Lynx Watching – or not
I had watched a National Geographic Programme on the Iberian Lynx that live in Spain in one of two national parks. There has been a conservation programme to restore their numbers through a breeding programme and then releasing them into the wild.
Lynx feed on rabbit but the rabbit population has been significantly affected by disease. They need to eat a rabbit a day and part of the programme involves ensuring there are enough to support the Lynx population. The rangers will use harmless traps to entice a lynx in for the rabbit. They can then monitor the ‘wild’ population
One of the locations is about 230km north west of Malaga and it is a popular spot for watching lynx and other animals and birds that inhabit the parks.
So I chose a Saturday during the Santa Semana holidays – Easter – when many Spanish have travelled to see family and the roads would be better than they normally are. 200km later – no traffic jams or roadworks – I had passed Cordoba and was heading for Abuja.
From there you drive up into the hills until I reached a specific spot known for its Lynx spotting – the Encinarejo trail
You can park anywhere along the track and look across the river to try and spot one. Apart from Lynx there are wild deer (Fallow and Red ) , otters in the rivers and plenty of birds of prey ( Griffon and Black Vultures, the Spanish Imperial eagle) in the area.
Once you try and spot something like a medium sized dog across a river in wooded countryside with large boulders that provide good hiding places you begin to think its not going to be easy.
After about 3 hours all I had seen were some birds of prey and some Spanish Pond turtles sunning themselves on a log in the river.
The only Lynx I saw was this – I will go again and give it more time and try other locations.
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Most of my trips starts with some reasonable planning; you have to identify the best flight, seats, airports, connection times, hotels, etc. The main idea is to be prepared for any surprise.
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