Friday, 7 February 2020

Lisbon - Portugal 23rd-26th January

23rd - 26th January
Lisbon, Portugal
A mixed bag of drizzle, blue skies some sunshine

Species Highlights: 
Alpine Accentor, Crested Myna, Blue Crowned Parrot, Yellow-Legged Gull, Black Redstart.

Lauren's birthday and we took a trip to Lisbon, Portugal, mainly a city trip but binoculars and cameras packed you cant help spot a bit of wildlife. We stayed fairly central but Spotless Starlings could be heard on our first evening.

Our first-day trip we hired a car and drove to Cabo da Roca the westernmost point of Portugal. while looking at the views my other non-birding daughter called me across and said what's that? It was only an Alpine Accentor a lifer for me, very tricky to photograph and a very brief view, they soon disappeared around the headland, tempted to follow but the 500 ft drop put me off.

A very busy spot with coach loads of Chinese tourists taking many pictures in all sorts of poses, as they do! But there were a few birds about Black Redstart male & females.

Chiffchaff scattered along the cliff edges and feeding amongst the tourists.

This the view we had.

From here after a few attempts on trying to drive to Castelo dos Mouros, a recent law change meant we could only get a bus up, so after a bus trip in wrong direction then a train and another bus, we arrived at Castelo dos Mouros a filming location for Game of Thrones, birds were still seen around here to including Firecrest, Black Redstart and Siskin.

A stunning Black Redstart in cafe area.

The views from the 9th-century castle.

After the morning spent here, we then went to Boca do Inferno (the mouth of hell)
But with close views of Yellow-Legged Gull it was not hell.

Fly pasts from Black Headed gulls and even a single Mediterranean Gull.

Such a great looking gull, don't ya think.

Back to a very busy Lisbon city and sleep, the next day we walked up the road to a local park Parque Eduardo VII. a grand view down towards Lisbon.

Again Binoculars and camera in hand and a small group of Blue-crowned Parakeet, In 1985 these were introduced into Portugal, now a breeding population exists.

That wasn't all the park had to offer Spotless Starling along with the always present Yellow-Legged Gulls. 

Even Serin dotted around the bushes.

Always a good sound to hear them singing.

From the park, we headed to the Subway, excellent transport services here and cheap. Our next stop was the Vasco da Gama Bridge, it also had a boardwalk where we could see some birdlife, but don't tell the wife!
15+ Chiffchaff feeding along the grass edges, along with Blackcaps was are first spots.

A fair few Ring-necked Parakeet feeding, I even educated a local to what the were called!

A small group of Greenfinch looking stunning feeding on the grassland.

Vasco da Gama Bridge is the second-longest bridge in Europe 7.6 miles, including 0.50 miles for the main bridge 7.1 miles in viaducts.

The tide was out so not much to see but a few Avocet on the shores of the Targus Estuary.

More Spotless Starling resting the trees.

The Parakeets didn't seem to mind people and us under their trees whilst feeding.

White Wagtail, a fair few around this area.

Even Meadow Pipits feeding on this Parkland grass must be full of food?

From here another tube ride into central Lisbon, even around the city you couldn't help notice the birdlife, more Chiffchaff feeding in a small pond thing.

In the main square, Praça do Comércio Yellow-Legged Gull scavaging for food amongst the many hundreds of tourist.

Rossio Square from the elevator de santa justa, we queued to ride the elevator but after standing in line for 50 mins Lauren noticed a free elevator in a shop with no queue that went to the same place we took that instead.

Great views from the top.

No trip to Lisbon would be complete without visiting the trams, Elevador da Bica uses cables and travels up an extremely steep hill, of which there are many steep hills in Lisbon.

Next stop was the Jerónimos Monastery after a slow, bumpy, crowded tram ride we arrived very busy here but I spotted a Crested Myna across the road and ran to take a few pictures another introduced species but a real stunner.

The light was perfect and people were wondering what we were up too, but focused on this cracking bird it didn't matter.

The one bird I really wanted to see was this bird, mission accomplished!

Our plan was to spend the evening photographing Belém Tower officially the Tower of Saint Vincent its a 16th-century fortification located in Lisbon that served as a point of embarkation and disembarkation for Portuguese explorers and as a ceremonial gateway to Lisbon

Along the River Targus, it also has a Golden Gate Bridge, a sister and smaller version of the San Francisco bridge.

The last birds of the trip were these Sanderling buzzing infront of a tour boat.

After the minutes ticked by the sun descended to the skyline giving us spectacular a vista.

This is Lauren in silhouette.

A spectacular view and well worth staying until the crowds disperse.

That was our trip to Lisbon, I'd recommend it, we had great fun and even a few birds along the way, not to mention a lifer and two introduced lifers, they all count!

Thanks For Looking! 
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