Wednesday, May 5, 2010
One of the magnificent European Rollers (Coracias garrulus)
we saw (Photo: Harry Hill).
Doing a Tour up into the Alentejo today has been fabulous - more than 60 Great Bustards, Griffon-(about 25), Black-(5) and Egyptian Vulture (1), Lesser Kestrel, Black-shouldered Kite, Booted Eagle (2), the ever present Montagu's Harriers and Black Kites, and the highlight - two Spanish Imperial Eagles (subadults, but apparently a pair).
3 (!) couples of European Rollers, including very close views on a farm track 2 or 3 times (photo), Bee-eater, Hoppoe, Little Owl... Collared Pratincole, Black-bellied Sandgrouse (just heard, because you can only look into one direction at a time), Little Bustard (always calling), Black-eared Wheatear, Spanish Sparrow, many Short-toed-, Thekla- and Calandra Larks... and not to forget, lovely Sandwiches and a sip of Wine on a hillside with a spectacular view over the plain... a very sunny day, almost no wind, just a bit over 20 degree C.
Recently a Nature-Tour Operator and Biologist from the UK stated after a day in the Alentejo - that this was, quite unexpected, probably the best "steppe" birding he had ever done. No further comments.
Griffons (Gyps vulvus) with one Eurasian Black Vulture (Gyps monachus) above the plain.(Photo by Harry Hill)
These Great Bustards are looking good on a local bus.