Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Alentejo Day

We were in the Castro Verde area again today. The morning was reasonably warm with some sunshine but the afternoon brought more heavy rain and at about 3.00pm we started heading for home.

Grey skies over the Alentejo

Just like the Algarve, there is water lying everywhere but the countryside is amazingly green and there are carpets of flowers. Great Spotted Cuckoos and Quail are here, we lost count of the number of White Storks' nests and we saw our first Little Ringed Plover of the year. Great Bustards were displaying, the males almost seeming to turn themselves inside out. Most of the Red Kites seem to have left but Montagu’s Harriers and Lesser Kestrels have arrived.

Little Ringed Plover

The most noticeable change since our last visit was the complete absence of Golden Plover and Northern Lapwings. Where, less than two weeks ago, there had still been hundreds of both we didn’t seen a single one of either species. Not surprisingly, the Sociable Lapwing has also departed. We wonder whether it will make it back to Kazakhstan or wherever it was it came from.

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