Herons & egrets – Ardeidae

Little Bittern – Ixobrychus minutus – Avetorillo Común

Status: Scarce summer visitor found in areas of reedbeds. Extinct as a breeder when La Janda dried out, recommenced there and at Guadiaro river at beginning of 1990s.

Sightings: Brazo del Este-May 2009, May 2010, May 2011


Night Heron – Nycticorax nycticorax – Martinete Común

Status: Scarce summer visitor to lakes & reservoirs. Returned to breed at La Janda towards the middle of the 1990s.Some birds winter in this area.

15/11/07-La Janda, standing in the sunshine on the bank of the river. There was another bird roosting up in the reeds close by.

Sightings: La Janda (Nov 07), Brazo del Este (May 09,May 10 & May 11)


Squacco Heron – Ardeola ralloides – Garcilla Cangrejera

Status: Rare migrant, single birds have occasionally wintered on the river Guadiaro estuary and La Janda, where it bred until the lake was drained.

15/5/10-Brazo del Este-one of two of these lovely herons hunting here

My sightings: La Janda (Nov 07),Brazo del Este-(May 09- a few roosting birds spotted), then May 10 & May 11 numbers of birds flying across reed beds.


Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis – Garcilla Bueyera

Status: Abundant resident on grazing land.

Cattle Egrets are widespread and common

Three colonies in the area: Tajo de Barbate (approx.50 pairs), Las Lomas (approx.1350 pairs), and Los Charcones, Benalup (approx.30 pairs). 9 roosts throughout the area, incl. one at Sotogrande – Laguna de las Camellias.


Little Egret Egretta garzetta – Garceta común

Status: Common resident of wetlands. Two breeding colonies: Tajo de Barbate (approx 8 pairs) and Las Lomas (approx 80 pairs).

27/2/07-Guadiaro estuary reserve, lagoon

Sightings: Sotogrande, Guadiaro reserve & estuary, La Janda, Brazo del Este: generally widespread & common throughout the region


Grey Heron Ardea cinerea Garza Real

Status: Common resident of wetlands. There were signs of breeding at la Janda before it dried out. Breeding confirmed at the Barbate Reservoir beginning in 1999 (8 pairs), 2000 (6 pairs) & 2001 (16 pairs). Non-breeding birds are present in summer throughout the area. Winter visitors are more abundant.

Sotogrande, Guadiaro estuary & reserve

Sightings: Sotogrande-Guadiaro estuary,lagoon. Alcaidesa-el Faro lagoon, La Janda, Brazo del Este, Jimena-rio Hozgarganta & on fields in the area. Generall y widespread throughout the area.


Purple Heron Ardea purpurea – Garza Imperial

Status: Scarce summer visitor found in marshy areas. In the past was an abundant breeding species, especially in La Janda, from where the last colony disappeared in 1970. It started breeding again in 2000 (Guadalcacin II Reservoir). Non-breeding birds sometimes present in summer.

24/4/08-A Purple Heron stayed around the lagoon for a few days

Sightings: Sotogrande- Guadiaro estuary reserve: one individual that stayed around the lagoon for a few days; most consistent sightings Brazo del Este.


Great White Egret – Egretta alba Garceta grande

Status: Accidental

15/5/10-Brazo del Este

Sightings: La Janda (), Brazo del Este (May 2010), (May 2011)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s