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Wednesday, 24 August 2011

An area of pools, channels and reedbeds which can be quite outstanding for waterbirds, especially Purple Gallinules. The marshes near Pinzon were the subject of a mouth-watering article in Birding World, but for a while they were dry and completely useless for birds! However, a succession of wet years has restored them to their former glory. They are just one of several wetland areas on the east bank of the Guadalquivir that deserve more attention from birders.

All the sites in this section are treated, in detail and with precise maps and directions, in my book ‘Finding Birds in Andalucia’

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Brazo del Este

The most extensive marshes are at the southern end of the Brazo del Este - I’ve dubbed them Pinzon marshes. In wet seasons they can be fantastic for birds but if they dry out you really need to reach what i call the ‘northern marshes’ (=Conde Chico). This photo shows the large pool (La Margazuela) to the west of the main track.

And here’s the view looking east from the track to the extensive reed-fringed oxbow lake

The marshes at the northern end of the Brazo del Este are properly called Conde Chico. This is the view from the most northerly point of the two tracks that run north-south through the area. The detail in my map shows how to navigate between the two so you can reach both the Pinzon marshes and Conde Chico whichever direction you come from.

Here’s the deep-water reservoir at Corte de Los Olivillos - it had surprisingly few birds on our visit

The view from the Mirador de Las Garzas - supposedly the viewpoint of the egrets. The signs each have an image of a heron species to show you what you should be seeing but on our visit there was neither a heronry nor a heron roost.

Waiting at dusk for non-existent herons - but nearby we found a great place for both species of waxbill