Sunday 19th October – Arrival and Santa Luzia Saltpans
For this October trip, I left Cruzinha under the sun and picked up John and Vicky at Faro airport.
We headed to Santa Luzia, near Tavira, for a first afternoon of birdwatching. The saltpans in this area are located in the Ria Formosa Natural Park and are usually good for waders and gulls. When we arrived, the first bird seen was a Magpie in flight! This species is common for John and Vicky but is rare in Algarve, so that was already a good sighting!
In the first salt-pan, we saw some Black-winged Stilts, Redshanks, Black-tailed Godwits, Avocets and Black-headed Gulls; some of them were quite close. In the back of the lagoon, a Ruff was feeding near the bank. We also found a Spotted Redshank and it was next to a Redshank. The comparison between the two species made the identification easier. The Spotted Redshank has a longer bill and is bigger than the Redshank. It also has a clearer white supercilium. While we were looking at these birds, a small flock of Curlew Sandpipers landed in the salt-pan and we were able to have a good look at them.
We found almost the same species in the second salt-pan but there were also Flamingos present. Along the bank, several Little Stints were feeding with a Sanderling. Seeing them together helped again for the identification as it was possible to compare the size of these species (the Little Stint being smaller than the Sanderling).
When we arrived at the next salt-pan, a Redshank and a Greenshank were standing next to each other. Unfortunately, the Greenshank flew away when we arrived. Vicky found 2 Sardinian Warblers on the hedge along the track. These birds, usually elusive, perched for a little while on a fence so we could see them clearly. Further on a group of passerines landed in a bush: Spanish Sparrows. Some of them moved closer to us and we had good views of the males, the females being almost similar to female House Sparrows.
No new species were present in the next salt-pan, however we could see a lot of birds further away in the marsh. Many Spoonbills and some Grey Herons and White Storks were resting together. A Tern in flight caught our attention and we managed to have a good look at it: a Caspian Tern, a regular wintering bird in the area.
The fifth salt-pan hosted the same wader species as the previous ones but gulls were also present. On a dyke, 4 Audouin’s Gulls and 2 Yellow-legged Gulls were resting. Gulls can be hard to identify but seeing them together helps. Audouin’s Gulls are smaller, have dark legs and a red bill, while the Yellow-legged Gull is self-explanatory. We saw another Sardinian Warbler along the track and in front of us was a Crested Lark. As we were getting closer to a gate, we found a Northern Wheatear.
More Gulls were in the last salt-pan. A juvenile Mediterranean Gull was standing in a group of Lesser Black-backed Gulls, which made identification easier. A small group of Kentish Plovers were also present, resting on the bank.
As there were no birds in the last salt-pan, we crossed the gate and disturbed a couple of waders in a ditch. A Common Sandpiper flew away and landed near Ringed Plovers. A Greenshank and Redshanks were also feeding there. At the same time, a male Sardinian Warbler sat on a fence for a few minutes, giving us an excellent view. We spotted 5 Slender-billed Gulls in a lagoon so went there to have a better look at them. On the other side of the track, Flamingos, Audouin’s and Lesser Black-backed Gulls were sharing a salt-pan. From there, we could also see the birds passing at sea, on the other side of Tavira island. John spotted a Sandwich Tern while we were looking at Gannets. A bird call made us look at the sky and we found 4 Whimbrels flying over our heads. As no more birds were seen, we went back to the car.
On our way, 4 Gadwalls were seen in flight and a couple of Mallards. Before leaving, we had a last look at the first salt-pan but there were no more bird.
We then headed to Cruzinha (A Rocha Portugal Centre) and saw a few Azure-winged Magpies on the way. Just before arriving, we met some people who had a fantastic day bird-watching at Sagres, this sounded promising as we were going there on Monday.
At Cruzinha, the birdwatching group could meet a part of the A Rocha Portugal team: Marcial, Paula, the volunteers (Ymke and Salome) and Heather, a visiting British bird-ringer. We then had the first of many good home-cooked meals.
Monday 20th October - Sagres
After a good nights sleep, the bird-watching group headed to the end of the world! As Sagres and Cape St Vincent are the most south-western point of Europe, ancient people believed that it was the end of the world. It is also a good spot to watch raptor migration as a lot of birds of prey end up in Sagres on their migration to Africa, believing they are in Gibraltar. We left Cruzinha with big expectations as it seems many good birds were in the area the day before and probably stayed there because of the weather conditions.
Our first observations were on the road as we saw White Storks, some of them on the nest on the way. Before Vila do Bispo, a Grey Heron flew low over the car and before reaching Sagres, we spotted a Common Buzzard perched on a telegraph pole along the road.
We then stopped in Sagres, at Ponta da Atalaia. The first birds spotted were a Blackbird and Crag Martins. We walked towards a landmark on the coast and looked for migrants in the bushes. Stonechats, Zitting Cisticolas and Sardinian Warblers were present. A Red-rumped Swallow passed in flight near us while we were looking at Azure-winged Magpies and Spotless Starlings.
