A leisurely walk eastwards from Metzquitilla will bring you to a delightful little hamlet called Lagos which, in recent years, has had much work done to bring out its coastal beauty. Here there is an old torre where, in summer months, you can find breeding Lesser Kestrels Falco naumanni. But not this morning.
|Typical scrub land for feeding Goldfinches with thistles on the top and mainly out of sight in this view|
|At least five calling cages, each holding a minimum of one Goldfinch|
|Trappers either preparing the net or extracting caught birds|
It simply reminded me of the occasion a few years ago when I came upon a similar practise down at the Rio Velez and on getting no response from Seprona checked out the web to discover that Andalucia permits Goldfinches to be taken at certain times of the year but had recently reduced the maximum number permitted and believed that this was a sport/hobby that was slowly disappearing. Evidently not so and on that occasion it was at the start of the breeding season.
The question remains, what is "legal" (in Spain but not in Europe) and who monitors the activities? Who can obtain a licence and what skills do they need to be able to identify the various small birds caught; in my case by mist net and yesterday using a clap net? On both occasions "call birds," (birds already in a small cage) were used to sing/call and encourage the wild birds down into the catching area where the traps had been set.