I enjoyed a wonderful holiday in the Algarve with an added bonus of being treated by my family to a day's Guided Birding in Baixo Alentejo, Castro Verde, a splendid Birthday surprise! The area is vast and so different to the Algarve region, nevertheless the Algarve does hold some super bird species. Castro Verde to me was the real unspoiled 'Portugal'. Some of the highlight birds seen in the Alentejo were Montagu's Harrier, Black Vulture, Black Kite, Black-winged Kite, Short-toed Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Crag Martin, Turtle Dove, Stone Curlew, Thekla Lark, Corn Bunting, Blue Rock Thrush, Spanish Sparrow, Nightingale and Golden Oriole! I managed a few pics of a few other highlight species. Photo's were a bonus as the main focus today was to have good views through bins and scope. I had 19 lifers on this exciting and memorable day in Castro Verde!
Images taken at Lagoa dos Salgados.
There were several of these Lacewings flitting around in the vegetation but difficult to get a decent shot of them. A pretty and unusual Lacewing to see.
The red central flower was puzzling me! On my return home I read that the function of the single red flower is to attract insects!
Pancratium Maritimum or Sea Daffodil.
Lagoa dos Salgados.
My favourite area, commonly known (by Brits)as Pera Marsh.
It was delightful watching these enormous birds take flight as they flew to their chosen roosting area at dusk.
Woodchat Shrike (m&f).
Stunning looking birds!
Woodchat Shrike (m).
Several were seen and heard whilst out hunting at dusk!
A favourite species of mine! Eight were viewed closely feeding together on an early morning visit to the Lagoon.
These birds were a joy to see, so agile. We watched as one bird flew into a nest hole in the ground on sandy scrubland.
Images taken at Silves.
Images taken at Vale de Parra
Images taken at Baixo Alentejo, Castro Verde.
There were also a couple of Southern Scarce Swallowtails flitting around but it was so windy at the Raptor point they hardly settled. Both were striking butterflies to see.
Rufous Bush Robin.
A record shot of a super little bird. The parents were feeding young, it was super watching them from a distance taking food to the nest.
What can I say...a beautiful bird!
Nice to see a familiar bird.
Another record shot. This one was quite happily feeding along the track we were driving down. Later we were to see 2 Great Bustards grazing in a field, great bins and scope views but too distant for a pic!
Iberian Grey Shrike!
An awesome looking bird!
View from Raptor watch point.
View from Raptor watch point.
It was great watching from the Raptor watch point as numerous Griffon Vultures soared ahead of us and then descended down to the rocks to perch. Again, awesome birds!
Unfortunately we didn't get to see a Golden Eagle from the Raptor point, this would have given eye level views! However we did see one perched and again had great scope and bins views. It eventually took flight but it was hard to judge the size of this enormous bird
If you have reached this far.........thank you for viewing!