Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In the wetlands


Saturday once again saw us taking a trip in to Empuriabrava. Unfortunately, we couldn't get in to our favourite restaurant for an hour so we decided to find the wetlands area, Natural Reserve Estanys that extends for many kilometres from the beach and dunes inland. A wide variety of birds can be found there including flamingoes later in the year. Animals to be found are wild boar and badgers.

Immediately we heard a huge cacophony of bird calls as soon as we got out of the car, ducks and other water birds. Not too far down the trail we came upon huge nests up on platforms, storks nests and there was a white stork perched up on a pole. As we walked further we saw some deer in the distance. The male had the biggest antlers I've ever seen.

The whole area is made up of fields, paddies and wetlands. All along the path was a small river filled with bullrushes. Not only was the sound of the water birds, flocks of starlings and toads but a loud clanging from horses with bells around their necks.

After walking further we went in to one of the wooden hides where you can watch the wildlife. There was already a couple in there and I did feel that they felt a bit proprietary about it. Finally, we ended up at a spot with four towers. We climbed up one tower and spotted more deer, horses and the dunes in the distance.

As we'd walked well over an hour we decided to come back another day with some food. On the return trip there in the middle of the path was a river otter. It walked down the path towards us, gave a shake and disappeared in to the bushes. What a bonus!

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