FUENTE DE PIEDRA

The small village of Fuente de Piedra, which lies 17 kilometres north-west of Antequera, is best known for its large lagoon. The lake was formerly used for salt extraction but now the village lives mainly from the production of olive oil.

Laguna de Fuente de Piedra consists of a large lagoon, with brackish water. The lagoon is 2.5 kilometres wide and 6.5 kilometres long, with 15 kilometres of surrounds. It is the only lagoon with breeding Famingos situated inland in Europe. The maximum water height is 130 centimetres.

DSC_0380


A reception area offers information, but you are not permitted to enter the the lake itself. However, everything can be seen from outside the fence. Next to the reception area is a small lake with reed beds where Terns can be seen as well as Reed Warblers and other species such as the Purple Gallinule. Nevertheless, most of the fame of Fuente de Piedra is due to the Flamingos. It holds the largest colony of breeding Greater Flamingos in Spain and, together with Camargue in France, is the most important breeding place for these birds in Europe. Up to 11,000 pairs breed here during the good years, though there have been years when not a single pair was able to breed because of the low water levels during dry periods. Other special breeding species are Gull-billed Terns and Slender-billed Gulls, not often seen elsewhere.

DSC_0381
A view from One of the new Hides that are constructed recently

In winter, the area is a good place to see wintering Cranes and wintering Stone Curlews can be found in the surrounding fields. During spring migration, it is an attractive site for Waders. In summer, it is advisable to visit early in the morning as the sun haze at noon makes identification of the the birds impossible. Temperatures can become very hot in this area. There is no prime position for Raptors, but Montagus Harriers are often present.

In the neighbourhood, nine small lagoons are home to other breeding species including the White-headed Duck. The lake located north of Fuente de Piedra, Laguna de Zonar, is famous for its breeding White-headed ducks, though during the breeding season they are difficult to find. Another good lake is the one at the entrance to the village of Campillos. It holds the same species as Fuente de Piedra but in smaller numbers. During dry years (1994-95, for example) the lake might be totally empty and when this happens birds are scarce. The surrounding fields hold the characteristic birds of southern Spain.

Lately the park is under construction. Most of the areas are better to reach, and walking paths and hides are constructed

How to get there?

From Malaga take the N331 highway to Antequera. After Antequera look for a sign indicating Fuente de Piedra and pass through the village. It is small and the lake cannot be overlooked. Once through the village carry on ahead and you will enter the lake area. The reception is to the left. From Sevilla take the A-92 and travel to Fuente de Piedra according to the sign-posting.

The Campillos lake can be found by taking the same N331 and turning towards the village of Campillos. Before entering the village, you can see the lake on the right side of the road.


Ver mapa m·s grande


For more photographs of Fuente de Piedra Nikon-D80-large