Further, a group of Yellow-legged Gulls were drinking in a puddle. One of them was carrying a coded ring that we managed to read. This bird was ringed in Portugal. John spotted a Wheatear on the landmark so we moved there. At the same time, a flock of 20 Red-rumped Swallows flew over us. Near the landmark we had a good view of the Mareta beach and the fortress where Henry the Navigator had his navigation school. We looked at the sea but no birds were passing. In the field in front of us, 3 Kestrels were sitting on the ground, probably a family. A White Wagtail flew over us and 2 Sand Martins passed near us. Vicky found a Blue Rock Thrush on the cliff near us but it disappearer. However, this bird appeared again and everybody saw it well from a distance. Closer, a male Black Redstart was feeding on the ground but it disappeared before everybody saw it. We walked back to the car and saw and heard Meadow Pipits on the way. Back at the car park, a male Black Redstart (the same?) appeared on the “pousada” roof, disappeared and reappeared. This time, we all saw it well and even found a female so we could compare the 2 plumages. The 3 Azure-winged Magpies seen earlier flew over us and one of them perched on a tree nearby. As the weather was warming up, birds of prey started to move and John spotted 3 Booted Eagles in the distance. Two of these birds were of the light morph and one was dark, so seeing them together was useful. At the same time, a Short-toed Snake Eagle passed low near us and we had a fantastic view of it. We looked in the direction of Cabranosa (the most famous raptor-watching spot in Sagres) and saw that many birds of prey were taking off, it was time to go!
When we entered the dirt track leading to Cabranosa, we spotted big birds of prey: Griffon Vultures, part of the group which spent the night in the area. We rushed and stopped half-way to have a better look. Some passed near us and others flew from the pine hedge. A look towards the pinewood revealed about 100 of them slowly taking off and moving. We went back inside the car and continue towards Cabranosa where we saw another light morph Booted Eagle when we arrived.
We went to the place where a few birders were watching the raptor migration. The group of Vultures were not in sight when we arrived but many Short-toed Eagles and Booted Eagles were soaring. As few birds were around at that time, Martin, who visits Cabranosa every year, showed us a Death’s Head Hawkmoth caterpillar. The flock of Vultures reappeared and were flying low, giving us amazing views. Two Egyptian and a Rüppell’s Vulture were also in the group but hard to spot as they were in the middle of the thermal. They disappeared again in gliding and we started looking towards the Cape where a group of 15 Black Storks and 3 Short-toed Eagles were soaring together. In another direction, a lonely Black Kite was trying to gain altitude. The Vultures reappeared and there were birds in all directions! They were all flying low because of the strong wind and passed above our head. This time, everybody saw both the Egyptian and the Rüppell’s Vultures! The Black Storks and Black Kite joined the flock of Vultures. We stayed about 2 hours on the raptor-watching spot and had coffee there. During this time, the mixed flock of Vultures flew several times above our heads as they did not manage to leave the area.
Next we moved to the picnic area but had to stop on the way to watch some Thekla Larks and help people with their car stuck in the mud. There, a group of Black Storks flew over our position when we arrived. The food was very good (as usual) but we kept birdwatching during lunch time and saw a Crag Martin and 2 Swifts.
We went to Cape St Vincent after lunch where we tried sea-watching again but only managed to see a Gannet, Lesser Black-backed and Yellow-legged Gulls. As we were about to give-up, a flock of Common Scoters appeared but were not seen well by everybody as they flew behind the Cape. We ran to the other side but only managed to have distant views of them as they were flying away. We visited the area around the lighthouse and Vicky found a Black Redstart. There we had close views of a female Red-veined Darter. We had already seen this dragonfly in big numbers during the morning. We did not stay very long at the Cape as there were few birds so we decided to have a drink in a local café. On the way, John saw a Red-billed Chough. We enjoyed nice tea and coffee in the shade.
We went back to the Cruzinha via Vale Santo. From our first stop, we saw a Kestrel hunting, Yellow-legged Gulls, 2 Black Storks feeding with 4 White Storks and a Red-billed Chough on one side of the road. On the other side, Meadow Pipits and Grey Wagtails were having a bath in a puddle and we had great views of them. Before we left, a juvenile Merlin appeared and landed on the ground. However, it flew away before Vicky had a good look at it and flushed a group of Meadow Pipits and Skylarks. The next stop was near an old farm where we saw a group of Red-billed-Chough, Jackdaws and Spotless Starlings feeding on the ground. The wind was strong and few birds were present so we continued our journey but 2 Ravens appeared before we left. We saw few birds before reaching Vila do Bispo: Stonechats, Wheatears, Corn Buntings, Kestrels and House Sparrows. The last bird of the day was a Southern Grey Shrike seen from the car while we were waiting at a traffic light in Budens.
Tuesday 21st October - Monchique Hills
After spending a day on the coast, Monchique offered a totally different landscape and habitat. On the way, we saw Azure-winged Magpies and White Storks. We drove to Foia, the highest point (902 m) and saw a Green Woodpecker before getting there. The Iberian Green Woodpecker belongs to a different subspecies to those from the rest of Europe, and they look and sound different.
The place was empty when we arrived and the first birds spotted were a group of Linnets, a Wheatear, a Black Redstart and Meadow Pipits (one of them seen from the car when we parked). We walked to a view point with an open view of the coast but it was misty. From there, we saw a Blue Rock Thrush killing and eating its prey, we had a good view with the scope. We also had a glimpse Dartford Warbler. Near the café, many Meadow Pipits were foraging with a Wheatear and a Black Redstart. Further, we had a better and closer look at the Blue Rock Thrush. Many Stonechats were present. Vicky found a Robin and another Dartford Warbler. We walked along a small road and Vicky spotted more birds: a Zitting Cisticola and a Dartford Warbler singing from the top of a bush. We had a very good view of these two birds. We saw and heard more Robins, Wrens and Stonechats until we reached a path going away from the road. We walked a little and saw a turdidae landing in a small tree. We had a better look at this bird when it flew away and managed to identify it: Song Thrush. A few metres further, Blackcaps were feeding in a bush with an unidentified Phylloscopus warbler. We walked more, without seeing many birds, only a Jay, and joined another road. There, we stopped near a pond and looked at a Blue Rock Thrush and a Blackbird; both perched on the same wire. A Rock Bunting appeared near us and perched on a bush but not long enough for everybody to see it well. We walked back to the car park after seeing the same Blue Rock Thrush in flight.
