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Author Archive | José Antonio Sánchez Iglesias

Harvested rice field full of storks and gulls

Doñana in November

November brings us cooler but sunny days, alternating with gray and rainy ones, that transform Doñana without taking off its beauty but only changing 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 […]

Snail cluster on a wood fence post

The long nap of the snails

Why do snails cluster in summer on top of plants and fence posts? We will try to explain it to you below. Our land snails are mainly nocturnal, since at night the presence of predators decreases and the environmental conditions are more conducive to them, by significantly increasing the humidity of the environment. During the […]

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 […]

Female red deer with fawn

Summer in Doñana’s forests and marshes

Summer in Doñana’s forests and marshes also offers rewarding experiences in Nature. When we enter Coto del Rey Pine Woods early in the morning, we always hope to meet one of our Iberian lynxes. When we do, we realize the cubs continue to grow day by day thanks to the loving care of their mothers.Female […]

Front of male pintail sandgrouse

Doñana in June

The dry season starts in June. Rain becomes unusual and dry areas begin to dominate over flooded ones in the marshes. Bulrush and tule rush go yellow and in grasslands and meadows the green turns into ochre. In wet years the process is delayed but the unstoppable rise of temperatures will eventually give Doñana its parched […]

cano-guadiamar-verano

Recommendations to visit Doñana in summer

The good temperatures and the typical clear skies of summer become the ideal conditions to spend a few days in Doñana, enjoy its beaches and spend some time getting to know the National Park a bit. The Mother of the Marshes, next to the Rocío, normally still keeps a good amount of water in June and offers very good conditions […]

Flock of flamingos in flight

Doñana in May

May is Undoubtedly one of the best months of the year for birding in Doñana. The influx of birdwatchers is not as numerous as that in April, temperatures are better and the chance of rain much lower, although you should take in account not to coincide with the celebration of El Rocío Annual Festival, when […]

Marsh landscape with a fence and yellow flowers in the background

Yellow marshes

The marshes at El Rocío are a great birding spot these days. A good level of water attracts good number of birds including flamingos, spoonbills, ducks, herons, egrets and waders. A walk along the promenade produce a long list that includes collared pratincole, Savi’s warbler, sand martin, bee-eater, great reed warbler and whiskered tern. Forests […]

Two Kentish plovers on the beach with the sea in the background

Two little plovers at Santa Pura

These are Chiara and Alex, a pair of Kentish plovers. They arrived at Santa Pura Beach in La Antilla (Lepe) a few days ago. They very like did not meet here, but at the nearby Marshes of El Catalán, where they spent last winter. They have already declared their love with peeps and cuddles and now, […]

Flooded marshes with clouds

Doñana in March

Forests and marshes burst into a beautiful symphony of colors as temperatures begin to rise in March. If the winter brought us enough rain, our marshes look with splendour. The green of the bulrushes that covers large parts of it begins to get decorated with lots of white patches of the small floating flowers of the water […]

El Rocio Marshes under a cloudy sky

Hope in difficult times

El Rocío Marshes continue to compose a perfect postcard every day, with the inestimable complicity of the Sanctuary. Both in a morning with skies covered by grey clouds through which the warm rays of the sun sneak in, or under the blue skies of the midday that enliven colors and cheers hearts, Doñana shows optimisms. More swallows and house martins than […]

Greylag geese flock

Doñana in October

Autumn has just started and is now in October when the rainy season usually starts, with them many thousand anatidae, cranes, waders and other wildfowl come to Doñana after a long journey from northern Europe. Among them stand out for their number around 50,000 geese that choose Doñana as their wintering area each year. The almost magical […]

Group of vultures next to a dead mare

Doñana in August

Summer progresses in August 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 […]

Juvenile Spanish Imperial Eagle

Young although amply prepared

In July, an army of young although amply prepared birds colonize the skies, forests and marshes of Doñana. Immature imperial eagles begin their first gliding flights in the vicinity of their birth area. They will still take several months to become independent, so a period of learning and surrounding exploring begins, during which it is not rare to see […]

Large flock of flamingos in the marshes

Doñana in July

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 often keep some water and turn into one of the most attractive spots in the Park, good numbers of herons, storks, glossy […]

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 […]

Marshes with white clouds reflected and El Rocio Sanctuary in the background

The beauties of Doñana

Two months later I return to Doñana today. Two months of confinement playing to imagine a Doñana that only the oldest have lived. Anxious, nervous and expectant, this is how I feel when arrive at El Rocío in a cold morning, under a sky covered with high gray clouds. The distant silhouette of the Grazalema Ranges adds […]

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 […]

Iberian lynx carrying a rabbit in its mouth

Hooray, they’re confined !

If they thought in human way, that is what the inhabitants of Doñana should be thinking now. There have never been in Doñana’s history days like these; days when its forests, marshes, beaches and dunes have found absolute peace. The unusualness of the situation that humanity is facing has led us to almost absolute confinement, but this […]

Black winged kite under the sunrise light

Wintspring

This dry and warm winter that has accompanied us during the last weeks, more similar to spring than anything else, has brought us a series of evident changes in the usual natural events in Doñana for this time of year. The marshes next to El Rocío have a good level of water and this is attracting a […]

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. […]

Sunrise at El Rocío

Doñana in January

The first barn swallows are back from Africa, what they eat during these first cold weeks in January is a mystery to me because 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 to practice nature photography. […]

Road going across the flooded marshes

Doñana in December

At this point in December, 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, cloudy or windy day but we […]

Pair of bee-eaters

Bee-eaters, have you seen them passing?

Like every year, there are tens of different species of birds that come back from Africa at the end of their wintering season to breed in Europe. From the giant griffon vultures, to the tiny willow warblers, thousands of them fly every day over our forests, countryside and cities. The vast majority of them go unnoticed to most of us, but […]

Grazalema Mountains

Beautiful days in the end of winter

Cold sunrises followed by hot mornings ensure the full catalog of lights and colors throughout one of our tours now in late winter. The mists of some days give us phantasmagorical landscapes and bring us distant sounds. Others days however, we can see the silhouette of the distant mountains of the Grazalema Mountains, mounted on the marshes […]

Head of long-eared owl

Tremble with fear mice

I do not envy the fate of mice and other small rodents now when the cold take over our forests and marshes. If you have the unfortunate luck of living in our pine forests and cork oaks, you will have to go on eggshells when you leave after sunset because that’s where the tawny owls lie […]

Male redstart perched on a branch

Small migratory beauties

 At this time of year, for a few weeks, we can enjoy in our forests and marshes the presence of a large number of very graceful and delicate and often very bright colored little birds, which visit us in their annual migration.   They spend the spring in northern Europe, where they breed, but when […]

A subadult Spanish imperial eagle taking off

Raptors in August

High temperatures have scorched the park and water scarcity models landscapes and transforms animal lives. The marshes of El Rocio have dry out and the same has happened to the near La Rocina Stream; we have go up to Charco del Acebrón, next to the Acebrón Palace Visitor Center to find some water in its bed. A walk through […]

Family of coots among the reeds

Coots can’t count

Rain arrived a little later than normal this year, the marshes got filled properly but much later than usual. Due to this birds begun thinking about breeding much later than average. As a result, this year we have in Doñana marshlands that offer in May landscapes more typical of the marshes in April or even March. Weather forecasts announce […]

Flooded marshes with yellow flowers in the foreground

After the rain

A couple of weeks after rain began, the marshes of Doñana have suddenly changed its look. In just a few days we have gone from having a landscape of cracked clays and yellowish and ocher colors, to having another one where the flooded marshes and the green color dominate. In only a few days we […]

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