Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Portugal's Ria Formosa, winter birdwatching.

The Ria Formosa natural park covers a area of 170 km square. It is made up by a system of barrier islands, with outlets to the open sea. In the Spring and Autumn this area makes a very important stopping off area for migrating birds, with hundreds species seen. We normally make an extended visit but this year it will be a few days and we are earlier than normal. The migrators will not have arrived, as it is still early in the year so we shall see what is about this Winter.

The weather is cold the wind from the north and localised showers.

Close to Faro airport we visit the salt pans and the Lugo farm area. We see good numbers of Black tailed Godwits.

Always lovely to see, Greenshank and the numbers are an unexpected bonus.

At Cabanas more Greenshank

From Cabanas you can walk along the coast to Cacela Velha, a lovely walk.

Winding itself up the prickly pear, this strange looking plant, Birthwort (Aristolochia baettica).

Zitting Cisticola (Fan Tailed Warbler)  enjoying the sunshine.

Another Zitting Cisticola resting before flying up high to deliver his song.

Whimbrels with their trilling calls stalk the water edges.

On the mud flats resident Kentish plovers.

Little Ringed plover hunting for food with the Kentish plovers.

Many Redshank.

On the coast below Quinta de Lago Chiffchaffs find their food in the ornamental gardens.

Chiffchaff (small leaf Warbler) so delicately feeds from the stamen.

Whoops! I have been so long watching the Chiffchaffs Linda has nearly disappeared.
At least I can spot her on this beautiful desolate beach.

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