It was quality rather than quantity today as we made our first visit for some time to the Castro Verde area.
As always in the Alentejo, Great Bustards were a prime target and during the day we found 40 or more without too much difficulty. The first ones were a long way off, shimmering in the heat haze, but eventually we saw some at reasonably close range and had good telescope views.
Remarkably, we saw Great Bustards, a Golden Eagle, about 20 Eurasian Griffons, two Black Vultures and several Black-bellied Sandgrouse all from the same vantage point. The vultures were on a sheep carcass with several Common Ravens in attendance. All this was enjoyed with the sweet song of a Woodlark in the background, at times the only sound to be heard - definitely a 'cosmic birding experience'.
It was quite a good day for raptors - apart from those already mentioned we saw mostly Red Kites and Common Buzzards but we did get first class views of a Bonelli's Eagle, not an everyday occurrence. The only Little Bustards of the day were ones that were flushed by the Bonelli's Eagle although Red-legged Partridges seemed to be its main target.
Not a long species list but some first class birding in a beautiful area and with wonderful, sunny but not too warm weather.
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