By José Antonio Sánchez Iglesias
Posted in Winter
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 through and the first and late great spotted cuckoos have been seen in the last few days around in the Marshes of Aznalcazar, by the old House of El Lobo. The last cranes and short-eared owls can be still seen and the first small subalpine warblers have been already several days moving about in the scrubland while barn and the first red-rumped swallows, common and sand martins, and pallid swifts keep passing through in large numbers.
At Matasgordas cork oak forest, black kites increase numbers day by day and their mournful calls dominate over any other sound in the woods. In the marshes larks are those who compose the soundtrack, with the special role of calandra larks. Platoons of lesser kestrels in route patrol restless over open fields and the first woodchat shrikes start putting small white patches on fences and bushes.
At Caño Guadiamar, the first coot nests have had to be rebuilt because of the rising waters. great-crested, little and black-necked grebes have begun their courtships. Reed and great reed warblers songs cannot be heard in the reeds yet and the numbers of chiffchaffs decrease continuously in forests and marshes.
Today we saw the first whiskered terns to be added to the first gull-billed terns we saw a few days ago. Those that are not showing up yet are purple and squacco herons, although flocks of glossy ibis have begun to concentrate near the Jose Antonio Valverde breeding colony. We all look forward to the return of activity in the largest heronry in the park.
While serins and goldfinches openly proclaim their love making powers in forests and meadows, wrens and cetti’s warblers do the same, although more discreetly, from their hides in the bushes. Storks already hatch their eggs sat on their nests, while others struggle to find the balance of the first stick of yours on the mast of an electrical tower.
Doñana overflows activity these days and this is only a prelude of what is to come.