The weather was cool, cloudy and showers of rain for the first 3 days of the holiday, fortunately the rain was throughout the night. From Saturday the weather was on track, dry and plenty of warm/hot sunshine, so it was birding and sunbathing for the remainder of the holiday! It was lovely to be back at Lagoa dos Salgados (known commonly by Brits as Pera Marsh) always my first port of call. Highlights on the Lagoon were huge numbers of Dunlin, Avocets and Black-winged Stilts aplenty, Greater Flamingoes in good numbers, an average of 6 Spoonbills regularly seen, Glossy Ibis x2, White Stork, Black Stork flyover, Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Cormorant, Mallards, Gadwall, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover and a single Grey Plover and Spotted Redshank both in summer plumage were seen though distant and a short visit from a Caspian Tern was pleasing to see. There were literally hundreds of Swallows and Martins over the water early morning and at dusk with a few Swifts for good measure, a wonderful sight to see. Very few Crested Larks were to be seen though with them nesting it wasn't surprising, not many Zitting Cisticolas seen or heard and what was more surprising was that not a single Wheatear, Stonechat or Bluethroat was seen here after umpteen visits during the holiday. A pair of Stonechats were seen at Alvor Estuary so there are still Stonechats in the Algarve according to that sighting.lol! A Boardwalk was built alongside the Lagoon and Dunes a few years ago and I am sure this has had a detrimental effect on the wildlife which have possibly found quieter areas due to the increased traffic ie: Joggers, cyclists etc along the boardwalk. I suppose with the economy how it is and has been over the last few years tourism comes first ( as in many holiday resorts) for the Algarve. However a pair of Woodchat Shrikes were a very welcome sight and also the colourful and numerous Bee-eaters! Azure-winged Magpies were plentiful, Little Owl was spotted twice and Corn Bunting, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Blackbird were seen on almost every visit. Whimbrel and numerous Cattle Egrets fed on the scrubland daily along with Red-legged Partridge.
Further posts to follow.