Monday, March 14, 2011

Lesser Kestrels and Great Spotted Cuckoos

A couple of Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) sun bathing on their nesting box in the morning. Baixo Alentejo, 12-03-2011. Photo: GS.
At least 8 Great Spotted Cuckoos (Clamator glandarius) most times two birds chasing each other were among the highlights of a Day Tour last Saturday, together with brilliant views of Black-bellied Sandgrouse (more than 40 Ind. in a flock), Great Bustards (now start displaying) as well as both, Golden- and Spanish Imperial Eagles (immatures). What I never had so far, was a 2nd year Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aquila adalberti) circling about 40 to 50 m above us when we had pulled in on a small secondary road, slightly moved away, but then came straight back to us, calling two times (quite low pitched, surpressed and nasal) when flying over, looking down, really "checking us out" ! Amazing, the bird was not anxious at all, but curious ! Great views. I wish I have had the right camera equipment in this situation...
A sighting of these birds is never to guarantee, but recently I see them on most Tours into the area, and sometimes interacting ("tackling") with immature Golden Eagles. It seems they are coming back into these areas they belong to.

Around Faro today: Booted Eagle (6 Ind.) Wryneck, Woodchat Shrike, Little Bittern (male and female), Audouins Gull (3 adults) and Common Cuckoo. Spring is on the move. Expecting the first Bee-eaters and Collared Pratincoles back in the next 10 days...

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