Thursday, 4 February 2010

Back in Tavira

After a short visit to the UK at least one of us is now back in Portugal! But before anyone starts to feel sorry for June, left behind in the cold, she will only be there for a couple of days before she flies out to Uganda for a two-week tour for Avian Adventures. Make up your own mind which of us has got the better deal!

The weather this morning on arrival here in the Algarve was wet and windy. There was a short interlude after lunch when the sun appeared but before long it had deteriorated again - wetter and windier!

After shopping for essential supplies there was time for a quick tour round Tavira's birding hotspots to see whether anything had changed while we've been away. There wasn't much light for photography, but when has that stopped us!

Regular readers may recognise the perch that this Common Magpie is using. We have photographed Bluethroat, Southern Grey Shrike and Whimbrel on the same branch and have seen several other species using it. Common Magpie isn't such a common bird along the coast; in fact we've never seen one west of Faro and rarely get an opportunity to photograph one.

Common Magpie

Barn Swallow and Black-tailed Godwit were two species more numerous today than they were a couple of weeks ago. There must have been almost 100 Barn Swallows feeding over the saltpans and maybe 1,000 Black-tailed Godwits spread out across the Tavira and Santa Luzia area. A few of the godwits are now showing signs of summer plumage.

Black-tailed Godwit

The usual "Grey Egrets" were seen but only one of them was within camera range. A nearby Little Egret was also hard to resist.

Western Reef x Little Egret hybrid

Little Egret

Greater Flamingos, Spoonbills, Audouin's Gulls and Stone-curlews were also in exactly the same places as always and it does just seem possible that all these birds might not have noticed that we've been missing!

1 comment:

John Burton said...

Hi Folks,
Still have not bumped into you at the salinas.
This morning, sunday, saw 2 Ospreys in the air at the same time; one obligingly caught a fish close by and flapped off vigorously pursued by 3 less black backs. Also Marsh harrier over on the beach dune side of the lagoon.
Flamingoes & Spoonbills seem to have decamped in last night's gales.