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Smart tides and happy little birds

By Lucía Lozano Villarán

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Rains never please everyone, wise saying. It rained hard last few days, very hard, with disparate consequences. Some people’s holidays have been spoiled, some other’s houses flooded, the streets in El Rocío and other andalusian towns have become rivers and access to the Park have been threatened again.
But not everything has been bad: hunters have killed fewer geese these days, cranes and geese have been able to feed quietly on the newly sprouted grain fields, and beaches have been widened in some parts at the expense of some holiday houses built where they should not be, and above all, the marshes, this rain has been specially good for the marshes, now it looks very different from just a couple of days ago.
In the flooded plains today we could finally see huge flocks of ducks and geese flying over and filling the sky. Golden Plovers groups spread at last over the few areas that are kept free of flooding. Also a large number of Black-headed Gulls taking advantage of the small invertebrates displaced by water, many Lapwings and White Wagtail pecking between the newly flooded areas. A late Wheatear trying to keep balance on a pole in a struggle with the strong wind, large groups of Goldfinch and Serin doing the same on the thistles and the Kestrels playing with the gusts of wind. Thousands of Stripeless Tree Frogs seem to be also very active these days, filling the marshes edges with their songs.
Other waders are also beginning to return to the park now that conditions are becoming much more appropriate for them. Today we saw the first small flocks of Black-tailed Godwits, Ringed Plovers and other small inhabitants of shallow waters. A flock of about 50 Black-winged Stilts represented for us one of their aerial choreography in the Caño Guadiamar. In the lagoons surrounding the José Antonio Valverde Visitor Center we found again the Crested Coot which have been seen there lately.
Back in El Rocío, taking advantage of a sunny interval, we enjoy the sight of a good number of Flamingos and Spoonbills wading through the waters of the Mother of the Marshes. We also found again a pair of Crested Coots mixed with several hundred of their common cousins. In the distance we found several Shelducks and a good variety of other ducks.
In summary, the tides intelligent and persistent rain these days to keep us all entertained and happy birds.

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