Sunday, 1 March – Arrival and Ria de Alvor
For this second “Laid-back” birdwatching week of the year, I left Cruzinha (A Rocha Portugal’s field study centre) on Saturday and picked-up Jean and Tony in the evening at Faro airport. They travelled to Cruzinha by train as I had to wait for Stanley, even longer than expected as, due to his luggage not making the trip to Faro and being in London.
As we all arrived quite late at Cruzinha on Saturday, we had a quiet Sunday morning and then we went to the Ria de Alvor estuary after a nice lunch outside. This allowed us to see the first species of the week: White Stork and some butterflies: Red Admiral and Swallowtail.
On leaving Cruzinha, we saw a Barn Swallow perched on a wire and a flock of Spotless Starlings were in an Almond tree. In the distance, a female Marsh Harrier was hunting and Spoonbills resting even further. Along the track, we saw a Green Sandpiper landing in a ditch but it quickly disappeared. On the other side of the track, a White Wagtail and Cattle Egrets were feeding between cows. From this spot, Stanley found a Stonechat perched on a post and a Chaffinch on the ground. We reached a place overlooking the marsh which has a field next to the track. A Lapwing was fairly close to us and Stanley found a Red-legged Partridge while a Grey Heron landed in the field. We walked down to the marsh and looked at flowering Linaria algarviana. A Barn Swallow entered a ruin in the field and as we walked past it, a Little Owl flew away.
From the dyke going around the marsh, we had a look at the birds present: Flamingos, Shovelers, Black-winged Stilts, a Shelduck, Redshanks, and a Black-headed Gull. As the tide was low, we had a look on the mudflats and sandbars at the estuary. Whimbrels, Oystercatchers, Grey Plovers and Turnstones were feeding. A bit further, a Redshank, a Turnstone, Sanderlings, Dunlins and Kentish Plovers were together in the marsh. The wind was quite the strong wind, but despite this, Tony found a bird of prey: a male Marsh Harrier hunting over fields. It flushed out Shovelers, Teals and a Flamingo. In the marsh, Grey Herons and Spoonbills were resting so, unfortunately, their beaks were not visible. Dunlins, a Redshank and a Greenshank almost standing side by side, allowed us to compare them: red legs and brown plumage for the Redshank,greenish legs and grey plumage for the Greenshank. Near a seashell farm, we looked again at the mudflats. Yellow-legged, Lesser Black-backed, 4 Sandwich Tern and an Osprey were standing together on the same sandbar. Four Crag Martins flew near us. We saw another Redshank in the marsh and Jean spotted a Sardinian Warbler perched on a bush and disappearing in it, typical for the species. Two Red-rumped Swallows flew pretty close to us and we had a good look at them. From there, a Little Egret was visible and we compared it with the Cattle Egrets seen earlier. The Little Egret is slimmer and has a black beak (yellow for the Cattle Egret). We also spotted a Yellow Wagtail, a spring migrant, this bright yellow bird was seen clearly.
We stopped near abandoned dried saltpans, where no birds were in sight. On the fence bordering the track, a Reed Bunting was perched but it was a quick sighting as it flew. We started walking the last part around the marsh. We had a look on a pond were several species were feeding: Black-winged Stilts, Black-tailed Godwits, a Green Sandpiper, Snipe, Mallards, Shovelers and a Water Pipit. Further away, a group of Barn Swallows was perched on the fence and 6 Jackdaws passed in flight.
We all walked back to Cruzinha. The first part of the path goes uphill and we stopped half way. Jean found Red-legged Partridges, including a singing bird. A Black Redstart was perched on a ruin and we saw again the Little Owl, better this time. Jean also spotted a male and a female Sardinian Warblers which disappeared quickly in the bushes. Many Azure-winged Magpies were moving to roost. In the field next to the path, 2 Crested Larks were foraging on the ground, giving us nice views. We stopped again before reaching Cruzinha to look at a Black-winged Kite, a juvenile. A Hoopoe crossed the path in front of us. As we were trying to see it again, we flushed another Black-winged Kite and then realized there were actually 2 birds in the air, soon joined by the juvenile. Two of these birds flew just above our heads while a flock of Cattle Egrets passed near us, what a sighting! A Few minutes later, a Peregrine Falcon flew past us and we heard a Little Owl. This last bit of the walk was very nice and more Azure-winged Magpies were spotted moving to roost.
Back at Cruzinha, we had the first of a long series of good dinners, this one ending in an orchid identification session!
Monday, 2 March – Sagres
After a good night’s sleep, the birdwatching group headed to the end of the world! Cape St. Vincent in Sagres, it is the most south-western point of Europe; ancient people believed the world ended here. We left at 8:00 under a nice blue sky and the trip went smoothly.
Our first stop was at Sagres, at Ponta da Atalaia. However, due to management work, we could not use the normal path. The first species seen was the Thekla Lark. We saw 2 birds, quite close and in good conditions. Many Gannets were passing at sea and 3 Choughs were feeding near the landmark. A big group of gulls was resting at sea, mostly Lesser Black-backed Gulls with a couple Yellow-legged Gulls. We had closer views of the Choughs as we got closer to the landmark. From this higher spot, we could see Sagres fortress where Henry the Navigator had his navigation school. We had a look at the sea and Tony found a Great Skua, quite far out, while more Gannets were passing closer. We also saw 2 Shags. A few Barn Swallows were flying around us. Stanley found 2 Chiffchaffs in a bush and a male Black Redstart on the edge of the cliff. On the way back to the car, we saw again the Thekla Larks and a White Wagtail. Near the “pousada”, we saw a Blue Rock Thrush trying to catch an insect in flight and another Black Redstart. Close to the car, we saw a Blackcap in a bush and had a look at a Corn Bunting singing from the top of a bush.
