La Janda, a Magical Place

Short-eared owl soaring above La Janda

Without a doubt, the loss of La Janda Lagoon was an environmental catastrophe for southern Spain. Those who made the decision to drain the largest lagoon in southern Europe for its use as farmland cared little for the fact that it was a refuge for millions of resident and passing birds and located in a strategic place for those birds on migration between Europe and Africa.

One of the regular residents, the Common Kestrel

Nevertheless, La Janda remains a mandatory stop for all nature lovers in general and bird lovers in particular. While spring and autumn are the most interesting times to visit, even in winter and summer it is worth taking a stroll through the area, never knowing what unexpected things you might find. Lately, the people who have visited the area have been treated to the sight of bands of White Stork and some Black Storks, Common Crane, Purple Swamphen, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle, Hen Harrier, Pallid Harrier, Black-winged Kite…

Migrating White Storks, among other migratory species, stop at La Janda to rest and feed before continuing their journey

A threatened species in the near past, the Purple Swamphen has benefited from enviromental regulation protecting all bird species in Spain

One of La Janda’s winter stars is the Short-eared Owl. It is an opportunistic species, which is concentrated wherever there is abundant availability of prey. At La Janda, it is not too difficult to see this species, and in recent days it has been delighting bird lovers with its low-level flights in search of rodents. Being a common bird certainly does not mean it is not impressive. It is more sleek, powerful and beautiful than most.

Beautiful Short-eared Owl at Dusk

If you visit this region, do not forget to go to La Janda. On all the trips that Whitehawk organizes to Doñana and the Strait of Gibraltar, we always include one or two stops in this magical place …And it never disappoints!