Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Contrasting Days!

We were at Sagres on Sunday for the Festival of Birdwatching, a three-day event organised to coincide with BirdLife International's EuroBirdwatch weekend.

The old primary school building was the location for lectures and workshops

One of the main attractions at Sagres in the autumn is the migration of raptors and we spent some time at Cabranosa, the raptor watch point located between Sagres and Cape St Vincent. There were an amazing number of people there but disappointingly it wasn't a great day for birds. It was a shame when there have been so many good days there recently that just when some birds were needed they were a bit of a let down. We were happy enough to see just an Eleanora's Falcon, but where were the Booted Eagles and Honey-buzzards that would have had more appeal to some of the novice birdwatchers who turned out?

Raptor watchers at Cabranosa

Yesterday we were in the Alentejo again with a familiar list of target species. The day's highlight was undoubtedly the short period of less than half an hour during which, just standing in one spot on the side of the road, we managed to see both Great and Little Bustards, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Stone-curlews and a Spanish Imperial Eagle! Also present were a supporting cast that included Subalpine Warbler, Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Corn Buntings and Northern Lapwings.

Later, after seeing in the distance a number of vultures flying, including two Black Vultures that were probably the same birds that we saw last week, we managed to locate a group of 28 Griffons on the ground. There was no carcass, in fact they looked as though they might already have fed, but they allowed quite close approach.

It shouldn't be too long now before we see gatherings of these Eurasian Griffons at Cabranosa. Several hundred can be expected in the Sagres area by the end of the month. Wouldn't it have been nice if they had been there for people to see on Sunday!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks again for a fantastic day out last Monday - we all really enjoyed it and have some great memories and photos to keep us going through the winter months!