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lesser spotted woodpecker building its nest

Migration time in Doñana

By José Antonio Sánchez Iglesias

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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 duties. Black kites and booted eagles are common sights, the first ones from very early in the morning, the second ones a bit later in the day. Woodlarks thekla and crested larks are feeding their chicks restless and lesser spotted woodpecker test different trees to find the best location for its nest, watched by penduline tits working on their hanging nesting structures.

Bee-eaters start building their owns and are easy to find all over the area; cuckoo sing from their perch and nightingales from their hides in the bushes accompanied by cetti’s warbler. Crested tits, blue tits, great tits, godfinches, serins, sardinian warblers and passing garden and subalpine warblers feed on the same cork oaks in blossom now. Spotted flycatchers, Bonellis’ and wood warblers are also passing through these days. Melodious and isabelline warblers are also back from their winter grounds in Africa. First golden orioles and rollers coming through now.

In the marshes, crested, calandra, short-toed and lesser short-toed larks are all easy to see displaying and carrying food in their beaks to their chicks in the well camouflaged nests on the grounds of the vast marshes. Buzzards, common kestrels and lesser kestrels look carefully from their perches on the cattle fences the coming and goings of larger raptors like black kites, short-toed eagles and occasionally red kites. Large groups of griffon vultures rest among the salty bushes while wait for the first thermals of the day; some egyptian and black vultures join them in the wait.

Collared pratincoles, whiskered terns and gull-billed terns fly over Doñana in small groups but don’t stay for very long; they come, they see how dry Doñana is this year and they go. It will be easier to see them when they flood the first rice fields in May. Large groups of small waders including little stint, dunlin, great ringed plover and little ringed plover, curlew sandpiper and some Tenmick’s stints are passing now. Greenshank, redshank and spotted redshanks, some in full breeding plumage are easy now, along with ruff with necks of different colours and black-tailed godwits.

In José A. Valverde heronry there are small concentrations of cattle egrets and glossy ibis and good numbers of purple swamphens, red-crested pochards, great-reed warblers, flamingos and black-winged stilts. Purple, squacco and night herons can also be seen here.

About José Antonio Sánchez Iglesias

José Antonio Sánchez se licenció en Biología por la Universidad de Sevilla en 1985. Más tarde, durante varios años, se dedicó a organizar y guiar rutas de senderismo y naturaleza ...

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