Lagunas de Campillos Natural Reserve
The Lagunas de Campillos are five seasonal saltwater lakes with a protected area covering 1,126ha. Only one lake, the Laguna Salada, hardly ever dries out. Some lakes used to be permanent but have suffered from the agricultural activites in the surrounding areas that has put pressure on the water levels of the lakes. But they still provide an important resource for birds based in the area, like those at the nearby Laguna de Fuente de Piedra and the Laguna de la Ratosa. The lakes are called Dulce (the largest, with a diameter of 750m), Salada, Dulce, Camuñas, Capacete, Cerero and Redonda. The Redonda lake is situated in the buffer zone that surrounds the core of the reserve.
Take the A92 between Antequera and Seville, turning off onto the A382 towards Campillos. A few kilometres before Campillos, the road cuts through the Lagunas de Campillos. Look out for a parking area on the right, with a viewpoint over Laguna Dulce. The other lakes are accessible from the MA452 that runs south from Campillos village towards the Guadalhorce reservoir. About 1km out of Campillos is a dirt track on the left. Park here and walk over the hill to see the lake. Laguna Redonda is 1km further along this track, also on the left and closer to the road. Just a bit further on, over the railway bridge, is Laguna Capacete on the right.
The vegetation surrounding the lake is of a Mediterranean scrubland variety. Around the lake shores are reedbeds, reedmace and rushes, while beyond these are olive groves. The underwater vegetation is a significant source of food for the waterbirds that inhabit the lakes.
Flamingos from the nearby Laguna de Fuente de Piedra are regular visitors. Kentish and ringed plovers, redshanks and little stints are most commonly seen here. Water fowl that overwinter here are the mallard, wigeon, pintail, gadwall, shoveler, white-headed duck and red-crested pochard. There are also avocets, coots, black-tailed godwits and teals. Yellow wagtails, green sandpipers, meadow pipits, snipe and garganey can be spotted mainly during migration periods. The area is rich in reptiles, with numerous frogs and toads, as well as lizards, viper snakes and water snakes. Mammals include weasels, water rats, rabbits, hares and foxes.