Friday, 18 November 2011

On Our Travels...

We’re in the UK for a few days, preparing for an Avian Adventures tour in Ethiopia. There were long range forecasts of freezing weather here, so it’s a relief that it’s actually quite mild currently with temperatures up to 12°C. It’s still a bit of a shock to the system, though, for 'southern European softies' like us and we’re definitely hoping for some African sun next week. At the same time, we’re packing plenty of warm clothes for our days in the mountains.

Earlier this week we enjoyed what will be our last day this year of birding and guiding in the Algarve. An excellent day was spent around Ludo, Quinta do Lago, Olhão, Santa Luzia and Tavira recording a total of more than 90 species.

Slender-billed Gull

Highlights included at least 7 Booted Eagles, 2 Black-winged Kites, an Osprey, a Bluethroat, Slender-billed & Audouin’s Gulls, 23 wader species, more than 60 Stone-curlews, 3 Caspian Terns, a Blue Rock Thrush, 3 Black-necked Grebes and, of course, the always popular Purple Swamp-hens. Also notable for us were a Pied Wagtail, a sub-species that isn’t particularly common in the Algarve, and a Spanish colour-ringed Spoonbill that we had seen before in exactly the same place two years ago.

Purple Swamp-hen

Black-tailed Godwit

Although we're obviously looking forward to our travels, it's been a bit of a wrench leaving the Algarve where the birding can be so good at any time of the year and where we really enjoy spending what passes for winter.

Audouin's Gulls

Green Sandpiper

Look out for some photographs from Ethiopia in about three weeks time!

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