Tenerife Pond Life At Erjos Pools

Mon, November 3rd, 2014 - By Andrea Montgomery

As the clocks turn back to wave adios to the long, hot summer and hola to the autumn, the first of the winter rains have already arrived, soaking the parched earth and bringing surface water back to barrancos and ponds. For twitchers, this is one of the best times to see many of the wonderful birds that pause here on their migratory routes from Africa, North America and Asia. And as the rains replenish falling levels, it’s the perfect time to visit the tranquil nature spot and valuable ecosystem of the Erjos Pools.

 

Erjos Pools

 

In a green valley on the edge of Teno National Park, the Erjos pools lie directly below the TF82 road that connects Icod de los Vinos with Santiago del Teide. Formed in the 1970s and 1980s when soil was extracted from the area to create the banana plantations of the south and south west, the resultant deep recesses left in the earth became a collecting point for rain and were quickly colonised by wildlife.

 

Dragonfly

 

Over the decades, willows and reeds have flourished on the banks of the ponds, creating a natural beauty spot and an ideal environment for the many coots, moorhens and snipes that have made the ponds their permanent home, as well as the occasional ash-grey herons, wagtails and osprey that find themselves drawn here. With dragonflies providing electric flashes of colour as they glide across the surface, and frogs providing the sundown chorus, the Erjos Pools are a favourite spot for nature lovers and photographers.

 

Erjos Pools

 

In relatively close proximity to the resort areas of Los Gigantes, Playa San Juan and Alcalá, this is also a lovely location for a spot of camino real walking and there are trails leading through the pools themselves, and from the pools to the Bolico ridge above them from where there are spectacular views over the Valle de Arriba and Santiago del Teide to Mount Teide and Pico Vieja.

In the forest fires of 2007 much of the dense forest that coated the Bolico ridge and the willows and tree heath that covered the slopes around the Erjos Pools were destroyed and the pools themselves dried up. For a long time it was feared that they may not recover as soil that was once held in place by the forest, was getting washed down into the valley and preventing the pools from re-establishing themselves. But gradually, water began to settle again and the valley began to recover its green mantel. Then in 2012, summer fires once again swept the area but not enough to cause any permanent damage and now the pools are once again filled with water and thriving.

 

Erjos Pools

 

Finding standing fresh water on Tenerife is something of a rare sight unless it’s within one of the island’s agricultural balsas, or man made reservoirs, so the Erjos Pools are a very special place. Although their height above sea level means that they don’t get as many rare bird species as say the Tejina Pools, they are one of the most tranquil beauty spots on the island. The nearby Las Fleytas restaurant bar provides a good place to park and an even better place to enjoy lunch after a morning spent enjoying Tenerife’s pond life.

Posted : Monday, November 3rd, 2014 at 1:11 pm
Category : about tenerife
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