On January 6 we visited the urban park of Polvoranca, one of the largest ones in southern Madrid. The best places to birdwatch inside the park are the lakes of Mari Pascuala, La Recomba and Los Sisones, as well as the stream connecting the first two. This time we focused on the lake of Mari Pascuala. Even though it looks like a constructed wetland at first sight, it is actually a natural lake that has been transformed into a pond.
We started our itinerary in the park’s main path; when we reached the south of the lake, we went along the edge in an anticlockwise direction. From the south of the lake we could see the omnipresent geese and Mallards, as well as a Great Cormorant fishing. As we were approaching the small island in the north of the lake, we could see a greater number of specimens of several species: Lesser Black-backed Gull, Grey Heron and a small colony of Great Cormorant that had established in the island. Very close to the East shore we could also observe several colonies of Monk Parakeet, an invasive species.
Unfortunately, the tranquillity of the lake of Mari Pascuala is nowadays endangered by the project of installing a cable ski resort in its waters. In this kind of sports facility the water skier is propelled with a cable system similar to a ski lift without the use of a speedboat. If the project finally gets the green light, the complete artificialisation of the lake will seriously affect the birds.
In a nutshell, we took a short walk on a place that stills preserves an important natural wealth. As you can see, there is no need of travelling to distant places or getting up early to birdwatch: there are amazing parks inside our cities.