Just to the south of the Cap de Creus, sandwiched betwee the mouths of the El Fluvia and La Muga rivers, lie the Emporada wetlands, the second largest wetland in Catalonia.
Unlike my time at the Ebro Delta, the week I spent here was very productive, possibly helped by a drastic improvement in the weather.
Squacco Herons were very common around the main flooded field at the south end of the wetland and it was usually possible to get quite close to them in the early morning if I was the first person along the path. After a few people turned up, the Squacco Herons would usually flush and retreat towards the taller rushes in middle of the field, too far away for getting a decent photo.
Purple Herons could often be seen fishing along the edges of the reedbeds in the quieter areas, especially from the western hide in the Empuriabrava section. Here, I was usually the only person in the hide and these shy herons would often approach close enough for me to get full frame photos.
Painted Turtles are an invasive species in Spain, so it was good to see the Purple Heron doing its bit to try and reduce their numbers.
The ongoing White Stork reintroduction scheme at Emporada has been very successful and they are common in the wet fields surrounding the wetlands.
Other long-legged wading birds present included Little Egret, Glossy Ibis, Cattle Egret, and Black-winged Stilts.
Greater Flamingoes don't breed at Emporada, but a couple of non-breeding stragglers were still hanging around.
female Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
Greater Flamingo (Pheonicopterus ruber)
Red Swamp Crayfish, an invasive species from Florida, are abundant along the drainage channels at Emporada and can be seen in their hundreds coming to the surface to warm themselves in the early morning.
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