Meadow Pipits and Black Redstarts were still present and we also heard a Great Tit. We came back to the car and had a hot drink. Martin and Margot (John and Vicky acquaintances) arrived at the same time and we had coffee together.
Then we went a little further down to look at another place. On the way, we heard another Rock Bunting. We stopped and looked around but could not find this bird. Further, we spotted 3 Chaffinches in flight, identified thanks to their white wing-bar. We stopped by the road and waited a bit but only managed to see a Buzzard.
As we still had time before lunch, we went to an area with a lot of big Cork Oaks and Strawberry Trees. Several species were calling or singing: Robin, Jay, Nuthatch and Blackcap but they were all hidden.
For lunch we drove down to Caldas de Monchique, a small thermal town. We had lunch under the shade of big trees, enjoying the sound of running water and watching Nuthatch, Blackcap and Blue Tit. After lunch, we walked around the area. We heard a Firecrest but did not manage to see it. We saw more Blackcaps and Robins but the weather was hot and few species were present. We had a drink at a local café, watching House Sparrows and a Nuthatch. As we still had time, we went back to where we had heard the Firecrest, trying to see it this time. We heard and saw a Great Spotted Woodpecker but no Firecrest!
Back at the car, we saw an unidentified Falcon passing over us before leaving. We came back to Cruzinha, it was still warm.
Wednesday 22nd October - Abicada and Alvor Dunes
The place we visited on Wednesday is not far from Cruzinha and is part of the Ria de Alvor area. The weather was nice when we left; it seemed that the day would be hot again.
We started birdwatching from the car park as it is next to a small marsh: Teals and Redshanks were present. Flamingos, Coots, Cormorants and Spoonbills were feeding on the lake and a Sandwich Tern was fishing. Vicky spotted a group of Azure-winged Magpies leaving their roost.
We started walking towards the dam and Vicky spotted a Common Sandpiper. From the dam, we saw some birds feeding on the mudflats: Ringed Plovers, a Whimbrel, 3 Spoonbills and a Little Egret. Further away, we found 2 Caspian Tern and an adult Great Black-backed Gull in a group of Yellow-legged, Lesser Black Backed and Black-headed Gulls. Waders were feeding near this group of gulls: Dunlins, Redshanks, and a Greenshank, briefly seen. John looked in direction of the Eastern Marsh and found 2 Black-winged Kites. A group of Lapwings passed in flight while we were looking at these birds. A Kingfisher flew over the dam and perched in a Fig tree. As we could hardly see it, we came closer but it flew again. We had another look at the mudflats and Vicky found an Oystercatcher in a group of Grey Plovers.
We walked along the lagoon and saw Crested Larks on the dyke. On the marsh, Mallards were resting with a Spoonbill. An adult male Marsh Harrier appeared, landed and took off again giving us nice views. Just before we started moving, we heard a Bluethroat. We waited a little for this bird to show up and it perched on top of a bush. Then, it moved and perched again along the path in front of us. Further, Redshanks, Black-winged Stilts and Mallards were sharing a pond. Most of them flew away when we passed by. On the lagoon, Spoonbills and Cormorants were feeding. Two Kingfishers flew by us. One of them perched but we did not manage to find it even though it has such bright colours. We heard a Green Sandpiper in flight and it landed in the marsh. We all saw it before it disappeared in the vegetation. We reached the end of the lagoon and started walking along the river. In the marsh, we saw more Black-winged Stilts, Redshanks and a Common Sandpiper. Vicky saw a Phylloscopus warbler and another Green Sandpiper appeared but not everybody saw these 2 birds. Along the river, in a pond, several Red and Greenshanks were feeding together so we could compare their size and colour. We had coffee under the shade of trees as we left the dyke and started walking in farmland habitat. During this break, we saw a Hoopoe.
In this habitat, we saw and heard Robins, Corn Buntings, Stonechats and a Kestrel. We reached a high point from where we had a good view on a reedbed. Further, we heard a Serin and saw again the Marsh Harrier. In the hedge along the track, a Pied Flycatcher was perched and hunting. We had excellent views of it until it was chased by a Robin. Two Booted Eagles (a dark and a light) passed in flight and also a small flock of Waxbills. These tiny birds are from eastern Africa and have both a red bill and a mask. They escaped from cages and managed to survive and breed. As a result, they are now present almost everywhere in Portugal. From this spot, we found a Buzzard perched on a post. As we were leaving, we heard a Southern Grey Shrike. We looked a lot for it as they are usually perched in obvious places. We found several leaves and Stonechats that we all tried to turn into a shrike. Finally, we found a very white bird which we thought was the shrike. However, this bird had a different behaviour, hiding a lot in the bushes.
We decided to move closer to have a better look and take a shortcut to go back to the car. When we left, we discovered a Black Stork flying in the distance. We saw the white bird again but heard the shrike at the same time and the call came from a different place! At last, we had a decent view of this bird and definitely identified it as a leucistic Sardinian Warbler. We kept looking for the Southern Grey Shrike and saw it in flight and perched but always briefly. As the weather was hot, we stopped looking for this bird and came back to the car. When we left, the Black Stork passed above us quite low and we had a fantastic view.
