Wise Birding Holidays

Friday, 9 December 2011

Snow Leopard Training

Sunday 4th - Thursday 8th December
Recently returned from another short break to the Sierra de Andujar region in search of Iberian Lynx. Some people might say we are a bit obsessed with this feline friend, but hey, it is the rarest cat in the world and it is a privilege to see it! Just 2,5hrs from Malaga too. It is also very good training to be scanning vast areas of landscape from dawn until dusk if we are to prepare ourselves for our planned Snow Leopard trip next year!

We spent 3 whole days looking for Lynx and had sightings every day including three animals on one evening. The views varied from less than 100M to around 1Km with varying behaviour that included two animals chasing and play fighting. Regardless of what some people's sightings might suggest
, these cats are typically unpredictable in where and when they might show themselves and you do need to spend an awful lot of time scanning if you want to succeed. Most of our sightings were rather frustratingly in the last hour of light, though previously I have seen animals at dawn, mid morning and mid afternoon.

It was the busiest that we have seen the site with up to 40 Lynx watchers on one day! This was most likely due to a Spanish holiday taking place during our visit. It was rather annoyingly noisy at times, but the Lynx did not seem to react at all. Being Mr Grumpy, I got a bit annoyed by the constant babbling from the Spaniards (many of them just
don't do quiet!), but I did have to remind myself that actually, it is good if so many Spanish people are as interested and excited about these animals. It can only raise awareness in the country as to their importance and ensure that these animals do not become extinct. It was also great to see so many young Spaniards who had come to see Lynx.

It sounds as if the population is increasing slowly, so fingers crossed.

Highlights were clearly the Lynx, but also a new mammal in the form of a Garden
Dormouse that ran across the road one morning in darkness and sat in a tree for us to get great views of as it returned back down the tree with some fruit. An impressive beast and ironically, harder to find than Iberian Lynx!

Below are some pics and a bit of video!
















3 comments:

  1. So once again it is the Cream Tea Bird doing all the scanning while you were faffing around with your camera! Some things never change!

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  2. Good to hear from you James - Hope all is well. Well done on the Antarctica Guide by the way!Maybe one day, I shall get there........

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