Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Birding around our local patch(es)

Today was our last day this year birding together in the Algarve as Peter heads off tomorrow for more or less back to back tours for Avian Adventures, first to Ethiopia and then to Florida.  What a contrast those promise to be!

We spent the morning at Castro Marim.  We hoped we might catch a glimpse of the unseasonal Great Spotted Cuckoo that was reported there yesterday or that maybe we could re-locate the Yellow-browed Warbler that was seen on Saturday and Sunday but unfortunately we saw neither of those.  We did see a nice selection of birds though, including an Osprey, Iberian Grey Shrike, Crag Martin and Barn Swallow, Water Rail, Bluethroat, Caspian Tern, Marsh Harrier and plenty of waders.  A Common Snipe posed for a photograph.

It was a sunny morning with an almost clear sky but it started cold (by Algarve standards!) and we needed several layers of clothes.  As it warmed up we began to see a few butterflies including a Small Copper.  On the way back we stopped at Altura tank where insects were definitely in abundance over the water attracting both House Martins and Crag Martins.

This afternoon we spent a couple of hours around Tavira, mostly along the road to Quatro Águas.  We increased to 23 our total of wader species for the day and to six our tally of gull species, we saw another Bluethroat and a Dartford Warbler but mainly we concentrated on trying to read colour rings.  Those on Audouin’s Gulls were easy enough but we struggled with the Spoonbills, which were just that little bit too far away.  We finished up with details of just four Spoonbill rings but there were at least a couple of others that even with Swarovski help we couldn’t be sure of.

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