Thursday, 6 October 2011

Matalascanas September 1982 Coto Donana visit

Spring gave way to summer and when early September arrived Dennis Horwood and I decided to go to
The resort of Matalascanas on the Costa de la Luz and as it happened right next to the Coto Donana.
We flew to Seville,then on arrival I checked out the local scrub for birds.
The Hotel Tierramar proved a good choice, it was popular with German tourists with whom we made good friends.The hotel ran trips to the Coto using 4 wheel drive vechiles,so we booked a trip,our driver was very informative,his knowledge of Latin for the birds made it easier for me to communicate.
Our first bird   "Alectoris" I replied was Red legged Partridge,the Coto has so many diverse habitats,and as we drove through the Marismas we soon noted mammals in abundance,wild boar
scurried across the sun baked mud causing dust to fly,While Fallow and Red deer  grazed under the Aleppo Pines.Leaving the Marismas we entered the dunes, it was here they filmed "Lawrence of Arabia" and where Guy Mountfort's book "Portrait of a Wilderness" first introduced me to this region.
As we rolled over the dunes,the land rover struggled with the gradients,we alighted to photograph
flora and fauna and saw a beetle struggling with a ball of dung.Further on our keen eyed guide found a Lataste's viper zig zagging it's frame over the burning sand.
Moving back to the Marismas  we failed to find Pin tailed Sandgouse,but were lucky to see Imperial
Eagle,this large Aquila bird with white epaulettes is of the sub species Aldaberti.
Today it is a species in it's own right Spanish Imperial Eagle.
The day ended as we raced along the Atlantic beach passing the Martello towers,gulls and terns
panicked in profusion as their white shapes clashed with the majestic breakers.
Ronda and Arcos de la Fontera superb Andalusian towns of character and birds.

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