New Years Day 2011 and my first bird seen through sleepy eyes was a Collared Dove perched on a lamp post in the hotel grounds in the Algarve. Later in the day a Little Owl, Hoopoe, Corn Bunting, Black-winged Kite and Booted Eagle were the highlights of the first day of the year!
Other highlight bird species seen throughout the week were Spoonbill, Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Redshank, Greenshank, Black-necked Grebe, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Kingfisher, Little and Cattle Egret, Shoveler, Gadwall, Common Pochard, Red-crested Pochard, Common Snipe, Glossy Ibis, Purple Gallinule, Common Sandpiper, Sanderling, Turnstone, Teal, Mallard, Moorhen, Coot, Golden and Grey Plover, Ringed and Kentish Plover, Lapwing, Sandwich Tern, Dunlin, Crested Lark, Fan-tailed Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Common Redstart, Meadow Pipit, Spotless Starlings, Grey and Pied Wagtail, Stonechat, Wheatear, Chiffchaff, Azure-winged and Eurasian Magpie, Whimbrel, Black-tailed Godwit, Grey Heron, Cormorant, White Stork, Red-legged Partridge, Swallow, House and Sand Martin, Linnet, Black-headed, Lesser Black-backed and Yellow Legged Gull, Marsh Harrier, Peregrine and Kestrel. Robins and Blackbirds were in full song and flocks of House Sparrows were always a pleasure to see.
Painted Lady, Clouded Yellow and a beautiful Monarch butterfly were great to see, also Iberian Hares were seen on several occasions but very camera shy.
A pleasing species list as this holiday was as intended to be a mixed one of birding and making sandcastles on the beaches!
A week of mixed weather with 3 days overcast and heavy rain at times which fortunately was mainly through the night. It was good to feel the warm/hot sunshine though on most days after leaving the bitterly cold weather in the UK.
My first UK bird seen was on the 3rd January, a Starling, in fact a flock of them on the car park at Birmingham airport, they enjoyed the crumbled up biscuits I scattered for them.
I missed starting my year list on the first day of the year in the UK but the warm weather in Portugal more than made up for that.
All my own work!
Yellow-legged Gull...Carvoeiro beach.
Lesser Black-backed Gull... Albufeira beach. The jury is out on this one though I am sticking to my guns with LBBG.
Black-headed Gull. Albufeira beach.
Little Egret...Pera Marsh.
Dunlin...Quinta do Lago.
Whimbrel. Quinta do Lago.
Purple Gallinule, which seem to be more and more confiding. A delightful bird!
Corn Bunting...my first sighting of one in the Algarve.
Booted Eagle, one of several seen during the week.
A very distant Black-winged Kite! A wonderful bird to watch as it hovers but like the Hares camera shy!
Hoopoe that preened in the sunshine.
Little Owl...Lagoa dos Salgados (Pera Marsh)