Much of our attention has been focused around Castro Marim where we have been making repeat visits to the three areas that we volunteered to cover as part of a survey of the Lesser Short-toed Lark population. It has to be said that we haven’t found many and it will be interesting to hear how others have fared. Fortunately, there have been plenty of other birds to see while we’ve been looking for larks, including Little Bustards, Marsh and Montagu’s Harriers, Stone-curlews and Glossy Ibises.
A brood of Crag Martins at a site where we were looking for White-rumped Swifts.Migration continues and there are still plenty of waders around the Ria Formosa and at Castro Marim that should soon be heading north. Mostly they are Dunlins and Sanderlings, now in fine breeding plumage, but we are still seeing a few Grey Plovers, Turnstones, Curlews, Oystercatchers and Ruff and it’s been a good week for Wood Sandpipers.
A late Osprey at Castro Marim on 17th May was one of the week’s highlights, particularly as it perched on top of a pole that was fitted with a nest platform intended for White Storks. Who knows, maybe one day they will breed there!
Another highlight was adding Golden Oriole to the list of species that we have seen/heard without leaving home. A bird sang for quite a while yesterday but unfortunately without ever showing itself. As we are quite close to the coast (Gannet is on that ‘seen from home’ list!), we assume it was a newly arrived migrant.