Date: 18th May - 24th May 2016
Location: Albufeira - Algarve (Portugal)
Weather: Blue Skies, Light Wind, 26-32 Degrees
Other Species: Cattle Egret, Kestrel, Little Bittern, Audouin's Gull, Kentish Plover, Sardinian Warbler, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Greater Flamingo, Black-Winged Stilt, Shoveler, Zitting Cisticola, Greater Yellowlegs, White Stork, Serin, Bee-Eater, Yellow-Legged Gull, Little Grebe, Red-Rumped Swallow, Swift, Azure-Winged Magpie, Avocet, Spotless Starling, Cetti's Warbler - Of Note
Observation: A visit to the Algarve isn't complete without visiting Lagoa Dos Salgados, we visited on a Saturday, around 10am. On the bridge into the Reserve there were 3+ Mediterranean Pond Turtle eating bread that was being fed to the Coot's.
Within minutes of entering the reserve we spotted this Little Bittern doing a quick fly-past before landing in the reeds distantly, the first of our two target species for today was complete.
After standing on top of the hide for 15 minutes, the count included 2+ Audouin Gull's, Kentish Plover, Black-Winged Stilt, White Stork, Sardinian Warbler.
Walking along the boardwalk, this stunning Cattle Egret was eating it's lunch, the cricket gave a good fight....
Think he was asking us to help him in this one!
After he got away a few times, the Cattle Egret swallowed him in one, and walks off with his head held high!
There was once again a abundance of singing Sardinian Warbler, it gives a powerful but very scratchy song!
At the second hide, we spotted approx 20 Greater Flamingo feeding in the shallow mud.
In front the hide screen, this Black-Winged Stilt was feeding, everytime it caught something, it would go onto the dry mud to eat it and go back to the water, happily feeding until it spotted predators flying over its nest and off it would go, dive-bombing them with help from the Avocet's.
Crested Lark landed in front of us and started singing, the meadow behind gave a colourful background. Crested Lark were in large numbers on all the reserves we visited.
As the Crested Lark flew off, we heard a unfamiliar call... A Bee-Eater !!!
Using some field craft we used a tree for cover and stood and watched, it fed for around 15 minutes flying and catching bee's and flies before landing on the same perch as before calling each time. A second then came and landed, where they took it in turns to feed and returned to their favoured perch.
Even managed a flight shot on manual focus, 200+ shots later!
With both our target birds captured, we headed back for the bus but not before a quick ice-cream on the beach until this Kentish Plover runs within 5 foot of us back and forth, it then sits on the boardwalk, almost as if it was watching our ice-cream!
Part 3 - Vilamoura + Portimao
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