Accomodation was in Galé, Algarve, Portugal as per June holiday. The temperatures during the first week were in the high 20's and low 30's, I was told that it was an average of 5c above the norm for the time of year. I was not complaining! The second week it cooled to around the mid 20's with rain through the night and strong winds on the last few days, more about the winds later.
Lagoa dos Salgados as always is my first port of call for birdwatching. The water level in the Lagoon was high which pushed the Waders further from view but with scope views it was not a problem. Avocets and Black-winged Stilts were plentiful as were Spoonbills of which I counted 42 one day and that was without further Spoonbills that were spooning in the channels on the far side of the lagoon. The usual Ducks were seen and a male and/or female Marsh Harrier put in appearances on each visit. Lapwing, Glossy Ibis, Little Egret, Sanderling, Ringed Plover, Common Snipe and Cormorant and Grey Heron in high numbers were other notable highlights.
Lagoa dos Salgados
Unusally I saw more of these birds perched in the open than on any of my trips to the Algarve, hence a few pics were managed of the species rather than the usual blur as the birds plunge into the shrubbery.
My one and only (short) sighting on this trip. A fabulous bird!
Very flighty birds especially when a Marsh Harrier is hawking the reed beds!
Early in the mornings I found was the best time of day to catch up with these birds. Several were spotted in search of insects along the tracks and in the vegetation.
I have been informed that the upper bird maybe a 1st-2nd yr Lesser -black Backed Gull.
Wheatears were in abundance, always a joy to see!
More often than not if the bird in the distance wasn't a Wheatear than it was a Stonechat.lol!
Sanderling were in great numbers on the shoreline of the lagoon though these were the only one's to feed close by the viewing area, well when I was there anyway.lol!
Such an endearing little cutie!!!!
A majestic and yet rather gangly looking bird.
Wonderful birds, so graceful looking even with that humongous bill!
Such a well camouflaged bird when perched in Almond and Oak trees!
A fair size flock was seen on most visits but as soon as they catch sight of you...they are off!!!
Vila do Bispo...Rapture Watchpoint.
A Kestrel, Common Buzzard and Peregrine were the highlight at the watchpoint. However later in the day at Cape St Vincent (the Land's End of Portugal)a flock of 8 Black Storks was a very welcome sight!
I just managed a quick photograph of one of the Black Storks.
Quinta do Lago
The nature reserve at Quinta do Lago is part of the Rio Formosa nature conservation area. It really is a special area, my favourite place is the fresh water lagoon which has an elevated hide overlooking it. Highlight birds seen apart from the images added were Red-crested Pochard (m&f), Great Crested Grebe, Teal, Tufted Duck, Coot, Moorhen, Mallard, Little Egret, Gadwall, Sanderling, Blackcap, Sardinian Warbler, Stonechat, Wheatear and Chiffchaff.
My star bird of the holiday....Little Bittern!!!
I was so pleased to have spotted it when scanning the edge of the reed beds. Views of it lasted for over 20 minutes as it hunted for it's lunch! A fascinating bird to watch as it climbed up and down the reeds and stealthily weaved in and out of them!
A walk along the Arade River was very relaxing as there are plenty of benches to rest on and watch the world and the birds go by! Highlight birds were Common Sandpiper, White Stork, Grey Heron, Kingfisher, Yellow and White Wagtail, Robin, House Sparrow, Meadow Pipit, Blackcap, Common Waxbill and a Cetti's Warbler in full view singing away for all of it's worth!
To be continued.