Saturday, 16 July 2011

Images from my holiday in the Algarve, Portugal. 20th-27th June 2011.

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.

Thread Lacewing.
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.

Wild Carrot.
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.

Greater Flamingos.
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).
Little Owl.
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.

Greater Flamingos.

Cattle Egret.
Black-winged Stilt.
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.

White Stork.

Monarch butterfly.

Images taken at Vale de Parra


Images taken at Baixo Alentejo, Castro Verde.

Woodchat Shrike.
A stunner!

Swallowtail Butterfly.
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!

Litte-ringed Plover.
Nice to see a familiar bird.

Little Bustard.
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.

Griffon Vulture.
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!

Golden Eagle.
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

Cattle Egrets.
Black kite.

If you have reached this far.........thank you for viewing!


  1. I have reached this far....Thank you so much for sharing your fabulous holiday. I'm very jealous.

  2. Well done for sticking with the post John and thank you very much indeed for your kind comments.

  3. It was a pleasure to reach this far Pam!
    I've thoroughly enjoyed your post and stunning photo's......I can't imagine getting 19 lifers in a day!!!
    All you pics are a delight but the Lacewing,Monarch and Swallowtail are super along with stunning shots of the Shrikes,BW Stilt and Bee Eater.
    I'm glad that your birthday treat was so memorable for you and that you enjoyed such a wonderful holiday!

  4. The Lacewing was a tricky one to get a photo of, there were 3 in the same area but very flighty. The Monarch was like a small Bat flying!
    I doubt I will ever get 19 lifers in one day again so I will savour that day.

    Thank you very much for your very kind reply Ruth!

  5. Looks like you had a good time Pam, some cracking photos too!

    I didn't get along to Cannock unfortunately as something cropped up but I hope to go next week ... though I have today been to Wales - went to Gilfach Nature Reserve (near Rhayader) - saw Dipper, Lesser Redpoll & Stonechat (male & female) to name a few. Stopped off at Gigrin Farm on the way back and watched the Red Kite's feeding - awesome, would deffo recommend it!

  6. Thanks Rob, I did have a good time!

    Gigrin Farm is an awesoome place, I have visited twice and thoroughly enjoyed it! Glad you did too. Never stopped by Gilfach NR though, sounds good as you saw some good species Rob.