Thursday, October 28, 2010

Booted Eagles

At a traditional roost (near Faro) for this marvelous raptors I counted at least five, possibly six birds this morning. The clear atmosphere and the perfect light conditions allowed excellent observations through the telescope on a medium distance (around 150 m) to the birds. These digiscoping-shots unfortunately don't come close to the original as you might imagine, because the shutter time is a bit long if you zoom in... so, you have to zoom out to make a photo.
Other Birds of Prey in the area were Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus), Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo) and Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus). In the nearby saltpans, Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus), a male juvenile Ruff (Philomachus pugnax), a few Mediterranean Gulls (Larus melanocephalus) and 18 Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna) were birds of interest. Most welcome were also excellent and close views of an adult Cetti's Warbler (Cettia cetti) and a late Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus).
Migration of Meadow Pipits (Anthus pratensis), White Wagtails (Motacilla alba) and Sky Larks (Alauda arvensis) was obvious. Two Grey Wagtails (Motacilla cinera) were present, as well as two King Fisher (Alcedo atthis) a Hoppoe (Upupa epops) and two Iberian Green Woodpeckers (Picus viridis sharpei). Pretty nice for a little morning walk.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Winter birds arriving

Yesterday a first winter Razorbill (Alca torda) swam out Praia de Faro and many Gannets dived for fish close to the beach. On the Ria Formosa-side, an adult winter Common Gull (Larus canus) quite a rare bird here, has been present at exactly the same spot as last year. A single adult winter Slender-billed Gull (Larus genei), about 20 Audouin's Gulls (Larus audouinii), and a Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia) were present as well. A selection of well a dozen wader-species, included Little Stints (Calidris minutus) a few Knots (Calidris canutus), Bar-tailed Godwits (Limosa lapponica) and at least 130 Oystercatchers (Haematopus ostralegus).
Recently, two single juvenile Golden Plovers (Pluvialis apricaria) appeared a bit "misplaced" and suspicious, but were only found to be of the nominate form. One fed on the Golf course near Quinta do Lago, the other one a few days later at the sewerage work near the airport.

Eurasian Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria) juvenile. São Lourenco Golf-course, 04-10-2010.

The same species, another juenile. E.T.A.R. Faro-airport, 13-10-2010. Appears pretty slim and long-legged on this photo, but remains P. apricaria...

An adult Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) moulting into winter plumage. Quinta do Lago, 09-2010.

Adult winter Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea) Ria Formosa (Faro), 13-10-2010. Almost as long-legged as a Stilt Sandpiper, almost... ;-)

Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea) juvenile. Ludo, 09-2010.

Among the passerines, a lot of Robins, Common Chiffchaff and Bluethroats have arrived during the past two weeks. A Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus) has been ringed by Thijs Valkenburg near Silves this month and in Parque Ambiental of Vilamoura, a Brithish Team of ringers caught a Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas) - which is apparently the first North Americam songbird recorded in continental Portugal so far, as well as a Common Rosefinch (Carpodacus erythrinus) - both birds juveniles/first winter (photos just examples).

(White-spotted) Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica cyanecula) adult male. Ria Formosa Natural Park near Faro, 19-10-2010.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Upland Sandpiper near Tavira

An Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda) was still present yesterday near Sta. Luzia (Tavira). This is only the 2nd record for Portugal of this North American wader. I "ticked" the bird yesterday morning together with 5 other people which I brought on this little Guided-Tour "special" as a follow-up to the bird-festival in Sagres this past weekend. Thanks for sharing this great shot, Menno; to Peter for sharing the information and to Nigel Jackson for finding it ! Other birds in the area were about 65 Audouins Gulls, 5 Slender-billed Gulls, a Black-shouldered Kite, an Osprey and various wader species.

Juvenile Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda) near Tavira, Algarve, 03-10-10, 2nd for Portugal. Photo: Menno van Duijn (