Wildife Estate: San Antón Abad
With the arrival of the first cold weather you can already hear the roaring and trumpeting of the cranes at the Wildlife Estates of San Antón in Navalvillar de Pela (Badajoz, Spain).
As every year, the majority of the cranes from Norway, Sweden and Germany choose the Vegas Altas del río Guadiana as their wintering destination, taking advantage of the diversity of optimal habitats for their rest and feeding.
Specifically, the birds that settle in the area around Navalvillar de Pela and other neighbouring municipalities (reaching figures of up to 45,000 specimens well into January) take advantage of the day to feed on acorns and bulbs in the increasingly scarce pastures, in the stubble fields of corn and rice, but also in the olive groves and fields where winter cereals are sown.
In the evening, you can see the spectacle of endless crane phalanxes passing from the feeding areas to the roosts, which are usually established on the banks of the Orellana and García de Sola reservoirs, and in the stubble fields themselves on the irrigated crop terraces which are flooded during the winter by rainwater.
During their stay, it is common to see them in large flocks of hundreds of specimens, such as flocks of sheep, in which the family groups made up of the adult couple and the yearling can be clearly distinguished.
For the enjoyment of birdwatchers who come to visit them, they are accompanied in this enclave by many other wintering birds such as the Greylag goose (Anser anser), Common snipe (Gallinago gallinago), Marsh harrier (Circus aeroginosus), Black-headed gull (Larus ridibundus), Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), Black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa) or the Golden plover (Pluvialis apricaria) among others.