Then, we headed to Cabranosa, one of the best spots to watch raptor migration in autumn and saw a Jackdaw on the way. We took a dirt track and stopped to have a coffee break. Before leaving, a flock of Meadow Pipits flew away from the scrubland and we saw Choughs. As it was a bit windy, we chose the sheltered side of the path to walk to the migration spot. Many Pine Processionary caterpillars nests were in the pine hedge. By the junction with another track, birds on the ground caught our attention; they were larks, but which one? After looking at them more carefully, we identified them as Woodlarks. About 30 Choughs were feeding on the ground with Spotless Starlings. A Stonechat and a Black Redstart were using the branches left on the ground after many trees were cut as perching places. From the migration spot, Stanley spotted a Sardinian Warbler and Jean a Song Thrush. We moved around the sheep enclosure to what was left of the pinewood and saw Goldfinches, Song Thrushes, a Chiffchaff, Chaffinches and a Robin while talking about invasive species in Hawaii! We got to a track where we heard a Wren. We had a look at the scrubby area behind the pinewood but no birds were in sight. We came back to the car by another track and passed by a place where a few Paperwhite Narcissus were in flower. From this spot, we also saw a Kestrel and a Buzzard soaring. When we came out of the woods, Barn and Red-rumped Swallows were flying above us and White Wagtails were feeding on the ground. Further, Linnets were foraging with Woodlarks and Meadow Pipits flying around while a male and female Stonechat were perched in a small pine. We came back to the car without seeing any new species for the day.
We had our picnic in a sheltered spot, along the pine hedge leading to Cabranosa, under the surveillance of an interested dog for a few minutes.
We then went to Cape St Vincent where it was still windy. We had a look at the sea but only saw a few Gannets and Yellow-legged Gulls. Stan found another Black Redstart on the cliff. We walked between the bushes but did not see much. Just as we were going to leave the cape, Tony spotted a Peregrine Falcon using the wind to hover above the car. We stopped at Beliche fort where we found a female Blue Rock Thrush on a cliff in front of the car park. This was not a great sighting as the bird was quite far. Next to the fort, we had a close view of a male Black Redstart on the cliff and a Shag at sea. This place was sheltered from the wind and in the sun so we stayed a little while enjoying the warmth.
We had a drink in a local café before continuing. We went back to Cruzinha via Vale Santo. The first stop was in front of a field where male Little Bustards usually display but it was still early for display and we did not see any. A flock of passerines was in this field but their identification was tricky because of the light. Jean spotted a Kestrel close to us and the Choughs we had seen earlier were still around. A Little Owl was perched on a pile of rocks and the Kestrel landed in front of it to eat what it had caught. We moved and counted about 30 Choughs from the car. Many Spotless Starlings were in a field with cows. Near old farm buildings, a group of passerines took off from a field and flew in direction of the car, almost hitting it because of the wind. We identified the few still there: Corn Buntings. We stopped close by and a White Stork was feeding in front of the car but flew away when we came out. We tried to identify the many passerines in the field but the vegetation height made it difficult. However, we managed to recognize the many Corn Buntings and a few Linnets and Skylarks. From this point, we could see at least 3 Kestrels hunting at the same time. One created confusion amongst the passerines when it flew close to them and the Peregrine Falcon flushed all of them out. We resumed our trip and stopped to look closely at the Linnets. Further, 2 Thekla Larks were walking in the middle of the track. A Stonechat was perched on a post behind a Corn Bunting. Two Ravens flew across the path in the distance. A Southern Grey Shrike flew from one side of the track to the other and perched on a wire, but we did not have great views because of the light. Further away, 2 Corn Buntings were feeding along the track, soon joined by a Greenfinch, a Goldfinch and a Linnet. The rest of the trip towards Vila do Bispo was quie.
We came back to Cruzinha where we still had time to relax before dinner.
Tuesday, 3 March – Monchique Hills
After spending a day on the coast, Monchique offered a totally different landscape and habitat. We left Cruzinha around 10:00 am with beautiful weather and Monchique was out of the clouds. Just before leaving we saw our first Pallid Swifts of the year and a House Martin : a good start of the day!
From the motorway we saw many Storks and 11 Glossy Ibis landed in a pond just after we entered the road going to the hills. We had great views of these birds with a Grey Heron. Nearby, a Cattle Egret was with cows and 2 White Storks were on their nest on the other side of the road. We saw more Storks further on and a Buzzard soaring. It was still sunny and there was almost no wind when we arrived at Foia, the highest point (902 m). We walked a few metres away from the car park to a viewpoint and enjoyed the view of the coast even though it was misty. A Meadow Pipit was walking close to us. We walked along a small road and stopped to have a look at birds on a grassy area: Meadow Pipits, Stonechats and a Black Redstart while 2 Buzzards were soaring in the distance. Stanley spotted 2 birds identified as Rock Buntings. They came close to us and we had fantastic views of them feeding on the ground. We walked further and stopped again but the only bird present was a Wren singing from a bush. Another Rock Bunting flew by us and perched on a bush a few seconds. Even though it was late in the morning, few birds were active, however a flying Dartford Warbler made us stop. Two birds were around but only one showed up. As usual, it was a quick sighting but everybody saw it. Down the track, another Dartford Warbler was perched on bramble. It flew across the path and disappeared before doing a display flight and perching again on the bramble where we saw it through the telescope. Then, we had a look at another part of the valley. Stanley found a Robin and a Black Redstart. We also heard a Jay and saw it perched in a tree. In the distance, 6 Buzzards were soaring at the same time. We started walking back to the car but had to stop on the way to take off a layer of clothing, it was getting warm. At the car park, we walked around the buildings and saw Stonechats and Rock Buntings. At the car, we had a last look around and found a Blue Rock Thrush pretty far away and blurry because of the heat haze. We went closer and had better views of this bird which was a female (brown bird).
We drove down the mountain and as we arrived in Monchique, we spotted a Short-toed Eagle hunting. We went to Caldas de Monchique, a small thermal village. We heard a Great Tit as we got out of the car, saw a female Blackcap and a Blue Tit. While looking at this last bird, Jean found a Nuthatch, seen well by everybody. We had lunch in the shade of big trees, listening to the running water of the stream and watching a Nuthatch, a Chaffinch and hearing a Green Woodpecker. Iberian Green Woodpecker belongs to the sharpei subspecies which has a different call.
After lunch, Tony, Stanley and I walked a bit around while Jean had some time to relax. We first stopped not far from the picnic tables. We saw a Blackcap and Stanley found a Firecrest. We had a close look at it, feeding in the branches near us. We passed a Cork Oak which had had its bark collected a couple of years ago and walked towards a chapel, on the way, we found a strange plant: a Dutchman’s pipe. By the chapel, we saw Chaffinches, Blackcaps, Blue Tits and 2 Long-tailed Tits found by Tony. We had a look at the stream behind the chapel and found a Grey Wagtail while Stan spotted a Robin. Dead trees looked good for Woodpecker but we were not lucky. We met with Jean and saw 2 more Grey Wagtails.
