Showing Doñana since 1990


Author Archive | José Antonio Sánchez Iglesias

Flock of flamingos in flight

Summer is around the corner

Summer is knocking at Doñana's door. Meadows and forests edges are not green anymore although some Spanish iris, daisies, tassel hyacinths, larkspurs, fragrant virgin's bowers and particularly our halimium halimifolium, one of our yellow rockroses, persist on trying to put a note of colour to it. Rabbits jump around happily early in the morning, watched [...]
iberian lynx walking

Lynx at Ajolí Bridge

Look who was giving us access to the Park last June 1st. A male Lynx yawning quietly after drinking in the waters that still run under the Ajolí Bridge, next to El Rocío. He looked at us a few times as if he cared a hoot that we were there enjoying the sighting. While nightingales and […]

Front of male pintail sandgrouse

Pintail sandgrouse, a beauty out of this world

There is no bird sighting better than pintail sandgrouse in Doñana, from my point of view. Well, ok, a good Spanish imperial eagle, a squacco heron in full breeding plumage, a black-winged kite hovering, a male Montagu’s harrier flying low, a close view of a red-necked nightjar or a short-toed eagle, an oriole, a roller, […]

tamarisks full of egrets and ibis nests

José A. Valverde Heronry

The rain we had recently have flooded large areas of the marshes and that is encouraging more and more birds to join the colony and start breeding, a bit later than usual, but numbers increase day by day. Glossy ibis, purple heron, squacco heron, little egret, cattle egret, night heron are the most abundant breeding species, […]

Caño Guadiamar after the rain in May 2016

It came, it changed

A total of 160 mm of rain accumulated during a few days last week have changed everything in Doñana very quickly. Large paddles still make the driving along Raya Real difficult, although they get reduced day by day. in the adjacent pine forests, solitary female red deer that have left the group wonder about waiting for the […]

european nightjar perched on a branch

Nightjar, one of our lesser known birds

This bizarre nocturnal birds with huge mouths, large moustaches and sorrowful eyes begin to return from their winter quarters in Africa towards middle of April, although most of them are coming back now in the first half of May.  Occasionally we come across one of them on passage in the marshes, like the european nightjar on […]

male golden oriole perched on a branch

Migration progresses through Doñana

Spring goes by and migration keep coming through Doñana. Mixed flocks of small waders including ringed and some little ringed plovers, dunlin, little and some Temminck's stints , curlew sandpiper and Kentish plover are coming through and feeding in the scarce shallow waters in the Park and rice fields and mainly in the dry marshes. Good [...]
Flower of anchusa calcarea

An exceptional spring for flowers

Rain was not enough this year to fill our marshes properly, but we have been having some light rain, spread through the last few months, that have created the perfect conditions of humidity in our forests and meadows. The number of beautiful flowers this spring is enormous, filling with an explosion of colours all our [...]

Snakefly, a living fossil

You have to fine tune your eyesight to locate one of these strange creatures; perched on a leaf of a mastic tree, the bark of a cork tree or a flower of a rockrose. It is now in spring when small insects like these populate our countryside; most go unnoticed for many of us, but if you’re lucky […]

lesser spotted woodpecker building its nest

Migration time in Doñana

Migration keep coming through Doñana these warm days of spring with scattered showers and skies beautifully decorated with white clouds in between them. In the forests, wrens, serins, greenfinches, goldfinches, chaffinches, treecrepers, blue tits and great tits, among others, compose a varied symphony of sounds. They all keep themselves busy with display and other reproductive […]

Sunrise at the marshes edge

Beautiful Doñana in a dry spring

Even in a dry spring like this one, Doñana offer great birding opportunities, beautiful landscapes and an overall very good experience of nature. Warm temperatures, blue skies, green meadows decorated with flowers and espectacular sunrises and sunsets will fulfill your expectations. Flamingos, herons, eagles and harriers, colorful passerines like bee-eaters and orioles, red deer, wild boar […]

Owl dummy

El Rocío wildlife

The village of El Rocío support a whole range of wild animals. None of them is dangerous. They tend to go away from us and use the high strata but if you go out for a walk, with a bit of luck, you will come across them.

Bee-eater perched on a branch

Unusually early migrants this spring

An unusual warm and dry winter has just given way to a spring full of early events. I had some very early orchids coming out in the pine forest, the first ones were out at the end of february, several weeks earlier than normal. On February 28th I found the first pallid swifts flying over [...]
marshes with a carpet of yellow daisies and three bulls

Unusual winter

  In the forests things go right this year; forests and meadows look beautifully and the green is getting decorated with flowers day by day. Serins, goldfinches, great and blue tits, wrens and cetti's warblers, they all display restless in order to attract the nicest female for their own. Penduline tits, crested tits and long-tailed [...]
close up of a red knobbed coot swimming

Some come, others go

It was cold when we started at 7:30 but sunny and warm at the end of the tour around 14:15. I had a selected group of nice people willing to enjoy one of our shared bird tours today. Soon after we started we stopped at Puente del Ajolí to try Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. We did […]

White flower of the rockrose cistus salviifolius

Spring flowers in Doñana

Spring is here, no doubt, we have only to look at our fields and our skies and see how the green takes over our lawns and as the blue of our skies every day is more ornate with the increasing number of individuals of species such as Black Kites, Booted Eagles, House Martins and Swallows. […]

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 […]


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 […]