Friday, May 28, 2010

Portrait of a wetland I

I return to the marshes of the lower Guadalquivir and I will dedicate the next few posts to some of the special species that live there. The marshes are now splendid. After the record winter rains, the early spring saw an excess of water in many parts of these wetlands. It is only now, that water levels are receding and aquatic vegetation taking, over that birds are breeding. Geraldine and I spent many hours there last Sunday. We have never, in all our years of fieldwork, seen the marshes as splendid as this year so they deserve some time dedicated to them.

The first batch of 2010 generation Swallows is now out (above) and the abundance of flying insects will ensure survival of many young birds. Soon the adults will be starting a second clutch. Curiously, today I saw Swallows coming in from Africa heading north, probably to the northernmost European populations. So, some Swallows have not arrived in the breeding grounds yet while others have raised a brood!

So the next few posts will focus on the wetland's gems. Today, it is the turn of one of the scarcer herons. The following pictures (and that at the head) reveal the beauty and elegance of the Squacco Heron.

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