Thursday, 10 September 2015

Back for the autumn migration

It’s great to be back in the Algarve!  The months of June, July and August in the UK didn’t seem to include summer but now at last we’re warm again.

It’s also good to be back in Tavira - nearly all of the guide books describe it as the most attractive town in the Algarve and we wouldn’t disagree with that.

The Gilão River in the centre of Tavira

Already we’ve spent a few hours checking out nearby areas of the Ria Formosa and it’s wonderful to have this huge wetland virtually on our doorstep.  Those saltpans around Tavira and Santa Luzia that aren’t being used to produce salt are currently attracting hundreds of birds: Greater Flamingos, Grey Herons, Little Egrets, Spoonbills, more than 20 wader species, at least five different gulls as well as various ducks. 

Santa Luzia saltpans

September and October are months when we can expect a few rarities to show up amongst the huge numbers of migrant birds that pour in here and already there have been a couple of Pectoral Sandpipers further west at Lagoa dos Salgados.  It can’t be denied that rarities add a bit of spice to our birding but there’s a great deal of interest and pleasure to be had from watching almost any birds especially those waders!

 We hope to share photographs here in the coming weeks of at least one or two rarities but in the meantime here are a few taken this week just down the road in the area we like to think of as “our office”.

 Juvenile Greater Flamingo

 Black-tailed Godwit


 First-winter Slender-billed Gull

 Common Redshank


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