Tuesday, 12 January 2010

A Day of Sunshine

We had more heavy rain at the weekend, there was even a hail storm on Sunday and, only 150km away to the east, Seville experienced its first snow in 50 years. Today it is not only pouring with rain but the wind is gale force. Amazingly, amidst all this, yesterday was dry, bright and sunny and the temperature reached 18°C - this is climate change on a daily basis!

One of the inevitable side-effects of all this rain is that paths and trails everywhere are horribly muddy and so Praia do Barril was the obvious choice for us to have a walk in the sunshine. Along the pathway that leads from Pedras d'el Rei to the beach we saw the usual common wader species, including Greenshank, Redshank, Grey Plover and Whimbrel. Birds here are quite confiding and it's difficult to resist a few photographs. Even the Bluethroats seem more inclined to sit up and pose here than they do elsewhere.



There were few birds on the beach itself, just the odd Kentish Plover, plus a few Sanderlings and gulls. A monkfish, washed up on the sand, provided food for one Yellow-legged Gull and when it had finished feeding it washed its bill in the surf. When the gull had left, a Sanderling moved in and also fed on the monkfish.

Kentish Plover

Yellow-legged Gull

Yellow-legged Gull

Sanderling with monkfish

Sandwich Tern

Off-shore there were the usual Gannets, a few Razorbills and several Sandwich Terns but elsewhere along the coast there have been sightings of Leach's Storm-petrels and further north a Madeiran Storm-petrel was blown inland. It's so rough here at the moment that we half expect one to fly past the window any minute!

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