Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Sun, Sea, Sand and Storms. 13th-27th October 2011.

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

Zitting Cisticola
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.

Black-winged Kite
My one and only (short) sighting on this trip. A fabulous bird!

Glossy Ibis

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.

Yellow-legged Gulls
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!

Glossy Ibis

Zitting Cisticola

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!

Little Grebe
Such an endearing little cutie!!!!

Greater Flamingo
A majestic and yet rather gangly looking bird.

Wonderful birds, so graceful looking even with that humongous bill!

Little Owl

Such a well camouflaged bird when perched in Almond and Oak trees!

Azure-winged Magpies
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!

Black Stork
I just managed a quick photograph of one of the Black Storks.


Thekla Lark

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.


Ringed Plover


Grey Plover





Purple Gallinule

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!

Black-headed Gull

Little Egret

Black-winged Stilt

White Stork

To be continued.


  1. What agreat variety of birds you saw there...I'm especially envious of the Black-winged Kite!

  2. I've enjoyed a quiet cuppa while catching up with your holiday reports and looking at your super photo's Pam! The Zitting Cisticola that fronts your blog is a real stunner......I love the Little Owl shot as well! It certainly looks and sounds like the holiday was an enjoyable one for you.......we could use a bit of that sunshine at the mo couldn't we!

  3. Thank you Jason and Ruth for your very kind comments!

    The Black-winged Kite was my 3rd sighting of this species though this particular bird was only viewed for less than a couple of minutes Jason! Once it caught sight of me it was off....great to see them hovering like a Kestrel though! Cracking birds!

    Wish I could have bought some warm sunshine back for you Ruth.lol!!

  4. Super pictures! "Zitting Cisticola" has to be the best birdname in the book! If you visit By Stargoose And Hanglands you'll find a small token of my admiration for your fine writing and photos.

  5. Thank you very much for your kind comment John and yes I agree "Zitting Cisticola" is a great birdname!

    I feel extremely honoured to be included in your 'generous' list and in such esteemed company! Thank you John.
    I hope that one day yourself and Granny Sue will meet up. You have more than earned your "Liebster Award". Keep up the good work!