For a change of scenery a holiday was spent in the East of the Algarve staying in Tavira. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tavira_Municipality
A delightful fishing town. A Moorish Bridge links the two parts of the town over the Gilão river. There are delightful shaded gardens near the bridge and this is also where local Craft stalls were to be found on some evenings. Pallid Swifts seen daily over the town were a delight to see especially so in the cooler temperatures of the evening when many were hawking low for insects along with Swallows and Martins.
The Hotel we stayed in was close to some Salinas (Salt Pans), it was lovely to walk along the paths alongside the salt pans early in the mornings before the heat of the day arrived! Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Little Egret, White Stork, Greater Flamingo, Little Tern, Crested Lark, Yellow Wagtail, Kentish Plover, Bee-eater, Kestrel, Moorhen, House Sparrow, Blackbird, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Slender-billed Gull, Swallow, Martin and Swft were regularly seen on the walks. I was so pleased that the Salinas were in walking distance and visible from the Hotel room!
I had booked a days guided birdwatching with Algarve Birders prior to arriving and my choice of area to visit was across the border to Spain, to the Doñana area. We stopped at the José Antonio Valverde visitor centre where huge numbers of Glossy Ibises were nesting, great views were had of them, also nesting in the trees there were many Cattle Egrets with smaller numbers of Little Egrets, Squacco Herons, Little Bitterns and Black-crowned Night Herons. Purple Herons were viewed at times feeding there young! The huge amount of birds in the trees was awesome, quite a spectacle to see! Later a huge roost of Glossy Ibis were a sight to see as they lifted from the trees, they were another spectacle to see!
The rest of the species seen today were Marsh Harrier, Montagu's Harrier, Short-toed Eagle, Booted Eagle, Griffon Vulture, Black Kite, Common Kestrel, Lesser Kestrel, Collared Pratincole, Green Sandpiper, Black-winged Stilt, Kentish Plover, Lapwing, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Purple Gallinule with chick, Little Bittern, Coot, five Red-knobbed Coots, a species not often seen, Moorhen, Grey Heron, Spoonbill, Greater Flamingo, White Stork, Corn Bunting, Bee-eater, Spanish Sparrow, Crestred Lark, Short-toed Lark, Mallard, Gadwall, Common Pochard, Red-crested Pochard, Magpie, Azure-winged Magpie, Woodpigeon, Raven, Jackdaw, Spotless Starling, Yellow wagtail, Common Swift, Pallid Swift, Goldfinch, House Martin, Barn Swallow, Sardinian Warbler, Blackbird, Zitting Cisticola, Great Reed Warbler (an amazing sight and sound of this Warbler), Whiskered Tern, Cormorant, Yellow-legged Gull and Greylag Geese! Another treat to see on the trip was a Wild Boar! A fantastic days birding in fortunately cooler temperatures than the previous few days had been!
Species in bold are Lifers!
A drive over to the West coast to Lagoa dos Salgados and Quinta do Lago was enjoyable. Nothing different seen with bird species but lovely to see familiar territory!
As ever a great holiday in the Algarve!
Images will be added in the next post.