A Cream-coloured Courser (Cursorius cursor) that was first seen at Alvor here in the Algarve on Friday, 8th March was thankfully still present there this morning. Presumably it has been deterred from trying to find its way back to North Africa by the consistently awful weather that has been suffered here since even before it arrived.
June managed to see it on its second day, making the trip to Alvor with Ray Tipper while Peter was in Guatemala. When we went together on Thursday (Peter’s first day back) to look for the bird, there were five or six feral dogs running all over the area where it had been and it was nowhere to be found. There had also been a change in the wind direction and we wrongly assumed that it had gone. The truth is that we didn’t have much time available for a search as we needed to be back in Tavira to take delivery of a bag that hadn’t made it the previous day on to the flight from Miami to Madrid!
And that was that until news came yesterday that the bird had been re-located and only a short distance from where it had been seen originally. So, in spite of what turned out to be an accurate forecast for early fog and rain, we went back this morning and quickly located it. We saw it well through the Swarovski ‘scope but there was no question of getting close to it and the quality of the photograph tells its own story, both about the distance and about the light conditions.
There have been only six previous records of Cream-coloured Courser in Portugal, three of them in the Algarve including the most recent, which was at Ludo in April 2001. However, there have been breeding attempts in recent years nearby in Spain.