Saturday, 13 October 2012

Birds

A long walk in the other direction from Alcudia, took us to the wetlands of the Parc Natural de s'Albufera.  This is an area of over 4000 acres of marshland and dunes, criss-crossed by drainage ditches and canals.  Huge quantities of reeds, sedges, Tamarisk bushes and Poplars, make the area wonderful for numerous species of insects, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds.  Little Egrets (Egretta garzetta) are common.
 Ducks are to be seen everywhere too.  The ubiquitous Mallard is always in attendance, but I was more interested in the rather more scarce Gadwall (Anas strepera).
By far the most exciting to see was an extremely rare waterfowl the Crested Coot (Fulica cristata).
This individual was sporting a rather natty neck-ring with its own unique identity number.  It was also clearly displaying the reason for its name 'crested'.  The two, bright red swellings on the bird's head give rise to its other name of Red-Knobbed Coot - which doesn't sound so nice!
Endangered in Europe, this bird has been reintroduced to the wetlands here and is doing reasonably well thanks to huge efforts from the conservationists.  It was quite a 'tick' for my life list too.
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