Flamingos cool off in Calpe

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SALINAS: Perfect for a paddle.

NOT all perennial visitors to Calpe are human tourists. Around 300 flamingos are currently cooling their feet in the Calpe salt beds and like many tourists, they will not be stopping for long.

They tend only to break their onward journeys at the Calpe salinas although many have been there since the spring when 30 young were hatched.

Most of the birds are from the Camargue in France or the Fuente de Piedra lagoon in Malaga. Nevertheless, the rings on birds currently in Calpe show that others came from the Odiel marshes in Huelva, the Macchiareddu lake in Sardinia and Garraa Ezzemoul in Algiera.

The flamingos do not have salt beds all to themselves as the black-winged or pied stilts born earlier this year are still there and grebes – absent for several years – have returned.

The Salinas are an explosion of life at present, with grey herons, shelducks, black-headed gulls and plovers also in residence.  

Unnoticed by human visitors, but not the waterfowl, brine shrimps have been detected in the salt beds, again after an absence of some years. This demonstrates that the salinas are in optimum environmental condition, said Calpe’s municipal biologist.

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