Thursday, 2 April 2009

Breezy birding

We never tire of visiting Castro Marim. We were there again yesterday afternoon, just for an hour or so. Our targets were Little Bustard, Spectacled Warbler, Stone-curlew and Lesser Short-toed Lark and the first three were quickly and easily found. However, although it was bright and sunny, in a strong wind, the larks were more difficult and we really didn't get what might be described as a 'tickable view'. Consolation came in the form of a Great Spotted Cuckoo and there was also a fairly distant look at a Caspian Tern and a Marsh Harrier.

This morning we returned to Quinta do Lago but for a change from recent visits we walked in from the Faro side, past Ludo Farm. Again it was bright and sunny but with a stiff breeze blowing. It was no surprise that almost the first birds seen were two Booted Eagles - they are very regular here, even in winter.

Booted Eagle

A little further on we saw what might well have been the same Black Kite that was in the area on Monday but the highlight of our walk to Lago do São Lourenço was a Black Stork, seen first of all in flight and then perched in a tree. The explosive calls of Cetti's Warblers could be heard everywhere, several European Reed Warblers were singing and about a dozen noisy Bee-eaters were always just out of camera range.

At the lagoon a first-winter Little Gull was feeding over the water but otherwise there was little change from earlier in the week. As always, there were good opportunities to photograph several species and the Red-crested Pochards were difficult to resist. A Little Grebe was also reasonably obliging.
Red-crested Pochard

Little Grebe

As we returned to the car, this Yellow Wagtail allowed close approach. The wind was so strong that it was probably frightened to let go of the power cable!

Yellow Wagtail (iberiae)

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