We came back to the dam without seeing any new birds. There, a fisherman had just caught a fish so we asked him what the species was: a Zebra sea bream. As more birds were present, we had another look at the marsh near the car park. Spoonbills, a Little Egret, a Greenshank and Moorhens were feeding together. More Flamingos and Coots were present on the lagoon.
We then headed to Alvor for the beach! We had lunch in the shade, in the car-park area. When we got there, a few birds were drinking from a puddle. We had great views of a Serin, soon joined by House Sparrows, Goldfinches and a Crested Lark. The picnic was excellent and plentiful as usual.
The afternoon was then dedicated to exploring Alvor dunes. The boardwalk is a good place to see birds on the dunes. The main species seen were: Stonechat, Crested Lark, Meadow Pipit and Zitting Cisticola (which gave us close views). From the boardwalk, where a Wheatear was perched, we could have a different view of Quinta da Rocha. We looked at the estuary where the tide was high. A juvenile Gannet was swimming and John spotted 3 Dunlins close to us. We reached the beach and break-water wall. There, we saw a Sandwich Tern, we met Keith and Rosie, A Rocha Portugal volunteers. We walked a little on the beach but did not see any new birds and then walked again on the boardwalk. We saw a Mediterranean Gull and had a glimpse of a Bluethroat.
We finished the day at the café for a well deserved drink. From there, we could see Gannets fishing at sea. Back at the car, we saw again the Serin, Crested Lark, House Sparrows and Goldfinches by the puddle.
Thursday 23rd October - Open Day at Cruzinha and Lagoa dos Salgados
As Thursday is Cruzinha’s open day, the birdwatching group could have breakfast at Cruzinha and enjoy the activities at the centre: moth identification with Paula and bird ringing demonstration. This activity went well with 22 birds caught of 9 species. Migrants included Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and a Willow Warbler. One of the Blackcap was even carrying a British ring, which is always exciting for the ringers. Other species caught were: Kingfisher, Sardinian Warbler, Blackbird, Greenfinch, House Sparrow and Chaffinch. We had lunch at the centre and afterwards went to Lagoa dos Salgados.
Lagoa dos Salgados is one of the richest but still threatened Algarvian wetlands. This place is usually good for waders, ducks, herons and sometimes more unusual species. The first bird actually seen before reaching the lagoon was an Osprey in flight. We could see the lagoon from the track: the water level seemed good and many birds were present.
We parked near the beach and walked to the new “hide”. On the way, we saw a Marsh Harrier and a Magpie. In the northern part of the lagoon, Flamingos and about 150 Glossy Ibis were feeding with Coots, gulls, Black-winged Stilts and many ducks: Shovelers, Gadwalls, Mallards and Teals. We checked all the gulls but did not find any new species for the trip. The southern part of the lagoon was mostly occupied by gulls and Coots. We looked at all these birds more in detail and found more species. A Pochard was sleeping amongst the Mallards and we found a Purple Swamphen while looking at this duck. Three Mediterranean Gulls were in the middle of a group of Black-headed Gulls and it was a bit of a challenge for John and Vicky to find them! By the Teals, a Snipe was feeding and we saw a Common Sandpiper with a Dunlin passing by. Later, a Lapwing appeared in the same area. Closer to us, a Chiffchaff and a Stonechat were feeding in a bush and on the ground.
As it seemed there was more diversity on the northern part of the lagoon, we decided to walk there. A Wheatear was standing on the track; we had a look at it and then looked in the lagoon. Some Flamingos were closer and one was carrying a plastic coded ring that we managed to read. Some Wagtails landed near us and others were on an island in the lagoon. These birds confused John and Vicky as they were juvenile Yellow Wagtails which are not really yellow! Vicky found a Redshank while 2 Jackdaws passed in flight and landed near the White Storks. We moved further and the Jackdaws took off, passing over us. As no new species was found, we came back to the hide for a last look at the lagoon. On the way, we stopped to look at Skylarks and Corn Buntings.
From the hide, we saw Ringed and Kentish Plovers together but they vanished before everybody saw them. However, we found a Ruff while looking for them. Seeing well this bird was also challenging as it was hiding behind vegetation. It was then time to go back to the car.
While we were loading the car, we noticed an important flock of birds in the sky: the Glossy Ibis! These birds were leaving the lagoon to go to their roost. What an impressive view of all these birds!
We came back to Cruzinha where we had dinner and went to bed early as the next day would be a long one.
Friday 24th October - 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 very early (about 6:30) to be in the field for sunrise and Ben (one of A Rocha’s volunteers) joined us for the day. As the trip was quiet, some continued their night in the car.
Breakfast (tea, coffee, bread and homemade jam) was taken on the field enjoying the first birds: Corn Bunting, Stonechat, Zitting Cisticola, Meadow Pipit, Carrion Crow and Cattle Egret. John found a Southern Grey Shrike on a distant tree and our first bird of prey of the day was a Buzzard perched on a post. After breakfast, we had a look on the other side of the road where we saw Thekla Larks, Lapwings and a Wheatear found by Ben. John found a second Buzzard and a very distant Little Owl was also spotted.
