Saturday, October 26, 2013

Black Storks, Eleanora's Falcons, Red Phalarope and Lesser Yellowlegs name but a few of the treats seen during plenty of trips during this years autumn migration season here in the Algarve. Most wintering birds have arrived now. After a rainy period, the forecast is sunny now for the next couple of days.

A juvenile Black Stork (Ciconia nigra) passing by low above the watchpoint near the Cape of Sagres on October 8th, 2013. (All photos: GS) 

We spend fantastic days in Sagres and nearby areas, witnissing the peak of the raptor migration, with over 100 Botted Eagles, dozens of Short-toed Eagles, Honey Buzzards, Egyptian Vultures and Bonelli's Eagles, Sparrow- and Goshawks, Hobbys and Eleanora's Falcons. At a nearby lagoon ("Martinhal") we found a juvenile Red Phalarope together with only a hand full of waders. The brackish pool was only about 10 x 20 m small, however, it is the only one of its kind in the area, therefore can attract interesting birds.

Grey Phalarope (Phalaropus fulicarius) moulting into first winter plumage at Martinhal lagoon, Sagres, October, 9th 2013 (Photos: GS)

Record shot of a (Red-tailed) Rock Thrush (Monticola saxtilis) Foia, Monchique-mountains, October 9th 2013. The species, mainly juveniles, like the bird on this photo, are scarce but regular migrants through the Algarve. In the same area, we got great views of Dartford Warbler, saw an adult Bonelli's Eagle. Highlight were absolutly stunning close and extended views of a second calender year Eleanora's Falcon, mobbing a Sparrow among others. We found this bird by it's calls! (Photo: GS)

We observed this Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes) a rare vagrant from North America, during a Tour on October 21st 2013 at a small coastal lagoon called "Foz do Almargem"(Loulé). The bird had been found by Miguel Mendes two days before.

A dark morph Booted Eagle (Aquila pennata) in "Ludo", Parque Natural da Ria Formosa, near Faro. The place is the main wintering site for the species in the Algarve. Other raptors in the area this morning were: Black-shouldered Kite, Osprey, Sparrow Hawk and Common Buzzard. Waders included 3 Spotted Redshank and a possible Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius).(Photo: GS).

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