Saturday, July 10, 2021

Wetlands 1. Landscape

El Parc Natural dels Aiguamolls de l”Empordà is a 4,722-hectare natural park and wildlife preserve on the Mediterranean and about a twenty-minute drive from Figueres. The park is many things to many people. Some go there to walk for an hour or two on some of the trails, all of which are level, even accommodating wheelchairs and bicycles. Some take the GR 92, a European long distance trail that passes through the park to walk north to Portbou or further into France, Germany, The Netherlands, and Belgium, or south to its end in Andalusia. Some come to see the birds.

Three hundred and twenty-nine species of birds have been sighted in the park, many of those are protected species, and 82 of them nest there regularly. Others are migratory birds that pass through, somewhat like those hardy souls on the GR 92, on their way north in the spring and to Africa in the fall. But birds are not the only residents; there are also many other animals. Those carrying cameras with huge lenses are there for the birds.

I hadn’t been there in a while and recently went again, in spite of the summer heat. I don’t have one of those huge lenses, but I do have a nifty new camera and two lenses, one of them a 40-150 zoom. My approach to photography is that even if I have a project in mind, I go out with an open mind and am always looking for a possible photo – be it my target subject, or whatever else might come up.  So on my first visit I had my short lens and made a mess of trying to shoot birds, and on the two subsequent visits I found that my telephoto wasn’t quite long enough to get those really great bird shots, and it was too long for landscape views. But never mind. The aiguamolls are lovely and there is always something nearby that will make a pretty picture.

The Muga River

This was taken in late June

This was taken at the same spot, less than two weeks later.

Dry wetlands

But wait!  I've found a bird

Peek-a-boo!  It's a Cames Llargues (Black-Winged Stilt)

Happy trails

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