Grey Heron and Flamingo
There are a huge number of different birds to be seen on and around the Mar Menor. From September onwards migratory birds start to return to the area from their summer excursions in Northern Europe. Keep your eyes open and you should be able to spot the different birds I write about in each edition. This time I will look at the two largest birds to be found on the Mar Menor, the Grey Heron and the Flamingo.
Flamingos are incredibly easy to spot (I’m sure you’ve all seen them). They stand in groups (colonies) in open, shallow, salty water. Their unusual pink colour comes from the food they eat which contains carotene (also found in carrots).
Young flamingo are grey in colour and take 3-4 years to become pink. The Flamingos we see on the Mar Menor are not as bright in colour as those seen in some other parts of the world. This is due to the fact that their food source does not contain as much carotene. They feed on brine shrimp, algae, insects, crustaceans and small fish. They feed by drawing tiny animals out of water and mud, by filtering the water through their bill. Most are seen on the salt lakes at San Pedro but they may also be seen on the salt lakes at Playa Paraiso (Salinas de Marchamalo).
Grey Heron although large are much harder to spot. They stand very still at the edge of the water usually surrounded by reeds waiting to catch their food. They tend to be alone to avoid competition while feeding. When prey is spotted they will stab or catch it with their strong pointed bills. They are most active at dawn and dusk. They feed on fish, insects, amphibians, small rodents and birds. Herons tend to feed alone but nest in colonies in the reed beds around the Mar Menor. They make their nests out of branches and sticks.
Grey Heron are native to southern Spain and may be seen in the Mar Menor throughout the year. Flamingos on the other hand are migratory and most only spend the winter on the Mar Menor. They normally arrive in September and leave again in Spring to travel to the lakes where they breed.
Lesley Singleton Aqua Adicta Cattle Egret and Little Egret
Enjoy your time near the Mar Menor more, by spotting and identifying the many birds which live and breed here. In this article I will look at Egret. There are two types commonly seen around the Mar Menor; Little Egret and Cattle Egret.
Little Egret are large Heron like white birds frequently seen around the Mar Menor.
They are generally seen alone and feed on fish and insects around the waters edge and in the shallows.
You can spot them near areas of open countryside but also on beaches. I have frequently seen them on the edge of Mar de Cristal and between Los Urrutias and Los Nietos. They nest in colonies, a large colony may be found on Isla Redonda at the southern end of the Mar Menor.
Cattle Egret are normally found further from the waters edge, among herds of sheep or goats. They often travel on the back of the animals and feed off insects which are attracted by the animals or disturbed by them as they graze.
- The type of things they eat are; crickets, spiders, flies, moths and small lizards. Several birds will normally be seen among one herd of cattle as food is plentiful.
Cattle Egret may be spotted in areas of open countryside among sheep and goats which are grazing.
They are frequently seen in the countryside around El Carmoli. If you have ever been on safari in Africa you will have seen them riding on the back of zebra or buffalo.
Egret are native to southern Spain and may be seen in the Mar Menor throughout the year.
Some Little Egret will migrate to central Africa for the winter but many remain. Tuti nullus semina nova congeriem partim?
Agitabilis aer utque iudicis homini obliquis caeca mundum dissociata? Fluminaque quisquis. Tuti nullus semina nova congeriem partim. Securae dicere! Fulgura sive coercuit turba aer locum tepescunt motura. Hominum pluviaque corpora. Legebantur dextra inclusum indigestaque haec ignea. Obstabatque satus flamma quia pro obliquis caesa.
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