As the LPN (Liga para a Proteção da Natureza) property (also called Vale Gonçalinho) only opens at 9:00, we started birdwatching on the journey. We stopped on a small elevation of the road to have a look at the surroundings. We saw a Raven and John found a bird of prey we identified as a Kite but it flew away before we managed to identify it. Closer to us, a Chiffchaff was perched on a fence. From this spot, 2 Southern Grey Shrikes were also visible. We had a look at a pond and found a Snipe and a White Wagtail. While scanning the environs, we found 2 Great Bustards, the firsts of the day! We had a good view of these birds as they were not very far and the light was good. We continued our journey and on the way saw a Magpie. From the second stop, we saw more Great Bustards: a group of 6 birds, closer but not seen as good as the previous one because of the light. Just before turning on the dirt track leading to the LPN centre, we spotted a bird of prey: a Red Kite, possibly the same bird seen earlier. A bit further, we had a very good look at a Southern Grey Shrike.
We arrived at Vale Gonçalinho and saw a Red Kite from the car park. John found a Zitting Cisticola and Ben took pictures of insects. We had a quick chat with the LPN workers and left a donation to help this association continue their great work in the area. We had coffee before going birdwatching in the property.
We first stopped next to a tower where nest boxes for Lesser Kestrels are installed and saw Jackdaws.
We passed the gate to get into the property and spotted a flock of Lapwings and 6 Great Bustards quite far. A kestrel was perched on a big Eucalyptus. We walked along the fence and Ben spotted a Green Sandpiper which landed near an area with a bit of water. John Found a Black Redstart and Ben a Greenfinch near the Eucalyptus. From there, we could see an old farm building. A Southern Grey Shrike and a group of Spotless Starlings were perched there. A flock of Larks was also flying around and landed in the field behind the buildings. We waited before walking further as cows were in the middle of the path. When they moved away, we went to the old farm buildings and saw 2 more Black Redstarts on the way. When we arrived, 3 Hoopoes flew away. We managed to find one of them but it was hard to see it well. We looked at the flock of Larks but they were all Skylarks, still no Calandra Lark. We kept walking in the property and saw more Skylarks and Meadow Pipits. We arrived on a higher point and looked around but did not see any bird. We walked towards another structure built for Lesser Kestrels breeding. A group of Larks flew away and Ben found a Calandra Lark. We had a good look at it and its identification features: big lark with black underwing and white trailing edge of the wings. We went closer to the place where it flew from to look if there were more birds but we did not see anything. It was time to go back to the car and have lunch. On the way, we saw a Cinereous Vulture flying by a Raven which looked very small. This comparison gave us an idea of the size of the vulture. With this species, we had seen 4 species of vultures during the week, not bad! The rest of the walk was quiet as we did not see any new species.
Lunch was at the LPN centre and we kept birdwatching. We saw several Red Kites, a distant Peregrine and a Griffon Vulture flew quite close to us. At the end of the lunch, we spotted a group of about 15 Griffon Vultures in a thermal and not very far. Just after looking at these birds, we spotted a big flock of Lapwings but far away. We had an half an hour break after lunch for a nap before continuing. During that time, Ben, John and Vicky saw a second group of Vultures and a flock of about 40 Little Bustards.
On the journey between Vale Gonçalinho and the main road, we had an excellent view of a Southern Grey Shrike, one of the birds of the day! We passed Entradas and stopped by a lagoon. Many Lapwings were present but they flew away when we arrived. However, some of them stayed with a Common Sandpiper, 3 Green Sandpipers, 4 Little Stints and at least 2 Snipes. Many terrapins were sunbathing. A Grey Heron was hiding behind a rock and only its head was in sight. A Little and a few Cattle Egrets were also present. A group of sheep came closer, one of them “carrying” a Cattle Egret on its back! After these nice sightings, we moved further, hoping to see again the Little Bustards. We saw a Wheatear on the way and stopped on a high spot. From there, we saw a Buzzard perched on a rock, Red Kites in flight and 5 Great Bustards pretty far that we pointed out to an international group of birders, but still no Little Bustards! We also spotted a Little Owl perched by a house. It was not a great sighting but it was closer than the bird seen during the morning. We continued and stopped again. A Red Kite took off from a field close to us and we found the flock of Bustards in flight. Ben managed to take a picture and counted about 80 birds. They landed quite far away behind an elevation of the field, so out of sight. We waited a bit and they took off again. This time, we had a better view and they landed in another field. However, this time, the vegetation cover was too high to see them. We kept on towards São Marcos da Ataboeira and arrived at a woodier area where we saw our first Wood Pigeon of the week. We crossed a river and flushed a Green Sandpiper before stopping again to look at another pond. A Grey Heron was fishing and Ben spotted a Kingfisher. As a Woodlark was singing, we went out of the car to hear it better and maybe see it. Of course, the Woodlark stopped singing, but we heard a Great Tit, a Buzzard and a Red-legged Partridge. Finally, the lark sang again and we even managed to see it as one flew near us. At the same time, Ben saw a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker but it disappeared behind a tree and we did not manage to find it again. When we arrived at São Marcos, Ben spotted a well hidden Little Owl on a stone wall. Further, a Green Sandpiper was feeding in a ditch. We saw these 2 birds well from the car. We crossed the village and went to a road where every telegraph post had a Stork nests. From there, we headed to Nossa Senhora de Aracelis, the last place we would visit during the day.
