Fuente de Piedra is a Nature Reserve in Malaga Province famous for its flamingoes
Fuente de Piedra
The Fuente de Piedra lagoon near Antequera, with an area of 1,400 hectares, is the largest in Andalucia. Water levels in the lagoon alter regularly depending on the rainfall. The lagoon is fed by two streams, the Santillán and El Humilladero and an undergorund stream beneath the aquiferous land and is a very fragile ecosystem. A number of smaller lagoons nearby, notably the lagoons of Campillos and La Ratosa, some of which are also nature reserves, make up a total area of 3,000 hectares.
The lagoon is extremely saline and, during warm weather, salt deposits form on the surface. These were exploited from Roman times right through to 1950. The vegetation has adapted to the saline conditions and you will find bamboo, reeds, salt cedars, dog rose and typical Mediterranean scrub.
The fauna includes the largest colony of flamingoes on the Iberian Peninsula, the only European colony to rival it is in the Camargue in France. The flamingoes take advantage of the canals, dykes and walls that were built to enable the extraction of the salt. Other aquatic birds that make the lagoon their home include the gull billed tern, the slender billed gull, white storks, the northern shoveler, the common goose and avocets. There are also a fair number of migratory birds that appear in winter, the sandpiper and some raptors.
Black Winged Stilt
There is a large reception and interpretation centre with excellent information about the flamingoes, the geology of the area, and a viewing window with panoramic views across the lagoon. In addition there are paths leading you to and around a number of the smaller lakes that make up the reserve as well as round the main lake. They all offer good spots from which to see the birdlife.