Parque Natural do Vale do Guadina

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We were in Iberian Lynx country now.  It was exciting to see the traffic calming signs as we came into the Parque Natural do Vale do Guadiana but we knew there was small chance of seeing them.  I think I had nine sightings of the similar-sized Caracal Lynx in the Karoo National Park while living there and walking in the mountains daily over a five year period.  But we could hope and we went into ‘Lynx’ mode searching for sighting or sign.  We saw and heard their prey, a beautiful Fallow Deer hind spied us trustingly from the scrub and we heard partridges moving up and down the slopes to drink in the river.  There is a town in the middle of the park called Mertola which was a nice lunch stop but we were suddenly inescapably hot – just not used to the 34 degree temperature.  So we found a spot as close to the river as possible to free camp.  It was wonderful there with a friendly Red Fox who came to catch moths around the camp in our torch lights.  In the morning of 13 September I did this small sketch of the broken hillsides as it got hot and dry very quickly.  Amanda went for a walk and photographed some very clear Lynx signs – bleached white rounded scats.  There was a spattering of yellow grass here but we felt that the whole river basin was a rain shadow.  The stunted oaks (grey) and Italian Stone Pines (pale green) on the hillsides very arid adapted, and around the grass the soft-looking grey shrubs Retama spharocarpa which are decidedly spiky and not soft when you inspect them closely.


Additional information

Weight0.05 kg
Dimensions42 × 14.8 cm

Fine Art Print, Original Artwork

Rob Davies

Rob studied art at school to A level and has kept the interest in painting going alongside a career in biology and conservation.  Although he prefers to sketch and paint from life in the field, Rob has been commissioned to do exact bird illustrations for various publications including journals, a monograph on the Black Eagle and a field guide to African birds of prey.

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