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Waiting for a lynx…

Waiting for a lynx…

It’s been a while since I’ve decided to focus on cats abroad (read here why). So I had all kinds of great plans, but I hadn’t actually seen any cats yet. So I wanted to do something about that that! The Iberian lynx is the rarest cat species in the world and is threatened by extinction. Luckily things are looking better now for the species, but still the number of individuals is around 500, so not that much actually. This cat is however much more easy to see than the Eurasian lynx. All you have to do is go to the Sierra de Andujar in Spain and with a bit of luck you will see it. That’s also my plan, but instead of driving up and down the road over there and scoping off the area in the hope of bumping in to one, I want to have it really close. That’s why I’ve booked a photo hide for three days in the area, hoping to get one walking by real close. After a flight from Amsterdam to Malaga, I drove my rental car to Andujar to sleep a night in the car over there. The next morning I’m taken with a 4×4 into the area to one of the hides. When I’m all set over there, the waiting can start…

It’s my third day now. In the previous two days I haven’t seen what I wanted to see. Granted, a lynx did come by on the first day at a very close range (about six meters!), but I was only able to photograph it from behind. So I’ve seen my first cat, but I’m still a bit disappointed. I did enjoy myself with the birds that sometimes come by the hide. A Crested Lark, European Crested Tit and Red Partridges come close by. Nice, but not what I came for!

So now it’s the third day and this time it’s really foggy. It therefore takes a while before it’s light enough to put on the converter. For the first time during my stay I see a rabbit. The favourite food of the lynx, so that is perhaps promising.

Then at around 11 am suddenly a Lynx walks out of the bushes! Like some kind of ghost in it soundlessly crosses the area in front of the hide. I immediately start taking pictures and she (apparently it’s a she) hears that sound and looks at me briefly. Then she keeps on walking and disappears and I don’t see her again. I remain behind, very very happy. To get to this moment I’ve had to spend about thirty hours sitting in a hide, so it feels extra good when it finally happens!

The next morning I board the plane feeling great, the first cat is in the bag!

Curious how Sierra de Andujar looks at night? Click here!

I also made a report of this trip, you can find it on Mammalwatching.com

 

LennartVerheuvel

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