Extremadura - Cranes in their winter habitat
Dezember 5-8 2009

Hello dear reader,

for three days we had been in the birds paradise Extremadura. This spectacle of thousands and thousands of cranes in their winter habitat (altogether in the Extremadura are about 40 000 wintering) we did not want to miss. And we found the cranes . Thousands and thousands! But who expects now terrific photos has to confront now bravely. As we had been in the middle of rain and fog! Not even once the sky cleared up even not a little bit. We took it with humor and the trip was full of funny anecdotes! And very important we did discover the first great bustard in our life. Out of a green field it proudly protruded itself and looked at us merciful. The view of this powerful bird with its somehow magniloquent look we shall never forget! Unforgettable also the calls and the trumpets of the cranes. Gorgeous how the air in the Vegas Altas is filled with the calls of huge groups of cranes!

And now to the bad weather photos. Grey cranes, grey in grey so to say!

Extremadura is enormous, but we were well informed where to meet the cranes. And so we soon discovered the first big groups

as here on the green fields near the artificial lake of Cubilar near Navavillar de Pela. By the way there is a Centrum for visitors. What a heavy traffic there! A little bit overcrowded, but it is nice to know, that so many people are interested in cranes!

The guided bus tours to the cranes we did not follow, but made all tours on our own. At least we got from the nice hotel owners in whose beautiful Rural hotel we were staying, the best insider tips whatsoever. And so we curved on the most beautiful hardly used sideways and

enjoyed this marvelous scenery of the many many cranes

looking for food. Special nice it was to see how the young birds stayed close to their parents. Unfortunately all these close-up photos failed to the bad weather and so we have to be contend with these overview photos

My photos which were made in the middle of heavy clouds and partly rain, cannot describe the experienced. While you are watching these groups at the same time you can see chains and chains of calling cranes on the sky. This part of Extremadura is dived in the very best heavenly music!

The hotel owner told us, that to the horror of all bird friends just in this very area the building of a solar power plant is planned. Fortunately the bird organizations there were successful in stopping the project for the moment!

Unfortunately also up to the evening not even one sunbeam came through the heavy clouds and so we only could visually watch the entering of the flocks of cranes

to their sleeping places at the artificial lake of Cubilar. These poor photos don´t show what we experienced. You have to imagine long formations of cranes, who

coming from all directions from their feeding grounds to their sleeping places. A sky filled with cranes!

Despite adverse conditions we enjoyed this fantastic scenery

and watched enthralled how more and more cranes headed for their sleeping places with loud calls:

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