Not for the first time, the Agua Amarga (Bitter Water, literally translated) is under threat. Not only has Alicante airport once again started to talk about constructing an extra runway, which would effectively put a finish to the hard-pressed wetland, than the local authority has proposed a major beach-development, asphalting a huge area as a carpark, and flattening out dune systems to make a tourist beach. Needless to say, AHSA has opposed the plans and will continue to monitor the situation. After recent rains, in fact, the area produced some ‘good’ birds, and the nearby Font de Sendieta was a happy hunting ground for a big group of terns, including Black, Whiskered and Gull-billed Tern.
The most severely threatened duck species in Europe, the lovely Marbled Duck, is the subject of a recent census, and numbers a sparse 70 pairs in Spain, scattered between the Coto Doñana, our own area (El Hondo) and Mallorca. A precarious state indeed.
No less than seven Spanish Imperial Eagles were killed by electrocution in the province of Albacete in the last year – at the eastern extremity of the species’ range. The Junta de Castilla-laMancha has imposed fines of more than a million euros, as volunteers from SEO/Birdlife are currently seeking the pylons which are the culprits in the deaths of not only this but also Bonelli’s and Golden Eagle, and Red Kite.