At lunchtime today, the draw will be made for the quarter-finals (article in English) of this year's Champions League and Barça will find out whether they'll have to face one of the tough English teams or get a 'lucky' break with Porto or Villarreal. The venue for the draw is the Swiss town Nyon and as well as the eight remaining teams finding out who will be their next opponents, it will also be decided who will potentially play each other in the semi-finals and who will be the 'home' team for the grand final in Rome on May 27th. The teams in the draw are: Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Villarreal, Porto, Bayern Munich and FC Barcelona.
Today is the first day of spring, but for many this will bring suffering thanks to the high amount of pollen in the air (article in Castilian). Local doctors have warned that allergy sufferers will have a difficult time this season because of the record levels of pollen from cypress trees—estimated to be four times the average of the past 15 years. These trees are one of the first to pollinate each year and, according to a spokeswoman from the Xarxa Aerobiològica de Catalunya, are a good indicator of what the levels of pollen will be like throughout the spring. Apparently the cause of the problem is the cold winter we've had along with the significant amount of rainfall in recent months.
The number of storks (cigonya in Catalan; cigüeña in Castilian) in Catalunya has grown significantly in the past 35 years: there are now around 358 pairs here, compared to just eight in 1974; in Spain, the numbers are even more impressive—in the mid-Eighties, there were 6,700 pairs but now there are around 35,000. The reasons for the thriving stork community (article in Castilian) here are attributed to greater respect for the bird, as well as a higher number of natural parks and nature reserves. Another factor is that in the past 20 years, storks have changed their migratory habits, swapping long migrations to Africa for shorter flights to the south of Europe, particularly Spain.