Back on track

A mind numbingly frustrating software problem, that in the near future, will no doubt see me paying a huge dental bill, the result of grinding my teeth due to spending 15 hours inside the El Rancho bar, pilfering their WiFi attempting to resolve a software driver problem for my new Panasonic camera, instead of spending it searching for the worlds rarest  cat.

I ended up calling the UK’s main Panasonic dealer Holdan , located somewhere north of Chelsea, and luckily for me a diamond geezer by the name of John Batista rescued me from my misery. We found a work around but I still need to get the driver working at some point.

Spent yesterday wandering around various stretches of Dehesa, scouting locations to film and hoping of course a Lynx would cross my path at any moment of course, but there is plenty to film here aside from this rare feline. At dusk I headed unto the La Lancha Presa ( dam ) as this is a well documented location to spot Lynx, but apart from a few French tourists in their shiny tres expensive Hymer motorhomes, sporting the latest and most expensive Carl Zeiss spotting scopes and binoculars, all was peaceful.

Was just about to call it a day when I bumped in a Park Ranger, who was looking for the tracks of the very rare Andalusian Wolf, whose last known population is reportedly hanging on in the northern reaches of the Andujar NP , which borders the neighbouring region of Castilla La mancha. Their territories overlap with that of the Lynx, but the truth is their estimated number is extremely low, and the Park Ranger, who will henceforth be known as Paco, told me he had not seen one since 2014. They have numerous camera traps strapped to tree trunks to try to gather as much info as possible, but things are looking very grim for this Apex Predator. The biologists involved are examining the scats ( poo ) for those not familiar with the term, to see if it is that of the wolf, and if so what it has been preying on.

Luckily for me Paco told me about an American Biologist was working in the area, and gave me his details, armed with this I track him down to La Caracole, a beautiful country farm house that offers food and accommodation to those with pockets far deeper than mine, located in a stunning woodland setting spilling over with wildlife, including Lynx that pass through on their way to the neighboring farm as the owner does not shoot the rabbits on his land  and the Lynx of course will always seek out and return to a location where they can find rabbits.

I introduced myself to the owner and explained I was looking  for the Biologist, and luckily for me he is due to dine there tonight with friends, so I of course left my details and hopefully he will call. Ramon and his wife, who was busy preparing food in the kitchen, own the place, and they have done an amazing job in decorating it, sadly I won’t be sampling the mattress anytime soon, but he was extremely kind in offering full access to his land to set up a hide to film the Lynx, or just wonder at will. He assured me, the Lynx pass over his land on a fairly regular basis to hunt, due to the fact his conservation minded neighbor not blasting his rabbits to pieces, and thereby maintaining a steady population that the Lynx take advantage of, which is bloody good news for me.

A quick trip into Andujar for supplies, a good filming location found and contact made, and possibly a glass of Rioja with a hotshot biologist with a huge amount of info I could put to good use, things are looking up. Heading for the hills, as I won’t find any Lynx sitting in this bar !


Stories and Footage From The Natural World