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Old 02-04-15, 04:25 PM
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Default Baixo Alentejo, Portugal.

I recently enjoyed a holiday in Tavira in the Algarve , Portugal. I had prior to the holiday booked a days guided bird watching, the area I chose was the Baixo Alentejo . I had visited this area before in 2013 and had a wonderful days birding and this day was to be just as good if not better!


The Alentejo is a huge and sparsely populated area of gently rolling steppe and grassland with woodlands of Cork Oak and occasional rocky outcrops. The total species of birds seen during the day was 61 with 1 heard only...that being a Wren!


Highlight species were: White Stork (many on nests), Eurasion Black Vulture, Red Kite, Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, Common kestrel, Lesser Kestrel, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Thekla lark, Calandra Lark, Crag Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, White Wagtail, Dartford Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Southern Grey Shrike, Azure-winged Magpie, Common Magpie, Common Raven, Spotless Starling, Common Starling, Spanish Sparrow, House Sparrow, European Serin, and Corn Bunting.


The even higher highlights was seeing c130 Great Bustards and Little Bustards in varying locations during the day, Great Bustards were the most numerous of the 2 species seen. Whilst watching a flock of 30+ Great Bustards ambling about they suddenly took flight along with 4 Black-bellied Sandgrouse! The reason being an adult Spanish Imperial Eagle had arrived on the scene and was later joined by an immature Spanish Imperial Eagle! They were soon to be mobbed by a Common Buzzard and a Red Kite! We were spellbound by the size of the Eagles, so much so I did not think to take a photo, I just enjoyed the few minutes that they were all in view!
It was a great feeling to see such wonderful birds in the air!

A few pics from the day.

1. Great Spotted Cuckoo

2. Southern Grey Shrike

3. Corn Bunting

4. Spanish Sparrows


5. White Storks and the Spanish Sparrows that are in image 4.
Attached Thumbnails
baixo-alentejo-portugal-p1220979.jpg   baixo-alentejo-portugal-p1220981.jpg   baixo-alentejo-portugal-p1220984.jpg   baixo-alentejo-portugal-p1220991.jpg   baixo-alentejo-portugal-p1220992.jpg  

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Last edited by Little Sparrow; 03-04-15 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 02-04-15, 04:28 PM
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A few more pics:

I did not realise that White Storks would nest 'communally' as they are in the tree.

1. White Storks. They form loose informal colonies while breeding. European White Stork Fact Sheet - National Zoo


2 & 3. Great Bustards.


4. View, Alentejo.
Attached Thumbnails
baixo-alentejo-portugal-p1220994.jpg   baixo-alentejo-portugal-p1220995.jpg   baixo-alentejo-portugal-p1220996.jpg   baixo-alentejo-portugal-p1230007.jpg  
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Last edited by Little Sparrow; 03-04-15 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 02-04-15, 09:30 PM
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Sounds fabulous Judith, and the photos are very welcome. I gotta go birding abroad!!!

So far I've managed to identify each species, but birds' names would be more useful than the file names . I know it's a pain renaming files before they're uploaded (I gave this up quite early on exactly because it's such a pain), and (so far) what you've posted are fairly self-evident, but if you post pics of Calandra and Thekla Larks, Zitting Ciscolas etc, labels would be very helpful...Please .

But keep 'em coming anyway.

Tony
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Old 03-04-15, 08:55 AM
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Thank you for your comments Tony. I have as you will see named each image, my apologies for not doing so when I posted.
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Old 03-04-15, 10:10 AM
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Thanks for naming them Judith!

How the storks could build that on top of a pole like that. Amazing.
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Old 03-04-15, 02:58 PM
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No probs Peter.

Just a few more to finish the thread off.

1. Sardinian Warbler

2. Serin

3. Black-winged Stilts

4. Black-tailed Godwits

5. Great Tits
Attached Thumbnails
baixo-alentejo-portugal-sardinian-warbler-2.jpg   baixo-alentejo-portugal-serin.jpg   baixo-alentejo-portugal-p1000135.jpg   baixo-alentejo-portugal-p1220911.jpg   baixo-alentejo-portugal-great-tits.jpg  

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Old 03-04-15, 03:19 PM
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The Stilts are a lovely looking bird, thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-04-15, 12:47 AM
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I'd love to see Black-winged Stilts, but somehow that Sardinian Warbler is the pick of the bunch for me.

Thanks Judith

Tony
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