On the way, we saw several Southern Grey Shrikes perched on wires. From this place, we had a nice view of the area, which compensated a little for the low number of birds spotted. We enjoyed the view and heard a Robin and a Blackbird calling. Ben found 7 Great Bustards in a field. Besides the distance, we saw this bird pretty well as the light was good. On the way back to the main road, we saw 6 Southern Grey Shrikes in 7,5 Km!
As we still had time before dinner, we came back to Castro Verde by small roads and tried to see more birds. We saw a lot of Lapwings and several Kestrels but the surprise was found near Rolão when we saw a big white heron in a field: a Great Egret! We were not expecting to see this species. Further, two Little Owls were sharing a rock in a field. We did not see any other birds before reaching Castro Verde.
There, we walked a bit in the town. We saw the many House Martin nests on the post office building and looked at the surroundings near the old church. We then had a good dinner in a local restaurant. We sampled local dishes: black pork meat and “migas”. We came back around 22:30, all very tired after such a long and full day. As a result, everybody went to bed (even if some had already slept in the car)!
Saturday 25th October - Ponta da Piedade and Ria de Alvor
As Friday was a long day, Saturday was much lighter with a short walk at Ponta da Piedade and we only left for the field at 10:00, giving a lift to Ymke (one of A Rocha’s volunteers) to Lagos.
We began with some sea-watching from the cliffs behind the lighthouse where a few Gannets were passing. After a few minutes, we moved closer to the lighthouse. From there, we could see an island where many Cattle and some Little Egrets breed in spring but only the deserted nests were visible. On the island nearby, Cormorants were perched. We tried sea-watching again and saw many Gannets, a Great Skua which “landed” so everybody managed to see it and 3 Balearic Shearwaters.
After this we walked along the cliffs but few birds were spotted. However, the amazing view from the cliffs compensated! We found another spot from where we looked at the sea but it was disappointing until John found a big party of Gannets. Looking at these birds we found a Cory’s Shearwater, identified by its different way of flying. Vicky found 2 birds on the sea. When we all looked at them, one was taking off, showing white patches on the wing, characteristic of a Great Skua, good finding! We started walking the last part of the hike and saw many Azure-winged Magpies, some of them feeding in a Fig Tree, Meadow Pipits, a Zitting Cisticola and a Blackbird. We arrived at the cliffs near Praia do Camilo (the end of the walk) and looked again at sea. A Kestrel flew near us and landed on a cliff in front of us. As I was going to leave to get the car, we spotted a Cormorant fishing. This bird flew and landed, on a cliff nearby which gave us the opportunity to have a good look at it and identify it as a Shag.
We lunched on the cliff, enjoying the amazing view. Just before leaving, we had a good view of a Peregrine, quite close. We came back to Cruzinha and everybody could have some rest before going to the Western Marsh.
We went there by car at 15:30 and Ben, a student, joined us. From where we parked, we saw Flamingos, Black-headed Gulls, Black-winged Stilts, Redshanks, Greenshank and a Grey Plover. We walked on the dyke and after crossing, we stopped to look at the waders resting in the marsh during high tide: Sanderlings, Dunlins, Ringed and Kentish Plovers, the first Turnstone of the trip and a Redshank. Kentish Plovers were easy to find as they were in the middle of the Ringed Plovers flock, allowing comparison. When we got to the mouth of the river, we looked on the other side and found more Turnstones. At this time, a group of 12 Sandwich Terns flew away and birds in the marsh seemed agitated. This was explained by an Osprey passing in flight and found by Ben. This bird perched on a post in the middle of the estuary but the light was very bad to see it well. We also noticed that 2 dogs were in the marsh creating some agitation with the birds but surprisingly there were no big movements of birds flying away. In a little pond in the marsh, a small group of waders was resting. As they were quite close, this was a good identification test for John and Vicky who passed without any problems, they recognised the Redshanks, Dunlins and Grey Plovers. Six juveniles Flamingos were close to the dyke, one of them carrying a Spanish ring. We stopped near the old saltpans and looked at the many birds present: Whimbrels, Oystercatchers (this time in bigger number), Dunlins, Redshanks, a Little Stint, a Greenshank, an Avocet, Sandwich and 2 Caspian Terns, Mediterranean, Yellow-legged and Lesser Black-backed Gulls. That was our best observation of Caspian Tern of the week and we could see how big they were. Ben found a Great Black-backed Gull in the middle of the flock, most probably the same bird we saw on Wednesday. One of the Lesser Black-backed Gulls was darker than the other, possibly, a bird belonging to the intermedius subspecies from Scandinavia. A Kestrel flying over the area created some disturbance and a Snipe flew away. In the distance, an adult female Marsh Harrier passed in flight and a Kingfisher took off from its perch near us. A group of Spanish Sparrows was in a bush along the track and they flew away when a walker passed by. We could hear them well (they have a different call than the House Sparrows) and they perched on a fence not far from us. We started walking back to the car and stopped near a pond where Ben managed to take pictures of a Black-winged Stilt. From there, we looked at the marsh there were 11 Spoonbills in the middle of Grey Herons. The Marsh Harrier reappeared, flying low over the upper marsh. We stopped again at the end of the track to talk with birdwatchers and we heard a Cetti’s Warbler and then saw it! We came back to Cruzinha and got ready for dinner.
Sunday 26th October- Ludo and departure
For this last day, we had a bit of stress because changing to winter time confused us and our timetable but fortunately people got up too earlier rather than too late and we left on time. The first sightings of the day were a Hoopoe and Azure-winged Magpies on the track when we left Cruzinha.
