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Archive | Doñana today

urginea spike of flowers

Sea onion, a miracle of nature

  The sea onion (drimia maritima) is the first flower that decorates our meadows just before the arrival of autumn; this survivor to extreme conditions dares everything and opens her precious spikes of white flowers defying the heat of September, breaking with her beauty the beastly austerity of summer landscapes. From among the dry meadows in the pine forest, […]

Iberian lynx in the mist

Autumn pictures of Doñana

Below you will find some of the photos we have taken over the last few weeks during our tours to the forests and marshes in the north of the Doñana National Park. We normally start in the Coto del Rey pine forests where we try to spot our iberian lynx and get it some days. […]

Red deer rutting in the forest

Doñana in September

September is for for all the beginning of a new calendar year in Doñana, especially regarding rain. It is now when we start to count the accumulated rainfall of the year and when we all start wondering how the coming year will go. This is an important question that we face every year, whether we [...]
Group of vultures next to a dead mare

Doñana in August

Summer progresses and with it living conditions in the park for animals and plants becomes even harder. Mammal activity concentrates in the first and last hours of the day. The bellowing of the stags can be clearly heard early in the morning, even from El Rocío; in the woods these animals become less shy and […]

Collared pratincole in flight

Collared pratincole, the marsh acrobat

A visit to the Doñana’s marshes is only complete when you get to enjoy the sighting of one of these birds. They resemble terns and fly as agile as swallows, feeding often in flight like them but being closely related to waders. Long, pointing, narrow wings, deeply forked tail, short legs and a short bill with a bright red patch at […]

Female red deer with fawn in the high dry grasses

Doñana after the fire

At the end of June, fire caused by accident in a local charcoal company fueled by strong winds and high temperatures, destroyed around 8,500 has in the Doñana area, 6,500 of which belonged to the Doñana Natural Site. The Doñana National Park was not affected but some valuable areas within the Natural Park were razed […]

Large flock of flamingos in the marshes

Doñana in July

Temperatures rise and harden living conditions for all inhabitants of Doñana, including us, humans. With a bit of luck maximum temperatures stay below 30° and without it they may go over 40° El Rocío Marshes, if they keep some water at all, becomes one of the most attractive spots in the Park, good numbers of herons, storks, […]

Familia de somormujo

Busy parents at the end of spring

Temperatures rise, grass wither and the marshes dry out. In the pine forests partridges protect their groups of 8-10-12 little chicks, the yellow rockroses still decorate the cork oak woods and female deer feed their fawns along the marshes edges. In the Hinojos Marshes, small puddles support the last families of black-winged stilts, lapwings and […]

Male white-heade duck

Doñana in april

April is a great month to visit Doñana, one of the best times for birdwatchers or to enjoy our wildlife and colourful landscapes. It is also a very busy month so it is very important to book your tour in advanced if you don’t want to find out that we and all companies offering tours […]

Purple swamphen in flight

Doñana in February

February is a time of big though gradual changes. Weather conditions are again of vital importance in the calendar of events. It is an interesting time of year because it usually offers the opportunity to observe most of wintering species and at the same time provides the first chances to see some of the breeding species back from Africa. […]

Lynx lying down

Iberian lynx, an unexpected encounter

Enric and his companions were enjoying that cool morning the lush nature of Doñana. We had been stopping every few minutes to watch small forest birds such as robin, black redstart, serin and sardinian warbler, and some red deer we came across on the way. We were all excited thinking of meeting the king of [...]
Sunrise at El Rocío

Doñana in January

The first barn swallows are back from Africa, what they eat during these first cold weeks of the year is a mystery to me because the insects are still very scarce. Yet temperatures are usually pleasant compared to northern Spain and northern countries in Europe, and we enjoy abundant sunny days with excellent visibility, ideal […]

Sunset in the flooded marshes

The perfect sunset, the power of nature

I feel privileged every day for being able to enjoy Doñana, an amazing piece of nature. I also feel fulfilled as a person for having the opportunity in my work as a guide to make people happy for a while by introducing them into it. It is a very particular feeling, you may know it, people can pass each other valuable feelings. But there is [...]
Road going across the flooded marshes

Doñana in december

Home » Doñana today Doñana in Decemberflooded marshes At this point, we have had normally enough autumn rains for the marshes to be properly flooded and to appear before our eyes like a great expanse of water that continues without an end up to the horizon line. It is not rare to have a rainy, [...]
Jose A. Valverde heronry

Ecosystems of Doñana

The Guadalquivir River and the Atlantic Ocean shaped the old bay located at the mouth of the river and created the region known today as Doñana. The sediments carried by the river and the sands pushed inland by the sea currents and winds filled the shallow waters of the bay to build a territory made […]

Harvested rice field full of storks and gulls

Doñana in november

Autumn brings us cooler but sunny days alternating with gray and rainy ones that transform Doñana without taking off its beauty but only change the background of a nice scenery. El Rocío Marshes, which have been flooded by the first rains, attract many birds like flamingos, spoonbills, storks, herons, geese and many species of ducks [...]
Lince on the prowl

Iberian lynx hunting

Early in the morning when we were entering the Park, we found one of our iberian lynx lying on the ground under the pine trees about 50 meters from us. We stopped the car and the animal, who was paying attention to something in the bushes, looked at us for a second and continued looking [...]
Caño Guadiamar in summer

Caño Guadiamar in summer

A stop at Caño Guadiamar these days becomes an experience full of sensations. The old course of the River Guadiamar, passing through Doñana becomes every summer one of the few pockets of moisture across the northern marshland, an oasis that turns into a valuable refuge for thousands of waterfowl, raptors and passerines on migration during the dry season. […]

Spanish imperial eagle in flight

Doñana’s Spanish imperial eagle

The tough life of the queen of the sky It is midday and we return from one of our tours to the northern marshes of Donana National Park. Several hours ago, in the early morning, we found a fresh lynx track, but we were not lucky to stumble upon the animal. Several male red deer [...]
Antlion larvae on a hand

Antlion, the monster of the sands

Antlions are insects belonging to the order Neuroptera. They are not true ants, although their small larvae that can reach 1 cm in length may remind them. They are fierce predators of ants and other small insects that share with them the sandy soils in which they live. This small creatures, looking like something out of a […]

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 […]