Monday, 4 January 2010

We did need some rain, but...

Still the rain continues - for the third week! It was a miracle that Friday remained almost completely dry for our ‘Big Day’ but since then, over the weekend and again today, we have had further storms and more torrential downpours. This is not how the weather is supposed to be on the Algarve coast! At least it's not cold.

This morning we took the Cachopo road out of town and took a few photographs along the Rio Séqua which has well and truly burst its banks. Several other Tavira residents and a television news reporter were out doing the same. Flocks of Mediterranean, Black-headed and Lesser Black-backed Gulls have taken to the flood but apart from a few White Storks and Mallards there were few other birds to be seen.

We also took pictures in the town centre of the Rio Gilão. This is actually the same river; it changes its name from Séqua to Gilão as it enters the town and passes under the so-called Roman bridge - yes, there is a story to explain this but for another time maybe! We were there at low tide when on a normal day Redshanks, Turnstones and the like feed along the river but not today! Fortunately, there doesn’t seem to have been significant flooding or, as far as we know, any serious damage to property in the town centre itself but it must have been a close thing at this evening’s high tide. Making a strange sight at the mouth of the river (and elsewhere) are numerous oranges that have been swept along on the flood and deposited along the shoreline.

While we were out we took the opportunity for quick visits to Quatro Aguas, Forte do Rato and the nearby saltpans, recording about 50 species in the process, half of them gulls (6 species), waders (17) and terns (2). The same hybrid egret that we saw on Friday was in its usual feeding area.

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