Bonelli's eagles visit

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Lopping trees

Last week during our duty walk Jenny and I came across park workers trimming pine trees and using a machine to make them into pulp. The whole area looked much tidier, but we wondered if it mught encourage curious passers-by to stroll down to the water's edge, now that it's so visible!

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Update on nesting boxes

This morning at La Mata Park the volunteers took down the Great Tit nest boxes, cleaned them out and returned them to the trees.  

There are 12 boxes, each with a number at the base, to help with the monitoring of the birds.  We have also recorded the co-ordinates of the boxes for ease of location.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Update to meeting information

Please note we no longer meet in the Wine Growers' Association headquarters, mainly because it has been demolished!
We meet at 10.00am on the first Saturday of every month at the Park Headquarters: the white building called the Casa Forestal situated by the car park at the Park entrance.We look forward to meeting new volunteers as well as anyone interested in the work we do to help preserve this beautiful natural environment.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Gull ringing

Audouin gull ringing 2017

At 0830 on 15 June 2017 five members of the volunteers met at the Torrevieja Salinas to assist in the ringing of the Audouin gull chicks.  The Audouin gull is still a relatively rare species and we are lucky to have an important population of them in our area.
The format for the ringing was much the same as last year. We were divided into four groups each containing a qualified birdringer, a person to write down ring numbers, a person in charge of rings and two people to find the chicks. In addition, and new this year, there was a team of veterinarians attached to each group. Their function was to take blood samples from a random selection of chicks in order to measure the level of heavy metals in the chick which acts as a possible marker of marine pollution.
As well as placing a metal ring with its unique number on one leg and a Darvic ring on the other, the ringer took feather samples from some birds to measure the level of mercury (a significant poison to man and animals and another marker of possible marine pollution). The crown to tip of beak and tarsus (lower leg) was also measured in these chicks so that if we are fortunate to catch any of these birds in the future we can relate size to possible poisoning with mercury or heavy metals.

Two hundred birds were ringed in under two hours (just as well, it was getting rather hot!) and following a gift of salt from the manager of the saltworks we retired to a local hostelry for some welcome refreshment.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Park concert photos

Thanks to Ana for sending these delightful photos of the children's choir

Photos by Antonio Ruiz Hurtado

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Habaneras in the Park

A heartwarming event took place at the Natural Park of La Mata on Sunday 4th June when a concert was given by the children of the Colegio Cuba, the Inmaculada Concepci√≥n school, the Conservatorio Municipal and the Consejar√≠a Medio Ambiente..  In the setting of the Park and in the open air it was the culmination of a year’s work by the school and the staff of the Park in leaning about the natural environment and the heritage of the habanera.  These two elements are the two treasures of Torrevieja which have been emphasized in other events this week.  Some of the children dressed as pirates spoke in unison of the history of the boats which went to and from Cuba, when the sailors who could not read or write instead sang songs telling of the town they had been to and what they found in Torrevieja, notably the pink lake.
The other half of the group then sang several habaneras and ended with the brand new one which has been written specially for this event and is called Laguna Bella.   It’s the first habanera ever to have the words artemia and flamenco in the wording!  First the children sang it accompanied by a small group of musicians and then copies of the words were handed out and the whole audience took part in singing this new addition to the collection of habaneras of Torrevieja.
We all enjoyed this opportunity, not just the proud parents of all the children who took part. 
The large crowd of parents and several of the volunteers of La Mata were present at this lovely event.  Some of the Volunteers had also attended on the Saturday when a large number of the public took part in an extended visit to the Park, learning about it and its significance in our landscape.

It is hoped by all these means that a greater number of people know about the Park and its treasures and appreciate that we look after it as best we can.