Saturday, 10 October 2009

Another Day at the Cape

Yesterday we were at Cape St Vincent again - only two days after our last visit but it was quite different. The sun shone from a mostly clear blue sky and there was just a light breeze - no hint of rain all day. And the birds were different.

We began by stopping off at a small wooded area near Sagres where on Wednesday there had been no birds at all. Now there were several Spotted and Pied Flycatchers, Willow Warblers, a Chiffchaff or two, Blackcaps and Garden Warblers and half a dozen or so Blackbirds which were probably also newly arrived migrants.

Garden Warbler

Along the peninsula there were still plenty of Northern Wheatears and a few Whinchats but a short seawatch from the lighthouse produced only Northern Gannets and one or two Cory's Shearwaters.

We saw our first Black Stork of the day from the car and watched it disappear out over the sea. We like to think that this same bird was one of those we saw later from the raptor watchpoint after it had realised the need to make a U-turn. Raptors today included about 20 Booted Eagles and about 30 Eurasian Griffons, the latter being our first of the autumn. Mostly they were fairly distant but a Short-toed Eagle did fly more or less overhead.

Blue Rock Thrush and Red-billed Choughs duly obliged but for once Little Bustards eluded us. We should probably have been there earlier before the many surfers who inevitably cause a bit of disturbance on their way to the beaches.

A pleasant enough day was rounded off by a brief visit to the Alvor Estuary where the usual Spoonbills, Greater Flamingos and a few of the common waders were quickly seen before we headed back east.