We went to the centre of the town for a well-deserved drink at a café. Then, we came back to Cruzinha and saw White Storks and a Hoopoe on the way.
Wednesday, 4 March – Alvor Dunes
No visit was planned for the morning so everybody had time to relax, rest or explore Cruzinha’s surroundings, we all had lunch outside and then left for our afternoon trip.
At Alvor, we parked near the beach. We explored the dunes using the boardwalk. The first species sighted was a Goldfinch. After walking a few metres, Jean heard a bird calling: a Zitting Cisticola. From the main track, we saw Linnets, Greenfinches, Crested Larks, Meadow Pipits, Corn Buntings and Blackbirds. While we were looking at these birds, a Zitting Cisticola flew above us but landed out of sight. Fortunately, another perched on a bush close to us, so we all had good views of it. From the dunes, we had a different view of Ria de Alvor and could see the place visited on Sunday from a different angle. We looked at the birds on a sand bar in the Ria de Alvor estuary. As the tide was still high, many gulls were resting on an island quite far. Closer to us, Cormorants, Oystercatchers, a Black-headed Gull and a Sandwich Tern were resting together. Another Sandwich Tern was fishing in the estuary. Before going to the beach, we looked again at the gulls, a bit closer this time; most of them were Mediterranean Gulls and despite the distance, we were able to see the main characteristic of this species: a light grey back and wings, with no black on the primaries. Jean spotted a small flock of waders flying past us: Kentish Plovers. They landed on the beach, but came back on the dune. We saw both sexes, the male having a more contrasted plumage than the female (collar more obvious, black and brown feathers on the forehead). A Sanderling was also present, its plumage being almost all grey while the Kentish Plover is browner.
We came back by the beach. No birds were seen at sea but a Kentish Plover was on the shore, pretty close. Back on the boardwalk, we looked at a Kestrel hunting in the dunes.
The last part of the walk was along the river. We looked at the mudflats as many birds were feeding. Oystercatchers were quite close and soon Sanderlings, Dunlins and some Ringed Plovers joined them as the tide was going down. Grey Plovers were feeding in another group, further away. A Little Egret was fishing along the river and Stanley found a Black-headed Gull near it. Tony spotted a Whimbrel near us and even managed to see this species and a Turnstone, a Greenshank and a Redshank in the same telescope frame. We continued walking on the boardwalk. When we arrived near Alvor harbour, looked at the different shades of grey of the gulls: dark for the Lesser Black-backed and light for the Yellow-legged Gull. Sandwich Terns and Cormorants were also resting on buoys. On the way to the car park, we looked at a flock of passerines along the track: Greenfinches, Linnets, House Sparrows a Mistle Thrush and a singing Blackbird. When we got closer, they flew away and hid in the vegetation, we did not manage to see the thrush again. There were many Greenfinches and Linnets perched on a tree with a Song Thrush. From there, we saw again the Kestrel, still hunting.
We tried to have a drink before coming back home but all the cafés were closed so we had to wait until we got back to Cruzinha.
Thursday, 5 March – Open Day at Cruzinha and Lagoa dos Salgados
As Thursday is Cruzinha’s open day, everybody could enjoy the activities taking place at the centre: moth identification and bird ringing demonstration. Many birds were caught in the morning: Waxbill, Serin, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Robin, Great Tit, Blackcap and Blackbird. In total 26 birds were caught. A good morning! The activities stopped at 1:00 pm and we had a delicious meal outside again.
After lunch, we went to one of the richest but still threatened Algarvian wetlands: Lagoa dos Salgados. On the way, we saw a Glossy Ibis in flight at Lagoa and Stan spotted about 20 more feeding in a field along the road. Lagoa dos Salgados is usually good for waders, ducks and herons. When we arrived, we saw that the lagoon had a lot of water and many birds. We parked by the beach and walked to the “bird hide”.
Many Barn Swallows were flying above the lagoon. Coots, Little Grebes, Mallards, Shovelers, Gadwalls, Pochards and Teals were feeding in the northern part. Many Lesser Black-backed and Yellow-legged Gulls were resting in the lagoon. Amongst them, some birds had a lighter grey mantle and a red beak; Audouin’s Gulls. Some birders present when we arrived asked us to help them to identify some birds near Grey Herons and Cormorants. They were Spoonbills but again their bills were not visible! A Zitting Cisticola landed near us but as usual hid. The passage of a Marsh Harrier created some confusion and the gulls flew away, but also 2 White Storks and 2 Glossy Ibis. Kentish Plovers and Shovelers were on a dyke in front of us. Stanley saw a bird later identified as a Purple Swamphen. Some Black-winged Stilts were quite close to us and on the other side of the lagoon, a Marsh Harrier (the same as earlier?) was soaring.
Tony found a few waders on an island so we went closer to have a look. It was also the opportunity to go to the boardwalk and have a different view of the lagoon. On the way, we had close views of Black-winged Stilts. The waders were Sanderlings, feeding between Yellow-legged, Lesser Black-backed and Audouin’s Gulls. We had better views than the previous day of Mediterranean Gulls as some were resting in the lagoon. We started walking on the boardwalk after seeing Stonechats and Crested Larks. We had great views of the Audouin’s Gulls, some of them were carrying rings of the Portuguese scheme (blue ring with a white code) but we were too far to be able to read the codes. These birds had probably been ringed in the Algarve, at Castro Marim, near the Spanish border. A few Pochards were sleeping on an island with a Moorhen. That is when Stanley realized he had seen a Purple Swamphen. Tony found a wader, identified as Green Sandpiper on another island. As we were starting to walk, a passerine flew in front of us. The orange at the base of the tail left no doubt about its identification: a Bluethroat! It landed in a bush along the boardwalk, so we waited a bit. It reappeared on the path where it stayed a few seconds before disappearing again. This was a quick but very good observation. We waited more but without seeing it again. We walked towards the end of the lagoon looking at the passerines on the dune: White Wagtails and Linnets while a Cetti’s Warbler was singing in the reed-bed. On the lagoon, a Tufted Duck was sleeping in the middle of a few Pochards. We also found 2 Magpies in the trees near the golf course. At the end of the lagoon, we were hoping to see different gulls which have been around for a few weeks but we were unlucky, there were only Black-headed and a Mediterranean Gull, found by Tony. Many House Sparrows were looking for food on the bridge. Two Mallards, Coots, a Pochard and a strange hybrid duck were on the lagoon on the beach side. Stanley found a Chiffchaff in the vegetation along the bank. We then started to walk back to the car.
