Friday, 11 February 2011


Yesterday we had a successful trip to Sagres where, in the harbour, we easily found the long-staying Rock Pipit and at least two, maybe three, Purple Sandpipers.

Rock Pipit is a rarity in Portugal and there have been few previous records in the Algarve. Purple Sandpiper, too, is a scarce bird here. However, both species have occurred previously at Sagres (although maybe not at the same time!) and that’s definitely the place to look for them.

There has been some discussion about the origin of the Rock Pipit. On the basis that the British and Irish race petrosus is thought to be mainly sedentary and that petrosus and the Fenno-Scandian race littoralis are said to be inseparable in winter plumage, we have to conclude that it is very likely to be a littoralis. Exactly where it is from is another question.

There have actually been reports of two Rock Pipits being present but at no time did we see more than one. Having said that, maybe our photographs confirm that there are two individuals - what do you think?

Although we concentrated our efforts on photographing these two main attractions, it was hard to resist other species that took up photogenic poses on the lichen-covered rocks.


Ruddy Turnstone

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Later we headed off towards nearby Cabo de São Vicente where we enjoyed something of a ‘turdus fest’ with multiple Fieldfares, Ring Ouzels, Mistle Thrushes, Song Thrushes and Blackbirds and a single Blue Rock Thrush.

All in all, a good day’s birding – and the weather, once again, was perfect!

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