Since our last update with David and Janet Carle, the 38th-parallel adventurers have traveled from Portugal to Spain and Sicily. A friend guided them through Spain’s marshes, where they saw spoonbills, flamingos, and egrets, and visited the Sierra Morena woodlands, the habitat of the endangered Iberian lynx. They followed the 38th parallel to the pink and green saline lagoons at Costa Blanca, and then to Sicily, just in time for the annual raptor migration.

From the Carles’ blog, Parallel Universe 38° N:

Marshes of Western Spain

On April 22 we left Portugal for Huelva, in southern Spain , where we met Javier and Virginia Grijalbo. Javi is an old friend of Janet’s from her student days in Madrid, and it had been 35 years ! What a great moment to see each other again after so long. Not to mention that Javi is a well-known naturalist and illustrator in Spain—the perfect guide for the Spanish 38th parallel….Read More

The Sierra Morena; Last Refuge of the Iberian Lynx

The dunes, scrub and pino pinyero (Spanish pinyon pine) habitats of Donana all seemed to be thriving after an exceptionally wet winter in Spain. In fact, it was harder to see birds since they could spread out so much. The Guadalquivir River delivers loads of sand and nutrients to he ocean here, forming the basis for the entire estuary….Read more

Saline Lagoons of Spain’s Costa Blanca

We arrived in Alicante on their first really warm day of the year, and for the first time, were among many northern European English speakers enjoying the beach. We had crossed all of Spain and reached the Mediterranean Sea. Melanie Frinke-Craig, a student friend from Mammoth, showed us the sights and the best place to buy ice cream….Read More


Our first taste of Sicily was at Trapani, where we spent a night after our flight from Barcelona. The vegetable gardens and olive orchards reminded Janet of her Italian grandfather. A train took us across northern Sicily to Messina, where the narrow strait between the island and the mainland provides an ideal corridor for migrating raptors. Spring is an especially important time here, and the migration was in full swing….Read More