When we walked past the area where the Tufted Duck was sleeping, Stanley found a passerine in the reeds but it disappeared. We waited a few minutes and it took off, calling: a Zitting Cisticola. A few metres further, we saw another Bluethroat in flight. This bird landed near the boardwalk. After waiting a few minutes, Tony saw this bird again. We had fantastic views of it, very close and managed to take nice pictures. We saw it feeding on the ground and bathing. The blue on the throat and the white spot in the middle were very visible. This bird probably belonged to the namnetum subspecies, breeding on the French Atlantic coast and wintering in Portugal. We resumed our walk and Tony found another Bluethroat! However, this bird disappeared quickly and never showed up again. While we were waiting for it to re-appear, Jean, who did not see it, had carried on walking and was already quite far from us. We stopped again later because we had heard a Cetti’s Warbler and this bird seemed close. Unfortunately, some movement in a bush and a glimpse of a dark bird were all we managed. At the same time, a Reed Bunting was calling and we saw it perched on top of a reed.
Unfortunately, it flew away before we set up the telescope. As we started walking, a small bird flew from a bush. It had a grey back, a pink belly and seemed to be a warbler; could it be a Subalpine Warbler? I looked for this bird and managed to see it but only with naked eyes and confirmed the identification as a Subalpine Warbler. We came back to the car and saw Cattles Egrets when we left.
When we entered Lagoa, the Glossy Ibis were still there so we stopped to have a look. We counted about 40 and a Kestrel was hunting over the same field. We left and made our way back to Cruzinha. There, Stanley and Tony managed to make me run by playing the Stone Curlew call!
Friday, 6 March – Castro Verde
Friday was the longest day of the week in terms of time spent on the field. The Castro Verde area has a totally different landscape from the Algarve and different birds as well…
We left quite early (about 8:00 am) to be in the field early. Jens and Hannah, A Rocha Portugal volunteers accompanied us for the day. We saw many Storks and nests before reaching Castro Verde.
When we arrived at Castro Verde, we drove along a small road leading to the LPN (Liga para a Proteção da Natureza) reserve (also called Vale Gonçalinho) centre. We stopped near the entrance to look at a flock of passerines: Corn Buntings. A few Barn Swallows were flying around and a bird of prey, the first of the day, was in sight: a Red Kite. Just as we were about to drive off, 2 Great Bustards flew over the road, which was already a nice sighting! We made use of a higher spot on the road to have a look around. Lapwings and Carrion Crows were in the field on the other side of the road. A Corn Bunting perched on a wire near the track was a good identification test. A Meadow Pipit perched next to it, allowing comparison. They are both stripy “brown birds” but the Corn Bunting is bigger and has a thicker beak. As few birds were visible and the wind was cold, we moved to the next stop. On the way, we saw a Magpie. The second stop was from a high spot overlooking a pond. A few Mallards and 3 Black-winged Stilts were there. A Southern Grey Shrike was perched on a wire near us, so we could see it well. We found 2 more Great Bustards but they were pretty far away. Just before turning on a dirt track leading to the LPN reserve, we stopped, Hannah and Jens having spotted birds. Carrion Crows were flying in the distance. We set up the telescopes to identify far away birds (a Buzzard and a Crow) and found 2 Calandra Larks in flight and singing. We could see some of the characteristic features of this species: black underwing coverts contrasting with the white rear edge of the wing. One landed on a rock and we had good views of it. At the same time, I found a bird of prey in the distance but did not manage to identify it. Hannah found another bird of prey which at first seemed a bit different. A look through the telescope confirmed the identification: a juvenile Spanish Imperial Eagle. Everybody had good views of it through the binoculars and telescope even though it never came very close to us. We had a good idea of its size when it was mobbed by a Buzzard. Just after it disappeared, another Buzzard and a Red Kite flew over the car. On the last bit of track before the centre, Jean spotted a Hoopoe, seen very well from the car. We stopped at the centre, had a quick chat with the LPN workers and friends and gave a donation to help them to continue with their great work in the area.
We had a coffee before walking around the land at the centre, but it was hard to stay still as birds kept appearing! Another juvenile Spanish Imperial Eagle showed up with 2 Red Kites and Lesser Kestrels were flying around the buildings. We finally started walking; our first stop was in front of a tower where Lesser Kestrels nest. Nest-boxes have been installed for this species but we only saw Jackdaws. We crossed a stream and Jens spotted a flock of 12 Little Bustards in flight which passed near us so we had good views. We used this stop to look around. A few Red Kites, a Spanish Imperial Eagle and a flock of Golden Plovers were flying around. We passed the first gate and found a Little Owl on a pile of rocks and White Storks were soaring. We walked to another structure built for Lesser Kestrel to breed but only a few of them were flying around.
Unfortunately, they all perched on the other side of the building, out of sight. We resumed walking and stopped on a higher place to scan the surroundings but without success. Next, we stopped near old farm buildings and looked around. A flock of Linnets and Goldfinches was feeding on the ground with Corn Buntings. Calandra Larks were still flying around and displaying. We went back to the centre and watched some cows. Many Spotless Starlings in a Eucalyptus were very noisy but they flew away when we approached. We looked at many Meadow Pipits and Corn Buntings and we had nice views of a male Lesser Kestrel perched on the tower.
We had lunch at one of the picnic tables in the company of the LPN staff. One of them spotted a flock of Black-bellied Sandgrouses which landed in a distant field. He tried to show them to us but without much success as these birds are very mimetic and there was a heat haze. At the same time, a juvenile Spanish Imperial Eagle appeared and landed in a field next to a Carrion Crow, giving us another chance to appreciate its size. It took off and we had (again) good views of this rare species. We eventually managed to finished lunch after seeing all these birds. We saw the Eagle soaring when we left the centre and a Buzzard on a post.
We drove towards Entradas where we saw House Martins and stopped by a lagoon where a few birds were visible. Black-winged Stilts and a Green Sandpiper were visible from the car park. Stan found a Little Ringed Plover which landed close to the car. As we were going out of the vehicle, a Kingfisher landed in the reedbed in front of us along the stream and we all had great views. Coots, Mallards, Gadwalls, Shovelers, Little Grebes, a White Stork, Black-winged Stilts and 2 Spoonbills were on the lagoon and Barn Swallows flying around us. Jens found Otter spraints on rocks in the stream. We continued and saw more Corn Buntings and Meadow Pipits perched on the fence along the track. We stopped on a higher spot and found Great Bustards. First, only a couple of heads were visible but as they were walking in the field, more appeared and we finally counted 17. We had great views of them (the light was good and they were not too far) and we figured out they were actually walking in the middle of a flock of Golden Plovers. As we were driving further from the village, the landscape started changing, with more trees. We stopped near a river. A Green Sandpiper flew away when we arrived. There, we heard a Great Tit and saw our first Wood Pigeons of the week! Spanish Pond Turtle were sunbathing on a rock in the river. We did not see any new birds before we reached another village.
There, we stopped to look at the many Stork nests along the road. We looked for Spanish Sparrows but only managed to see a male; still we saw the main characteristics of this species: a lot of black on the chest, white cheek and brown top of the head. As the Stork nests were close and some birds were on them, it was a good opportunity for pictures. There, a Spanish Imperial Eagle appeared. It was also when Hannah discovered her mobile was missing, so we called the LPN and indeed it was still there! We drove towards a vantage point. A Southern Grey Shrike was perched on a wire and a Lark which remained identified as crested/Thekla. The road we drove on was narrow and we had to stop to let a car pass. As we had stopped, Jens scanned the surroundings and found Great Bustards. Since a few males were displaying (also called “foam bath”), we looked at them with the telescopes. In total we counted 25 birds. At the same time, a female Marsh Harrier flew near us.
From the hill, the view was great. We found a male and then a female/juvenile Northern (Hen) Harrier hunting. It was a nice view despite the distance. Tony and Jens seemed to have fun finding very far away Great Bustards. Jens also found a few flock of Cranes and we counted 45 birds in total.
As we still had some time, we came down the hill on a different track. On a pile of rocks near the path, a Little Owl was hiding and Golden Plovers were in the fields along the track. We drove towards another village and saw few birds besides White Storks on the way as the light was going down. We came back to Castro Verde in the dark. The Storks looked like shadows on top of their nest. It was “Owl time” and we saw Little and Barn Owl. We had dinner in Castro Verde in a local restaurant, enjoying typical food and wine from the region.
Then, we drove back to Cruzinha, where we arrived quite late, so it was time to go to bed, even if some had already slept in the car!
Saturday, 7 March – Silves
As Friday had been a long day, we had a later start on Saturday. We headed to Silves around 10:00. This day was more cultural and we did less birdwatching. When we drove past the bridge on the Arade, we saw the Stork nests on top if it and a Spoonbill in flight.
On the way to the castle, we passed the cathedral and reached the castle. A big statue of Don Sancho I stands in front of the entrance door. He conquered Silves from the Moors in 1189.
In the castle, we first had a look at the exhibition about the Iberian Lynx in the old cistern. We then walked around the wall. From there we still looked for birds and saw White Storks, Serins and Greenfinches.
After this visit, we walked to the archaeological museum. It keeps items from different periods, mostly from Moorish times (the ceramics collection being one of the largest in Portugal). The museum was built along the Medina quarter wall and is organized around the Arabic cistern-well. This was part of a construction built to provide water to the city and is quite unique as there is only a similar one in Egypt. We finished the visit by having a look at the city from the Medina quarter wall. From there, we saw many other White Storks, some quite close
We came back to the minibus and stopped on the way to look at a Monarch butterfly. We then drove along the river and parked near a shady place where we had a picnic. During lunch, we saw White Storks, Blackcaps, Blackbirds and Waxbills.
After lunch, we had a look at the river. We had close views of a Little Egret. A Grey Wagtail was on a raft of vegetation and a Common Sandpiper on the bank. A couple of Black-headed Gulls flew in front of us and a Cormorant seemed to be chased by a solar boat. Tony found a Sardinian Warbler in the bushes near us. We came back to Cruzinha driving along the river seeing more Storks. We stopped near the Ria de Alvor marsh, looking for Flamingos, but without any success.
The rest of the afternoon was free for everybody before we had our last dinner together at Cruzinha.
Sunday, 8 March – Ludo and departure
For the group’s last day, we left Cruzinha in sunny weather after the traditional goodbyes. As we left, we saw a procession of caterpillars crossing the path in front of the car. The trip went smoothly and quietly.
We went to Ludo, a complex of saltpans and lagoon behind Faro airport. There, we first crossed a pinewood and we passed quickly next to the saltpans as they were dried and no birds were in sight. We stopped near a lagoon usually good for sighting ducks. This time, however, it was almost empty with only a few Coots, Little Grebes, Gadwalls and Shovelers. On the other side of the road, more Coots and Cormorant were sharing a lagoon with 5 Flamingos seen well. White Storks and Cormorants were in the nearby trees. A Great Crested Grebe seemed to have appeared from nowhere in one of the lagoons. At the same time, a Marsh Harrier flew above a pond. Stanley spotted an Osprey fishing in the distance.
We passed a big pile of salt and stopped to look at the pond nearby. Many waders were present; mostly Dunlins and Redshanks, but we also found 2 Ruffs and a few Sanderlings. Jean found Flamingos in a distant lagoon. Before leaving, we had a great sighting of a Sardinian Warbler; we even saw its red eye.
We parked near the golf course and walked to the hole n°15, famous for its long staying Red-breasted Flycatcher. We found it quickly, flying and perching in pine trees. However, it disappeared after a few seconds. We saw House Sparrows and Serins before sighting the Flycatcher again. We had good views of it, flying and hunting insects, going from one branch to another but it never went close to the ground. At the same time, we saw a Green Woodpecker and Chiffchaffs. When the Flycatcher flew out of sight, we moved on as everybody had seen it well. On the way back to the car park, we heard a Hoopoe and one landed on the track in front of us. Since we still had time before lunch, we looked at the lagoon near the car park. Three Flamingos were really close to the track and a Kingfisher was perched on a wire. It flew when we looked at it, hovered and disappeared. Two Great Tits were calling in the trees around us. From another spot, we saw many ducks, Coots and Flamingos. Wigeons were in the middle of the coots. However, it was not a great sighting because of the heat haze. Stan found a wader near sleeping Teals and Shovelers: a Ruff, this bird was closer than the previous ones and we had great views. The Kingfisher showed up again and perched on the wire. The light was good so its colours were really bright and shiny. Stan and I found a male Pintail but we realized we were looking at different birds. We counted 5 birds (2 males and 3 females in total). We came back to the car to have our picnic.
After lunch, we walked to the hide but did not see much on the way. From outside the hide, we looked at the lagoon. Mediterranean Gulls were in flight and Gadwalls, Moorhen and Little Grebes on the water. Tony found 3 Garganeys, 2 males and a female which was a nice surprise! Two Audouin’s Gulls flew over the hide as we entered. There, a couple were looking at a male Little Bittern and they showed it to us, we had fantastic views of this bird. Many Purple Swamphens were visible, some close to the hide. It was even possible to see the different colours of the different generations of feathers on the wing of one of the birds! Many Ducks were also visible: Gadwalls, Shovelers, Mallards, Pochards and Tufted Ducks with Little Grebes, Coots and Moorhens. A good variety of gulls was also resting: Mediterranean, Black-headed, Yellow-legged, Lesser Black-backed and Audouin’s Gulls. Tony found a Bluethroat near us. The Garganeys reappeared and I saw a male Red-crested Pochard but it disappeared before everybody could see it. A second Little Bittern landed in front of the hide and we looked at it hunting. The Bluethroat came back and was joined by a Yellow Wagtail. It was possible to see the 3 species together. A Snipe was also feeding in front of the hide and Black-headed Weavers, another exotic species, were in the vegetation. A tern flying above the gulls was a bit of a challenge but we managed to identify it as a Black Tern. The male Red-crested Pochard showed up again and this time everybody saw it. Next to it, a pair of Great Crested Grebes was displaying. Then, we decided to move to the other hide. On the way, we saw a Hoopoe and an Azure-winged Magpie.
The other hide overlooks mudflats. Many gulls were resting and some waders foraging: Grey and Ringed Plovers, Dunlins, Sanderlings, Redshanks and Turnstones. We walked along the dike to look at Black-tailed Godwits. They were feeding with Black-winged Stilts in the water. Kentish Plovers, Dunlins and Sanderlings were foraging in the more shallow places.
We came back to the first hide. On the way, we looked on the green where Moorhen were walking. From the track we also saw a pair of Red-crested Pochards and a few Little Egrets. When we entered the hide, a Little Bittern landed in the vegetation. Many gulls were on the green with Coots. A Lesser Black-backed Gull was carrying a plastic ring, but too far away to be read. Purple Swamphens and a Mistle Thrush were also using the golf course. Since few new birds were present, we left and started walking back to the car.
- Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna): 1 at Ria de Alvor.
- Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope) seen at Ludo.
- Gadwall (Anas strepera): seen at Lagoa dos Salgados, Castro Verde (Entradas) and Ludo.
- Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca): seen at Ria de Alvor, Lagoa dos Salgados and Ludo.
- Mallard (Anas plathyrhynchos): seen at Ria de Alvor, Alvor Dunes (1), Lagoa dos Salgados, Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho, Entradas), and Ludo.
- Northern Pintail (Anas acuta): 5 (2 males and 3 females) at Ludo.
- Garganey (Anas querquedula): 4 (3 males and 1 female) at Ludo.
- Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata): seen at Ria de Alvor, Lagoa dos Salgados, Castro Verde (Entradas) and at Ludo.
- Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina): 2 (1 male and 1 female) at Ludo.
- Common Pochard (Aythya ferina): seen at Lagoa dos Salgados and Ludo.
- Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula): seen at Lagoa dos Salgados (2 females) and Ludo.
- Red-legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa): seen at Ria de Alvor and Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho, Entradas, Nossa Senhora de Aracelis).
- Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis): seen at Lagoa dos Salgados, Castro Verde (Entradas) and Ludo.
- Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus): seen at Ludo.
- Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus): seen from Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia, cape).
- Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo): seen at Ria de Alvor, Alvor Dunes, Lagoa dos Salgados, Castro Verde (1 at Entradas), Silves (1) and Ludo.
- European Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis): 4 at Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia, cape).
- Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus): 2 (1 male and 1 female) at Ludo.
- Cattle Egret (Bubulcus Ibis): seen at Ria de Alvor, on the way to Monchique, at Lagoa dos Salgados, Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho, Entradas) and Silves.
- Little Egret (Egretta garzetta): seen at Ria de Alvor, Alvor Dunes, Lagoa dos Salgados (1), Castro Verde (Entradas), Silves (1) and Ludo.
- Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea): seen at Ria de Alvor, on the way to Monchique (1), at Alvor Dunes (2), Lagoa dos Salgados and Ludo.
- White Stork (Ciconia ciconia): seen at Cruzinha, Sagres (1 at Vale Santo), on the way to Monchique, Lagoa dos Salgados (2), Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho, Entradas, São Marcos da Ataboeira and Alvares), Silves and Ludo.
- Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus): 11 on the way to Monchique, 2 at Lagoa dos Salgados and about 40 at Lagoa.
- Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia): 7 at Ria de Alvor, 5 at Lagoa dos Salados and 2 at Castro Verde (Entradas).
- Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus): 5 at Ria de Alvor, seen at Lagoa dos Salgados and Ludo.
- Black-winged Kite (Elanus ceruleus): 2 at Ria de Alvor (2 adults and 1 juvenile).
- Red Kite (Milvus milvus): seen at Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho, Entradas).
- Short-toed Snake Eagle (Circaetus gallicus): 1 at Monchique.
- Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus): 2 at Ria de Alvor (1 male and 1 female), 2 at Lagoa dos Salgados, 1 female at Castro Verde (Nossa Senhora de Aracelis) and 1 male at Ludo.
- Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus): 2 (1 male and 1 female/juvenile) at Castro Verde (Nossa Senhora de Aracelis).
- Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo): 1 at Sagres (Cabranosa), 6 at Monchique and seen at Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho).
- Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aquila adalberti): seen at Castro Verde (2 juveniles at Vale Gonçalinho and 1 juvenile at São Marcos da Ataboeira).
- Booted Eagle (Aquila pennata): 3 (2 light morphs, 1 dark morph) at Ludo.
- Osprey (Pandion haliaetus): 1 at Ria de Alvor and 1 at Ludo.
- Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni): seen at Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho).
- Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus): seen at Ria de Alvor, Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia, Cabranosa, 4 at Vale Santo), Alvor Dunes (1), Lagoa and Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho).
- Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus): 1 at Ria de Alvor and 2 at Sagres (1 at the Cape and 1 at Vale Santo).
- Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus): seen at Lagoa dos Salgados, Silves (1) and Ludo.
- Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio): seen at Lagoa dos Salgados and Ludo.
- Coot (Fulica atra): seen Lagoa dos Salgados, Castro Verde (Entradas) and Ludo.
- Common Crane (Grus grus): 45 at Castro Verde (Nossa Senhora de Aracelis)
- Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax): seen at Castro Verde (12 at Vale Gonçalinho).
- Great Bustard (Otis tarda): seen at Castro Verde (4 at Vale Gonçalinho, 17 at Entradas and 50 at Nossa Senhora de Aracelis).
- Eurasian Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus): seen at Ria de Alvor.
- Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus): seen at Ria de Alvor, Lagoa dos Salgados, Castro Verde (3 at Vale Gonçalinho, 2 at Entradas), and Ludo.
- Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius): 1 at Castro Verde (Entradas)
- Common Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula): seen at Alvor Dunes and Ludo.
- Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus): seen at Ria de Alvor, Alvor Dunes, Lagoa dos Salgados and Ludo.
- European Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria): seen at Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho, Entradas, Nossa Senhora de Aracelis).
- Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola): seen at Ria de Alvor, Alvor Dunes and Ludo.
- Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus): seen at Ria de Alvor and Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho, Entradas).
- Sanderling (Calidris alba): seen at Ria de Alvor, Alvor Dunes, Lagoa dos Salgados and Ludo.
- Dunlin (Calidris alpina): seen at Ria de Alvor, Alvor Dunes and Ludo.
- Ruff (Philomachus pugnax): 3 at Ludo.
- Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago): 4 at Ria de Alvor and 2 at Ludo.
- Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa): 6 at Ria de Alvor and seen at Ludo.
- Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus): seen at Ria de Alvor, Alvor Dunes (2) and Ludo (1).
- Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos): 1 at Alvor Dunes, 2 at Lagoa dos Salgados, 1 at Silves, 1 at Ludo.
- Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus): 2 at Ria de Alvor, 1 at Lagoa dos Salgados and 2 at Castro Verde (Entradas).
- Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia): seen at Ria de Alvor and Alvor Dunes.
- Common Redshank (Tringa totanus): seen at Ria de Alvor, Alvor Dunes, Lagoa dos Salgados (1) and Ludo.
- Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres): seen at Ria de Alvor, Alvor Dunes and Ludo.
- Great Skua (Stercorarius skua): 1 at Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia)
- Mediterranean Gull (Larus melanocephalus): seen at Alvor Dunes, Lagoa dos Salgados and Ludo (30).
- Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus): seen at Ria de Alvor, Alvor Dunes, Lagoa dos Salgados, Silves (3) and Ludo.
- Audouin’s Gull (Larus audouinii): at least 20 at Lagoa dos Salgados and at least 5 at Ludo.
- Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus): seen at Ria de Alvor, Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia), Alvor Dunes, Lagoa dos Salgados, Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho) and Ludo.
- Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis): seen at Ria de Alvor, Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia, cape), Alvor Dunes, Lagoa dos Salgados and Ludo.
- Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicensis): seen at Ria de Alvor (3) and Alvor Dunes
- Black Tern (Chlidonia niger): 1 at Ludo.
- Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Pterocles orientalis): seen at Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho).
- Common Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus): seen at Castro Verde (Entradas, Nossa Senhora de Aracelis).
- Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto): seen at Ria de Alvor, on the way to Monchique, at Castro Verde (Entradas) and Ludo.
- Barn Owl (Tyto alba): 1 at Castro Verde (Alvares).
- Little Owl (Athene noctua): 2 at Ria de Alvor, 1 at Sagres (Vale Santo) and 2 at Castro Verde (1 at Vale Gonçalinho and 1 at Corte Pequena).
- Pallid Swift (Apus pallidus): 2 at Cruzinha.
- Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis): 1 at Castro Verde (Entradas) and 1 at Ludo.
- Hoopoe (Upupa epops): 1 at Ria de Alvor, 1 on the way to Monchique, 1 at Castro Verde (1 at Vale Gonçalinho) and 4 at Ludo.
- European Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis): heard at Monchique (1 at Caldas de Monchique), 1 at Ludo.
- Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos minor): 1 at Cruzinha.
- Calandra Lark (Melanocorypha calandra): seen at Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho).
- Crested Lark (Galerida cristata): seen at Ria de Alvor, Alvor Dunes, Lagoa dos Salgados, Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho, Entradas) and Ludo.
- Thekla Lark (Galerida theklae): seen at Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia, Cabranosa, Vale Santo).
- Crested/Thekla Lark (Galerida sp.): 1 at Castro Verde (Nossa Senhora de Aracelis).
- Woodlark (Lullula arborea): seen at Sagres (Cabranosa).
- Eurasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis): heard at Sagres (Vale Santo) and Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho).
- Eurasian Crag Martin (Ptyonoprogne rupestris): seen at Ria de Alvor.
- Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica): seen at Ria de Alvor, Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia, Cabranosa), Lagoa dos Salgados, Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho, Entradas), Silves and Ludo.
- Common House Martin (Delichon urbicum) seen at Cruzinha, Castro Verde (Entradas, São Marcos da Ataboeira) and Silves.
- Red-rumped Swallow (Cecropis daurica): seen at Ria de Alvor and Sagres (3 at Cabranosa).
- Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis): seen at Ria de Alvor, Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia, Cabranosa, Vale Santo), Monchique (Foia), Alvor Dunes, Lagoa dos Salgados and Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho, Entradas).
- Water Pipit (Anthus spinoletta): 1 at Ria de Alvor.
- Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava): 1 at Ria de Alvor and 1 at Ludo.
- Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea): 3 at Monchique (Caldas de Monchique), 1 at Silves and 1 at Ludo.
- White Wagtail (Motacilla alba): seen at Ria de Alvor, Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia, Cabranosa), Lagoa dos Salgados and Castro Verde (Entradas).
- Winter Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes): heard at Sagres (Cabranosa) and seen at Monchique (Foia).
- European Robin (Erithacus rubecula): seen at Sagres (Cabranosa), Monchique (Caldas de Monchique) and Cruzinha (ringing).
- Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica): 2 males at Lagoa dos Salgados and 1 male at Ludo.
- Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros): 1 at Ria de Alvor, seen at Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia, Cabranosa, cape), 1 female at Monchique (Foia) and 1 at Silves (1 female).
- European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola): seen at Ria de Alvor, Sagres, Monchique (Foia), Lagoa dos Salgados (1 male and 1 female) and Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho, Entradas, Nossa Senhora de Aracelis).
- Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius): 2 at Sagres (1 at Ponta da Atalaia and 1 at the cape) and 1 female at Monchique (Foia).
- Common Blackbird (Turdus merula): seen at Cruzinha, Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia, Cape), Monchique (Caldas de Monchique), Alvor Dunes (2), Cruzinha (ringing), Silves and Ludo.
- Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos): seen at Ria de Alvor, Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia, Cabranosa, Vale Santo) and Alvor Dunes (1).
- Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus): 1 at Alvor Dunes and 1 at Ludo.
- Cetti’s Warbler (Cettia cetti): heard at Lagoa dos Salgados and Ludo.
- Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis): seen at Ria de Alvor, Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia), Alvor Dunes, Lagoa dos Salgados, Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho) and Ludo.
- Dartford Warbler (Sylvia undata): seen at Monchique (Foia).
- Subalpine Warbler (Sylvia cantillans): 1 at Lagoa dos Salgados.
- Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala): seen at Ria de Alvor, Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia, Cabranosa), Monchique (Foia), Lagoa dos Salgados, Silves (1 male) and Ludo.
- Eurasian Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla): seen at Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia), Monchique (Caldas de Monchique), Silves (1 male and 1 female) and Ludo.
- Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita): seen at Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia, Cabranosa, Vale Santo), Alvor Dunes, Lagoa dos Salgados, Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho) and Ludo.
- Common Firecrest (Regulus ignicapillus): 2 at Monchique (Caldas de Monchique).
- Red-breasted Flycatcher (Ficedula parva): 1 at Ludo.
- Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus): 2 at Monchique (Caldas de Monchique).
- Eurasian Blue Tit (Parus caeruleus): seen at Monchique (Caldas de Monchique).
- Great Tit (Parus major): seen at Monchique (Caldas de Monchique), Castro Verde (Entradas), Silves and Ludo.
- Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea): seen at Monchique (Caldas de Monchique).
- Southern Grey Shrike (Lanius meridionalis): seen at Sagres (1 at Vale Santo) and Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho, Nossa Senhora de Aracelis, Alvares).
- Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius): 1 at Monchique (Foia).
- Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus): seen at Ria de Alvor, on the way to Monchique, at Castro Verde (Corte Pequena) and Ludo.
- Common Magpie (Pica pica): 2 at Lagoa dos Salgados and 1 at Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho).
- Red-billed Chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax): seen at Sagres (3 at Ponta da Atalaia, 20 at Cabranosa and 30 at Vale Santo).
- Western Jackdaw (Corvus monedula): seen at Ria de Alvor (8), Sagres (cape) and Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho).
- Carrion Crow (Corvus corone): seen at Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho, Entradas).
- Northern Raven (Corvus corax): seen at Sagres (2 at Vale Santo) and Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho).
- Spotless Starling (Sturnus unicolor): seen at Ria de Alvor, Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia, Cabranosa, Vale Santo) and Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho, Nossa Senhora de Aracelis).
- House Sparrow (Passer domesticus): seen at Ria de Alvor, Sagres (Vale Santo), Alvor Dunes, Lagoa dos Salgados, Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho), Silves and Ludo.
- Spanish Sparrow (Passer hispaniolensis): seen at Castro Verde (São Marcos da Ataboeira).
- Black-headed Weaver (Ploceus melanocephalus): seen at Ludo.
- Common Waxbill (Estrilda astrild): seen at Cruzinha (ringing) and Silves.
- Common Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs): seen at Ria de Alvor, Sagres (Cabranosa) and Monchique (Caldas de Monchique).
- European Serin (Serinus serinus): seen at Sagres (Cabranosa), Cruzinha (ringing), Castro Verde (Entradas), Silves and Ludo.
- European Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris): seen at Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia, Cabranosa, Vale Santo), Alvor Dunes, Cruzinha (ringing), Lagoa dos Salgados, Castro Verde (Nossa Senhora de Aracelis) and Silves.
- European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis): seen at Ria de Alvor, Sagres (Cabranosa, Vale Santo), Alvor Dunes, Cruzinha (ringing), Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho, Entradas), Silves and Ludo.
- Common Linnet (Carduelis cannabina): seen at Sagres (Cabranosa, Vale Santo), Alvor Dunes and Castro Verde (Vale Gonçlainho).
- Rock Bunting (Emberiza cia): 2 at Monchique (Foia).
- Common Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus): 1 at Ria de Alvor and 1 at Lagoa dos Salgados.
- Corn Bunting (Emberiza calandra): seen at Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia, Vale Santo), Alvor Dunes and Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho, Entradas, Nossa Senhora de Aracelis).
- Paperwhite Narcissus (Narcissus papyraceus): seen at Sagres (Cabranosa).
- Hoop Petticoat Daffodil (Narcissus bulbocodium): seen at Sagres (Cabranosa).
- Dutchman’s pipe (Aristolochia sp): seen at Monchique (Caldas de Monchique) and Ludo
- Swallowtail (Papilio machaon): seen at Cruzinha, Sagres and Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho).
- Bath White (Pontia daplidice): seen at Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho).
- Clouded Yellow (Colias croceus) seen at Sagres and Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho).
- Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas): seen at Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho).
- Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta): seen at Cruzinha and Sagres.
- Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui): seen at Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho, Nossa Senhora de Aracelis).
- Monarch (Danaus plexippus): seen at Silves.
- Hummingbird Hawkmoth (Macroglossum stellatarum): seen at Castro Verde (Nossa Senhora de Aracelis).
- Pine Processionary (Thaumetopoea pityocampa): caterpillars seen at Cruzinha.
- Sacred Scarab (Scarabaeus sacer): seen at Sagres (Cabranosa).
- Otter (Lutra lutra): spraints found at Castro Verde (Entradas).
- Brown Hare (Lepus europaeus): seen at Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho).
- European Pond Turtle (Emys orbicularis): seen at Ludo.
- Spanish Pond Turtle (Mauremys leprosa): seen at Castro Verde (Entradas) and Ludo.