Sunday, 19 October 2008

Around Tavira

We’ve had three very busy days! That’s if you can be busy just sitting in the car watching and photographing birds. Well from time to time that’s what the job is about and it can in fact be quite tiring. First of all it requires a degree of concentration to try and make sure no bird or photo opportunity is missed; then there is a certain amount of discomfort to put up with and these last few days that has included temperatures of 70+ degrees F. and, at one of our sites, quite a few flies buzzing about. That’s in addition to sitting in one fairly cramped position for prolonged periods. Yes, bird photography can be a lot of fun!

Fortunately, most people understand what it involves and are happy to do whatever it takes to get the images they want. In four sessions in three days, with a little patience and perseverance, we’ve seen and photographed gulls, waders, finches, buntings, wagtails and more.

The fresh water pool just outside Tavira again provided the opportunity to photograph five species of gulls, six if we count the single Mediterranean Gull that popped in for just a couple of minutes. A Caspian Tern and a selection of waders also came and went.

At another site, again near Tavira, there have been plenty of chances to photograph White Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Common Waxbill, Goldfinch, Serin and Chiffchaff. These birds have been coming and going constantly all the time we have been there. What makes it fun is that you really never know what is going to turn up next and we had a surprise yesterday when a Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush made a brief appearance, followed minutes later by two Cirl Buntings. Today, Pied Flycatcher, Northern Wheatear, Meadow Pipit, Sardinian Warbler, Blue Rock Thrush, Linnet and Black Redstart have all been around.

Sardinian Warbler

However, it hasn’t all been sitting in the car with a camera! On Saturday morning we had a good walk around the local saltpans where Greater Flamingos, Spoonbills, White Storks and Little Egrets are the common birds and we also noted 16 wader species and plenty of gulls, including one Slender-billed. In the short vegetation, Chiffchaffs are suddenly quite numerous and we found several Bluethroats. Also newly arrived are Robins, which are now singing their melancholy autumn song wherever we go.


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