Sunday, 5 June 2022

Southern Portugal - Part 4

As you'd expect, another 6am start. This time though on a cooler, windier and more cloudy day. We returned to our Bustard spot from Day 2 and enjoyed decent views of two birds.

Great Bustard

We also gave the Roller spot from Day 3 a second go and had a fly-past view of three Black-bellied Sandgrouse and a Greater Short-toed Lark near the farm. Raptors included Griffon Vulture, Short-toed Eagle, Black Kite and Booted Eagle. At the reservoir the Collared Pratincole and Little Ringed Plovers were still present and a Dartford Warbler flicked around some small Olive trees. 

Time caught up with us and we soon needed to return to the cottage, clean up and pack. We drove back to Faro airport, reflecting on a great trip and discussing plans for our next one - the deserts of Morocco and Western Sahara to mop up what we missed in 2013 and 2018, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Japan, Armenia or even Azerbaijan. We're undecided at the moment but enjoying the conundrum.

All in all a great trip, if our schedules had permitted we would have gone in mid-April to enjoy more migrants and avoid the heat (it was nearly 40 degrees on some afternoons). We got all our gen from the excellent David Gosney's book 'Finding Birds in Southern Portugal', also from a friend of Nick's called Hugo who he knows through his time counting raptors in Batumi and whatever else we could glean from other birders we met in the field. Car rental was through Centauro, flights with Ryanair. For food we mostly self-catered. Portugese beer was more than Ok - Sagres or Superbock and the regional wine was excellent. I had eight lifers in total as follows:

  • Great Bustard
  • Little Bustard
  • Black-bellied Sandgrouse
  • Red-necked Nightjar
  • Calandra Lark
  • Western Black-eared Wheatear
  • Iberian Grey Shrike
  • Iberian or Azure-winged Magpie

 Plus a number of species that I hadn't seen for a while or had previously seen only once before like Great-spotted Cuckoo and White-rumped Swift.

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