Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Projecto Arenaria 2012/13

Yesterday morning was perfect for a walk on the beach – an almost cloudless sky, the temperature reaching 23ºC and virtually no wind.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t something that seemed to have occurred to anyone else!  We walked for about two and a half hours and saw only four other people, all of them local fishermen wading into the surf.

Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)

Of course, we weren’t just out for a walk; once again we were taking part in Projecto Arenaria.  We’ve blogged about it before here and here, so if you’ve been keeping up you’ll know that it is a survey of Portugal’s non-estuarine coastal birds, an attempt to fill a gap in the knowledge of bird populations using the Portuguese coastline.

As previously, we were asked to count birds on the Ilha de Cabanas and, following our plan from last winter, we took a boat to the island rather than risk wading across the channel at low tide.  Thanks again for that to Henrique at Segua Tours.

The birds were unremarkable.  We found one Mediterranean Gull and 11 Audouin’s Gulls among the hundreds of Lesser Black-backs; what few waders there were thankfully included a few Ruddy Turnstones, the species that gives the project its name.

We also found a few Sea Urchins and Jellyfish washed up on the sand.  Mostly we just enjoyed being out on such a beautiful morning on what almost seemed like our own private beach!

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