Although we have continued to spend time at Castro Marim and at various sites within the Ria Formosa, as usual at this time of the year the main focus of our birdwatching has moved away from the coastal wetlands and increasingly in the past few weeks we have been heading inland. Of course we are always frequent visitors to the Castro Verde / Mértola area in the Baixo Alentejo but recently we have also been exploring again in the interior of the Algarve.
Our travels inland have been taking us to parts of the Serra de Alcaria do Cume that we haven’t seen much of before. That’s the area we’ve agreed to cover for the latest Portuguese breeding bird atlas project that started this year. One of the things we like about atlas survey work is that we get to see places that we probably wouldn’t otherwise have a reason to visit.
We’ve also been looking at other parts of the Eastern Algarve and trying to find some of the scarcer breeding species. Some of these, such as Common Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher, Nuthatch and Robin don’t perhaps sound very exciting but it’s been fun seeking them out in areas where they are not common but where Nightingales are abundant and where Golden Orioles are common and regularly seen. At the same time, we’ve found Iberian Chiffchaffs, Short-toed & Bonelli’s Eagles, Black-eared Wheatears, Rufous-tailed Scrub-robin and White-rumped Swifts, any of which would go a long way towards making the day for many birders we know.