At Faro, we went birdwatching behind the airport and saw a couple of light morph Booted Eagles before reaching the first lagoons. Many waders and Flamingos were foraging in the first salt-pan, another good identification test for John and Vicky! They passed without problem and managed to identify the species present: Dunlins, Sanderlings, Little Stints, Curlew Sandpipers, Ringed and Kentish Plovers and Redshanks. The presence of all these species together allowed again the comparison and turned the identification easier. Ruffs, Greenshanks and Common Sandpipers were also present. Amongst all these waders, a few Flamingos were feeding and we heard a Cetti’s Warblers. A Grey Plover, Black-winged Stilts and a Turnstone completed the list of species present but not everybody managed to see them.
We passed quickly in front of the other salt-pans as few birds were present: Flamingos, Dunlins and Redshanks. On the way, we saw another light morph Booted Eagle. Our second stop was near a lagoon rich in ducks. There, we saw many Wigeons , Coots, Little Grebes and Great Crested Grebes. I found a Pochard and a Gadwall in the middle of the Wigeons and John and Vicky looked for them during our coffee break. They finally managed to find these birds. A Purple Swamphen came into view when she flew across the lagoon and landed on the bank where she started feeding, using its big feet to grab plants. Motorbikes passing on the track scared some ducks which were hidden in the vegetation: Mallards, Shovelers and Gadwalls. Before we left, a Kingfisher showed but we only had a glimpse of it.
We then passed a huge pile of salt and looked at the salt-pans on both sides of the road but very few birds were present. We parked near a golf course and walked along it. This is usually a good place to see some species but many people were playing and therefore, few birds were present. We reached a bird hide near a lagoon and spent some time there. Many ducks were visible: Mallards, Gadwalls, Shovelers, Pochards (easier to find than in the previous lagoon), Teals and a female Tufted Duck. We had other good views of Purple Swamphens found more Coots and Little Grebes. A mixed group of Gulls was resting in the lagoon. We could compare the differences of grey, helping the identification: light grey for Yellow-legged Gull and darker grey for Lesser Black-backed Gull. At the same time, a Grey Wagtail landed near ducks and flew away before we all had a good look at it.
As we still had time before lunch and we had seen most of the birds present, we moved to the next hide. On the way, we had a close look at a Purple Swamphen and saw a few White Storks in flight. Few birds were visible from the hide. On one side, a group of Yellow-legged and Lesser Black-backed Gulls were resting on a mudflat. A Mediterranean Gull was standing near this group, alone and carrying a green plastic ring, so easy to identify! Some Whimbrels, Turnstones and a Grey Heron were visible with the binoculars. On the other side, John found a Redshank and a Grey Plovers. We had a look with the telescope on the side where more birds were present and spotted Redshanks and Ringed Plovers. We discovered a Bar-tailed Godwit, species not seen during the week yet, near a Greenshank. Just after, we located a Curlew. It was possible to observe this species and a Whimbrel at the same time, so we could see the differences, especially the bill length. It was then time to go back to the car for lunch.
We heard Robins and Blackbirds on the way and stopped to have a look at a group of about 30 Spoonbills. We ate the picnic near the car and John and Vicky even had time to reorganise their luggage. We left for the airport but still saw some birds. A Stonechat was perched on a wire along the track and we stopped to have a last look at the “duck lagoon” where a male Tufted Duck was very visible. The first salt-pan, full of waders in the morning, was now empty.
I left John and Vicky at the airport. Eventually it was time to say goodbye and I came back to Cruzinha after another great birdwatching week!
- Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope): about 120 at Ludo
- Gadwall (Anas strepera): 2 at Tavira saltpans, seen at Lagoa dos Salgados and Ludo
- Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca): seen at Abicada, Lagoa dos Salgados and Ludo
- Mallard (Anas plathyrhynchos): seen at Santa Luzia saltpans, Abicada, Lagoa dos Salgados, Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho), Ria de Alvor and Ludo
- Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata): seen at Lagoa dos Salgados and Ludo
- Common Pochard (Aythya ferina): seen at Lagoa dos Salgados and Ludo
- Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula): 2 (1 male and 1 female) at Ludo
- Common Scoter (Melanitta nigra): seen at Sagres (cap)
- Red-legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa): heard at Castro Verde (Entradas)
- Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis): seen at Lagoa dos Salgados, Castro Verde (Entradas) and Ludo
- Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus): seen at Ludo
- Cory’s Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea): 1 seen from Ponta da Piedade
- Balearic Shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus): 3 seen from Ponta da Piedade
- Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus): seen from Santa Luzia saltpans, Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia and Cape), Alvor dunes and Ponta da Piedade
- Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo): seen at Abicada, Alvor dunes, Lagoa dos Salgados, Ponta da Piedade, Ria de Alvor and Ludo
- European Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis): seen at Ponta da Piedade
- Cattle Egret (Bubulcus Ibis): seen on the track to Cruzinha, at Lagoa dos Salgados, Castro Verde and Ponta da Piedade (3), Ria de Alvor and Ludo
- Little Egret (Egretta garzetta): seen at Abicada, Lagoa dos Salgados, Castro Verde (Entradas), Ponta da Piedade (1), Ria de Alvor and Ludo
- Great Egret (Egretta alba): 1 at Castro Verde (Rolão)
- Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea): seen at Santa Luzia saltpans, Sagres (1 from the road) Abicada, Lagoa dos Salgados, Castro Verde (Entradas), Ria de Alvor and Ludo
