doing the same: Willow Warblers, Redstarts, Winchats and specially Pied and Spotted Flycatchers in the woods and Weathers in the dry plains […]

Stork whirls

Thousands of storks concentrate these days at Dehesa de Abajo lagoon, it is a must see place in the Doñana area. Apart from that, flamingos, spoonbills, avocests, stilts, godwits, glossy ibis and other waders and several species of ducks can be found there. Among then we counted up to 10 Marbled Ducks. Storks rose in […]

little birds

Bee-eaters, have you seen them passing?

Like every year, there are many dozens of different species of birds, from the giant Griffon Vulture Warbler, to the small Willow Warbler, that return to Africa at the end of the breeding season to spend the cold months in temperate latitudes. Thousands of them fly every day over our forests, countryside and cities, the […]

An Iberian Lynx on a tree

The two Spanish Imperial Eagles nesting in the far side of the marshes in El Rocío are both perched high on two of the tallest eucalyptus early in the morning, around 7:30, when we start the tour today. A group of Reed Deer is grassing and moving slowly along the edge of the dry marshes […]

An oasis in Doñana’s marshes

Summer progresses and harden living conditions for all inhabitants of Doñana, including us, humans. With a bit of luck temperatures stay below 30° C and without it may exceed 40° C The Mother of the Marshes, still retain some water, and it becomes one of the most attractive spots in the Park. A large number […]

griffon-vulture-donana

Vultures and mushrooms

We will have to resign ourselves this spring, very few birds will breed in Doñana this spring, last few weeks rain will not be able to amend last winter low rainfall, most of the marshes are still dry, offering few opportunities for herons, ducks, storks and waders this year. Several hundred Glossy Ibis are concentrated […]

Inconspicuous warblers and colorful Bee-eaters

Weather is improving and temperatures rising up to some comfortable 20ºC. Migration is still moving through Doñana’s forests and marshes and birds like Golden Oriole, Roller or Bee-eater are sill passing. Many of the last ones will stay to breed with us, like the one on the photo taken at Dehesa de Abajo, a small […]

Great for Crakes

Rain these days is improving the conditions in the Park very quickly. Meadows and plains are turning green at last and flowers are coming out decorating forests and marshes. Large flocks of Collared Pratincoles and Whiskered Terns feed in the dry plains. Griffon Vultures are also very common sights in the marshes. Great chances for […]

Nubes marismas Donana

Waiting for spring rains in Doñana

Migration moves through Doñana these days. Garganeys, Wood Sandpipers, Tenmick’s Stints, Common Wheatears, Redstarts, Sedge Warblers, Willow and Western Bonelli’s Warblers, Orphean Warblers, Alpine Swifts and Rollers are passing through on their way north. Booted and Short-toed Eagles, Black Kites, Lesser Kestrels, Purple and Squacco Herons, Crakes, Gull-billed and Whiskered Terns, Pallid Swifts, Cuckoos and […]

Lince_invierno_Donana_B

Kings and landlords.

Kate and Nicholas, during one of our private tours yesterday, were lucky enough to enjoy a great lynx sighting. For about 3 – 4 minutes an impressive male Iberian lynx was much more interested on the noises coming from potential preys than worried about our near presence.It was a cold morning and frost had caught […]

Ganga Macho Hembra Donana

From dawn til dusk

A whole day watching birds I met Robin, Richard and Ed, three keen American birdwatchers, just before sunrise at their hotel in El Rocío with the intention to spend the whole day birdwatching in the Doñana area. Just after leaving the hotel we had just light enough to see a couple of penduline tit, several […]

Rostro Lince Donana

How much does a Iberian Lynx worth?

The incident occurred nearly three years ago, but it was not until last June when the prosecution presented its case before the judge, is awaiting trial. The story is priceless, especially in regard to the valuation of one of the last 200 Iberian Lynx left in the world. Jaen Newspaper, July 17th 2011 “A couple […]

Porron Pardo Donana

Birds of Doñana

Marshes, cotos, dunes and beaches built Doñana on sandy and clay soils, weaving a complex net of ecosystems, supporting diverse plant and animal communities. Doñana has the largest and best preserved wetlands in Western Europe, also one of the last populations of Iberian Lynx and one of the most extensive stretches of unspoilt coastline in […]

Flower of centaurea sphaerocephala

Flora of Doñana

The development of the flora of a particular place is always closely linked to the types of soils on which it is based. In Doñana there are three main geomorphological units: Coastal mobile dunes, where coastal and unstabilized sand vegetation develops; significant examples are our juniper formations. Stabilized sands, covering most of the dry areas […]

Rana comun Donana

Amphibians of Doñana

There are 11 registered species of amphibians in the Doñana area. Conservation problems related to the alarming decline in the number of individuals are mainly caused by collisions, fishing in marshland areas, habitat destruction and use of pesticides, especially in rice fields. It has also been suggested that the introduction of the american crayfish in […]

Alfonso XII posing with hunting result

History of Doñana

From Royal hunting area to National Park The origins of Doñana as a region go back to ancient times. About 10 centuries before Christ some very old texts placed the mythical Tartessos in this area. Civilizations like Etruscans, Phoenicians and Greeks left their prints in the National Park. Today it's still possible to find some [...]
red fox

Mammals of Doñana

The mammals in Doñana can be considered as the classic representatives of the predominant types of ecosystems in the Natural Area: the Mediterranean forest and the seasonal continental marshland. 38 species of mammals have been recorded in Doñana. Carnivorous 01.- Gray wolf – Canis lupus (Linnaeus, 1758). Extint. Harassed by man to extinction in Doñana, […]

Aphanius baeticus

Fish of Doñana

The high environmental heterogeneity of Doñana, resulting in a great variety of aquatic ecosystems with different conditions of salinity, turbidity, seasonality and humanization, has encouraged the development of a rich fish community. Some species are sedentary, completing their life cycle in Doñana, others only spend part of their lives in the area, while the group […]

young eyed lizard

Reptiles of Doñana

The problems for the conservation of these species are in many cases the same as those for amphibians, but it is also important to take in account here the effects of myxomatosis that repeatedly reduced populations of rabbits in the 60s and 70s. Being the rabbit one of the basic preys of large vertebrate predator […]

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