Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Deep Purple

A decade or more ago finding a Purple Gallinule, sorry Purple Swamphen, was quite an achievement. You could find them but they were localised in some well protected lakes and other wetlands.
In the early to mid 1990s you would certainly be very lucky to find one in La Janda. Then, possibly thanks to improved conservation, they started to turn up in the oddest of places. I even found them in small ponds within industrial estates. They certainly took off!
La Janda is now a great site to see them, often in flocks. They are quite bold and will come out of the reed beds into the open in broad daylight.
In fact they are so bold that they will venture onto tracks frequented by vehicles that simply drive too fast, to the detriment of these amazing birds...
But the balance is a positive one and we are now able to enjoy these iridescent birds where until recently there were none...


  1. Thanks Clive for sharing these excellent photos of this superb bird. The account you give here of birds in southern Iberia is quite similar to the situation here in northern Morocco. The books say that the species was on the verge of extinction locally in Morocco in the 1990, but the situation has changed since and now you can see tens at Smir marshes (let aside the numbers at Lower Loukkos and other small marshes) and in many occasions I saw up to 40 birds at once feeding at the marsh’s margins.
    Regards, Mohamed

  2. Thanks Mohamed. It is great to be able to compare notes in this way. Best wishes, Clive