Had it not been for the cold north westerly wind, today would have been just about a perfect birding day. The sun shone from a cloudless sky throughout and we recorded 87 species of birds. Once again we were at Ludo and Quinta do Lago. Did we think there might still be a chance that last week’s Dusky Warbler was in the area? Of course we did. Did we find it? Well, no but it didn’t really matter.
Dave and Sue Smallshire were with us, both of them dragonfly enthusiasts so it wasn’t just birds we were looking at. As a result, the walk that sometimes takes us five hours to complete today took just over six hours!
We started by climbing to a viewpoint from where we hoped, based on previous experience, that we might see some raptors; we saw two pale phase Booted Eagles almost overhead immediately we reached the top of the bank and a Peregrine Falcon followed just a few minutes later.
Then we began our walk, passing by a reedbed where a Penduline Tit was first heard and then seen very well at close range. A little further on we found a juvenile Black Stork and while we were watching that a Purple Heron appeared - two species that we definitely wouldn’t have predicted in the second week of November. It was that sort of day!
Glossy Ibis and Little Bittern both showed at Lago do São Lourenço, there were several good views of Bluethroats, most of the expected wildfowl and waders were there, plus Iberian Green Woodpecker, flocks of Azure-winged Magpies and lots more besides.
So there was no disappointment about the Dusky Warbler, nor about the Osprey that we apparently missed.
Ptarmigans on Cairn Gorm
1 day ago