Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Visitors from the high north

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Today a Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis) adult male and only yesterday, a Red (Grey) Phalarope (Phalaropus fulicarus) are both rare winter visitors here in the Algarve, coming from the subpolar regions of Eurasia.

Why not spending the winter where it is less cold? Clever birds! (I still remember what winter around the north sea feels like...)

Here are two hand-held videos taken through the scope: 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Some recent photos from my tours...

Booted Eagle / Zwergadler / Aguia-calçada (Aquila pennata) juvenile pale morph photographed during a tour in Ria Formosa Natural Park near Tavira on 1st of October 2015 (GS.) The species is a fairly common passage migrant and local wintering bird n the Algarve (same bird in the above photo).

Adult male Little Bittern / Zwergdommel / Garçote (Ixobrychus minutus) right in front of the bird observatory of Quinta do Lago. Although somewhat "overrun" at times, this is still a great place to watch birds.

Cory's Shearwater / Sepiasturmtaucher ("Kanarensturmtaucher") / Cagarra (Calonectris d. borealis) a few miles off-shore Fuzeta (on boat-trip with Passeios Ria Formosa, Fuzeta, October 1st, 2015). In summer and autumn this is a common seabird off the Algarvian coast.
Great Shearwater / Großer Sturmtaucher / Pardela-de-barete (Puffinus gravis) photographed during the same trip.

Ferruginous Duck / Moorente / Zarro-castanho (Athya nyroca) are very rare breeding birds in the Algarve. Sometimes more than 30 Ind. can be found wintering near Vilamoura, where the species might also nest. The extension of the Marina of Vilamoura westwards will however consume most of the remaining reed bed of the area (Parque Ambiental) for the sake of a 900 Million € luxury resort. Bad news, because it is also the main breeding site for Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) in the entire Algarve. Also Otters live here, among others. (The photo below showing a male at the same location, both photographed on the 2nd of October 2015).

Lesser-crested Tern / Rüppell-Seeschwalbe / Garajau-bengalense (Sterna bengalensis) at Sagres fishing harbor on October 21st 2015. One of many rarities of this atumn season. This bird whos next breeding colonies are in Lybia, had been found the day before by the team of "Strix" (Riacardo Tomé et al.) who survey the birds of prey around the wind farms of the area, during a severe southerly storm...

Also present in the harbor when I arrived there in the morning after the storm had passed, were well a dozen Black Terns, some Common and two Arctic Terns, the usual Sandwich Terns and this interesting Tern (above two photos) I considered Roseate Tern (Sterna dougallii) adult winter. But grey on outer tail feathers for instance excludes this species (thanks Pedro Ramalho) and it remains just another nice Common Tern (Sterna hirundo).

Black Tern / Trauerseeschwalbe / Gaivina-preta (Chlidonias niger) at Martinhal lagoon (Sagres) on October21st 2015.

Whiskered Tern / Weissbartseeschwalbe / Gaivinha-dos pauis (Chlidonias hybridus) adult winter, east of Faro on October 26th, 2015.

On of at least two Yellow-browed Warblers / Gelbbrauenlaubsänger / Felosa-bilistada (Phylloscopus inornatus) near Sagres ("Cabranosa") on October 13th, 2015. Like the previous atumn, we experience quite an influx of this Siberian species in SW-Portugal.