A final dawn search for Iberian Lynx once again drew a blank and the realisation that we really should have been here in winter rather than the heat of the summer to look for them, oh well, a good reason to come back I suppose!!
In an effort to salvage something from the trip before we head towards the coast, we headed to the famous Coto Donana wetlands and the anticpated hoardes of waterbirds. Arriving at the quite bizarre town of El Rocio, it soon became apparent that the lack of any rain since May had all but depleted the water of the area and the big areas of marshland were nothing but dry fields. Much of the Coto Donana is only accessbile by specially organised tours but there are some areas round the visitor centre with hides that can freely be visited. Here too, the large lake had been reduced to a few pools, which did hold a few Green Sandpipers and Little Ringed Plovers but not a lot else in the afternoon heat. Despite Azure-winged Magpies being everywhere around Andujar, they weren't that easy to get close to, but around the car park at Donana, it's a very different story, sit down at the picnic tables and you soon get mobbed, and they really are very attractive birds.