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Andalucia: non-feline mammals and a few other natural things.  In Doñana National Park to start with. This was the first creature of interest we saw, a long way off and in poor light – a wild boar.  P1270641Later in the week, in the Sierra Morena, we had a good but distant and fleeting view of a large family of boar, great and small.

In both places there were many deer, but horses – in abundance – only in our first location. P1270653P1270765Everywhere we went there were dragonflies, but they very rarely settled for more than a second or two. This was the only half-decent photo I managed in five days of trying.  P1270841What follows only happened to us once, but it is a frequent occurrence apparently in the National Park.  P1280033All out and push! No, we didn’t actually have to push.  Our driver and our excellent Doñana Nature guide, Sergio, pawed away the sand in front of the wheels, and all was well after a few minutes.  The unexpected stop gave me time to look around, and take this photo. P1280034I had seen these before, but now I had the chance to ask what they were, each sandy strand about a centimetre wide. The answer was a burrowing beetle cast.

Did we see lynx? The final post in this series will answer that question!  Moving on to the Sierra Morena, there was a greater variety of mammals to be seen, but still dominated by deer.  We had two excellent sightings of courting mouflon. They are not rare animals, but we were lucky to have two such sightings just minutes apart from each other on our drive.   P1280120P1280133P1280138P1280141This was sad.  P1280148We saw many magnificent bulls like this at one point – on farmland, being bred for bull-fighting. Horrible.  I had deliberately not been to see Seville’s bullring.

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Magnificent red deer stag, the other side of a wire fence

P1280157Simon’s eagle eyes spotted this exciting creature for us shortly after lunch. We stood on the dam, the rock ibex (also known as Spanish ibex) being at a very great distance from it.

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My camera at maximum (x24) zoom

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The same photo cropped and enlarged

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It wasn’t around for long, and not everyone even managed to see it before it jumped down. But it was far to far away to have been disturbed by us.

Then we walked through a totally dark tunnel at the other side of the dam, and saw…

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… bats roosting. Here are about eight, huddling together, lit by Simon’s head torch.

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A single bat. Whether these were Daubenton’s (myotis daubentonii) or Large mouse-eared (myotis myotis) bats, I cannot say, but we saw both.  There were several more holes sheltering bats in the tunnel.

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Continuing on the afternoon’s drive, we saw more deer…

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… including fallow deer. This male has magnificent palmated antlers.

P1280302P1280305P1280318We drove back to the second of the chilly morning’s stopping points, and stood on a bridge there.  This is not a Monet painting, and I don’t know what the fish was – but it was big!  P1280496At the spot where we had awaited the sunrise, we took advantage of the shade of trees to keep out of the now very hot sun.  These deer used other means of keeping cool!

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Maximum zoom again – it had required binoculars to see what the black smudges were

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Cropped and enlarged

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Left alone, this one appeared to be throwing around and then eating weed!