Monday, May 31, 2010

Portrait of a Wetland III

Continuing with our selection of species from the marismas, today it's the turn of one of the most elegant of its inhabitants - the Purple Heron. A ground nester, usually deep in the reeds, this year has provided ample cover for these birds to nest in.

This bird arrived from south of the Sahara in March. Like many of the other wetland migrants, for example the Collared Pratincole, this bird attempts to raise its young before the start of the dry season. That is now with us and temperatures are soaring into the upper 30s in the shade. In the treeless marismas it is a stressful time. By July these wonderful birds, along with the pratincoles and others, will be on their way south and we will have to wait another year to see them once again.

With so much water around we might expect the birds to be scattered but it seems that some ponds and pools are better than others and these are the places to see the gatherings. Purple Herons are often found alongside Little Egrets.

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