Thursday, January 17, 2013

Preparing for spring

These photos were taken last week up in the Alentejo plains. At this spot - the Portuguese call these open Holm-oak woods "Montado"- we observed a Black-winged Kite and a flock of Stock Doves (Columba oenas). A small group of 11 Common Cranes were only about 1 km away from there and we were able to watch them closely. Red Kites are literaly soaring everywhere in the area during a winters day, one of them did so accompanied by a young Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos).

A pair of Spanish Imperial Eagles (Aquila adalberti) digiscoped in the morning mist. This is a pair of subadults. Note the  heavier built of the female perched below. Photo: GS

Later, we had more and good observations of the Spanish/Iberian Imperials, soaring, when the thermals had formed. At one occasion, we watched three birds close together and interacting with each other.
Great Bustards where numerous and we must have seen over one hundred of them throughout the day. Little Bustard was more difficult to spot, we found a small group of six and watched them with the scope, the male moulting into breeding plumage now.

A group of male Great Bustards (Otis tarda). Alentejo, Portugal, January 2013. GS.


  1. Astonishingly beautiful weather whilst Britain suffers cold winter.

  2. The Algarve has probably the best winter weather in Europe. It may also be rainy or windy, but we have periods of days and weeks with lots of blue sky and sunshine and temperatures up to around 20 degrees C.