Sunday, 5 October 2008

Sagres Pelagic Trip

We took a ride out to the west again this morning, to Sagres. We covered much of the same territory that we visited on Wednesday and some of the birds seen today, including the Golden Plovers at Vale de Santo, were probably the same individuals we saw during our earlier visit. There were fewer passerines today but still the odd Common Redstart and Pied Flycatcher here and there. Several Common Kestrels, a Peregrine Falcon and a Marsh Harrier were all seen before we even reached the raptor watch point.

At the watch point, where we stayed for only half an hour or so, we saw a Black Stork, three Short-toed Eagles, seven Booted Eagles and a Sparrowhawk. We heard later that 40 Griffon Vultures and an Egyptian Vulture were seen there in the afternoon but we had other plans and we have accepted now that we can only be in one place at a time!

After a coffee break at the birder-friendly Pastelaria Marreiros in Sagres we headed down to the harbour to meet Ricardo of Mar Ilimitado with whom we had arranged for an afternoon boat trip. After last month’s 11-hour pelagic trip that took us 50 miles out into the Pacific Ocean from the Oregon coast, today we were at the other end of the spectrum with a two-hour trip that took us just eight miles out from Sagres. However, we saw plenty of birds: at least one Great Shearwater, one or two Sooty Shearwaters, several Balearic and Cory’s Shearwaters, two European Storm Petrels, two Great Skuas, countless Northern Gannets and of course lots of Yellow-legged and Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Not a bad return for such a short trip and all of the birds were seen really well. And neither of us was seasick!

Great Shearwater

No comments: