Sunday, 10 February 2013

More on Winter Birding in the Algarve

A week ago we described here how good the birding can be in the Algarve during the winter months.  We even went as far as to say that “in a week here at this time of year it should be possible to see around 140 species, maybe a few more with a day trip to the Castro Verde area included”.

At the time we wrote that we had no intention of putting our claim to the test but as things have worked out we find that we have started the month of February with seven fairly relaxed days of birding in the Algarve visiting most of the best birding sites and in addition we have enjoyed a day in the Baixo Alentejo.

Great Cormorant - seen every day

Spotted Redshank - seen only once during the week

So, how many species have we recorded in that time?  Well, in the Algarve we found 141 and in the Castro Verde area an additional eight, making a total of 149.  We didn’t set out to do it but it looks as though we proved our point!

We have no doubt that this is a ‘score’ that could be improved upon by anyone wanting to embark on a week-long bird race.  We didn’t plan to do that.  In fact, it’s only afterwards that we have counted up the species and made the comparison with our forecast.

As always, there were several species that we probably should have seen but didn’t.  Examples would be Little Tern (we didn’t go to the mouth of the Guadiana River), European Shag (not enough time spent on the cliffs at Cape St Vincent), Little Bittern (in spite of two visits to Quinta do Lago and one to Parque Ambiental de Vilamoura) and Firecrest (no excuse).  Conversely, we would not have predicted Long-tailed Duck, Red-knobbed Coot or Little Gull.

The full list of 149 species can be seen here.

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