Friday, April 2, 2010

Castro Marim

Collared Pratincoles (Glareola pratincola)

Visited the Reserve of Castro Marim, at the border to Spain on Wednesday afternoon with Philip Precey from wildlife-travel(UK). We found all the target species for the trip quite soon - Lesser short-toed Lark doing display flights, Spectacled Warblers only showed up for seconds, because they are incubating now, and Collared Pratincoles (17 Ind. together) gave excellent and close views at their roost. Later the were flushed by a local farmer with a Shepperd's dog walking close by. I always try to have an eye on who or what is actually causing disturbance in the reserves, because there have been a lot of discussions on this issue (including signalization of tracks, closing areas or have areas with limited access).
We had good views of a small flock of Little Bustards (almost all males) flying by and landing, they had been flushed by a male Marsh Harrier. We also saw Montagu's Harriers well, and Stone-Curlew had been very active. Short-toed-, Thekla- and Common Crested Larks, Spanish Sparrows, Red-rumped Swallow and Pallid Swifts had been other birds of the trip. On Sunday I am off to Doñana, Andalusia(E)- birding what is supposed to be one of the best areas in SW-Europe. White-headed Duck and Pin-tailed Sandgrouse are on the "wish list"...
Today biking with my son in Ludo/Faro, Bee-eaters and Hoppoes "everywhere" and Wryneck calling consistently.

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