- Black Stork (Ciconia nigra): seen at Sagres (15 at Cabranosa and 2 at Vale Santo) and 1 at Abicada
- White Stork (Ciconia ciconia): seen at Santa Luzia saltpans, on the way to Cruzinha, at Sagres (4 at Vale Santo), on the way to Monchique, Abicada, Lagoa dos Salgados, Ria de Alvor (7) and Ludo
- Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus): about 150 at Lagoa dos Salgados
- Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia): seen at Santa Luzia saltpans, Abicada (4), Lagoa dos Salgados (5), Ria de Alvor and Ludo (about 30)
- Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus): seen at Santa Luzia saltpans, Abicada (5), Lagoa dos Salgados, Ria de Alvor and Ludo
- Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus): 2 at Abicada
- Black Kite (Milvus migrans): 1 at Sagres (Cabranosa)
- Red Kite (Milvus milvus): seen at Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho and Entradas)
- Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus): 2 at Sagres (Cabranosa)
- Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus): about 200 at Sagres (Cabranosa) and 20 in 2 groups at Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho)
- Rüppell’s Vulture (Gyps rueppellii): 1 at Sagres (Cabranosa)
- Cinereous Vulture (Aegypius monachus): 1 at Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho)
- Short-toed Snake Eagle (Circaetus gallicus): seen at Sagres (1 at Ponta da Atalaia, Cabranosa)
- Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus): 1 male at Abicada, 1 adult female at Lagoa dos Salgados and 1 adult female at Ria de Alvor
- Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo): seen at Sagres (1 on the way and 1 at Vale Santo), Monchique (1 at Foia), Abicada (1) and Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho and Entradas)
- Booted Eagle (Aquila pennata): seen at Sagres (2 at Ponta da Atalaia, 1 light and 1 dark, Cabranosa and Vale Santo), 2 (1 light and 1 dark) at Abicada and 3 lights at Ludo
- Osprey (Pandion haliaetus): 1 at Lagoa dos Salgados and 1 at Ria de Alvor
- Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus): seen at Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia, Cabranosa and Vale Santo), Abicada, Lagoa dos Salgados (1), Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho, Entradas, Nossa Senora de Aracelis), Ponta da Piedade (1) and Ria de Alvor (1)
- Merlin (Falco columbarius): 1 juvenile at Sagres (Vale Santo)
- Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus): 1 at Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho) and 1 at Ponta da Piedade
- Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus): seen at Abicada, Lagoa dos Salgados and Ludo
- Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio): 2 at Lagoa dos Salgados and seen at Ludo
- Coot (Fulica atra): seen at Abicada, Lagoa dos Salgados and Ludo
- Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax): seen at Castro Verde (40 at Vale Gonçalinho and 80 at Entradas)
- Great Bustard (Otis tarda): seen at Castro Verde (20 at Vale Gonçalinho, 5 at Entradas and 7 from Nossa Senhora de Aracelis)
- Eurasian Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus): 1 at Abicada and seen at Ria de Alvor
- Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus): seen at Santa Luzia saltpans, Abicada, Lagoa dos Salgados, Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho), Ria de Alvor and Ludo
- Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta): seen at Santa Luzia saltpans and Ria de Alvor
- Common Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula): seen at Santa Luzia saltpans, Abicada, Lagoa dos Salgados, Ria de Alvor and Ludo
- Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus): seen at Santa Luzia saltpans, Lagoa dos Salgados, Ria de Alvor and Ludo
- Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola): seen at Abicada, Ria de Alvor and Ludo
- Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus): seen at Abicada, Lagoa dos Salgados (17), Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho, Entradas and Rolão) and Ria de Alvor (2)
- Sanderling (Calidris alba): seen at Santa Luzia saltpans, Ria de Alvor and Ludo
- Little Stint (Calidris minuta): seen at Santa Luzia saltpans, Castro Verde (4 at Entradas), Ria de Alvor (1) and Ludo
- Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea): Seen at Santa Luzia saltpans and Ludo
- Dunlin (Calidris alpina): seen at Abicada, Alvor Dunes, Lagoa dos Salgados, Ria de Alvor and Ludo
- Ruff (Philomachus pugnax): 1 at Santa Luzia saltpans, 1 at Lagoa dos Salgados and 4 at Ludo
- Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago): seen at Lagoa dos Salgados, Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho, Entradas) and Ria de Alvor (1)
- Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa): seen at Santa Luzia saltpans
- Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica): 1 at Ludo
- Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus): seen at Santa Luzia saltpans (4), Abicada, Ria de Alvor and Ludo
- Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata): 1 Ludo
- Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos): seen at Santa Luzia saltpans, Abicada, Lagoa dos Salgados (1), Castro Verde (1 at Entradas), Ria de Alvor (1) and Ludo
- Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus): seen at Abicada and Castro Verde (1 at Vale Gonçalinho and 4 at Entradas) and Ludo
- Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus): 1 at Santa Luzia saltpans
- Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia): seen at Santa Luzia saltpans, Abicada, Ria de Alvor and Ludo
- Common Redshank (Tringa totanus): seen at Santa Luzia saltpans, Abicada, Lagoa dos Salgados (1), Ria de Alvor and Ludo
- Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres): seen at Ria de Alvor and Ludo
- Great Skua (Stercorarius skua): 2 seen from Ponta da Piedade
- Mediterranean Gull (Larus melanocephalus): 2 (1 adult and 1 juvenile) at Santa Luzia saltpans, 1 at Alvor dunes, 3 at Lagoa dos Salgados, seen at Ria de Alvor and 1 at Ludo
- Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus): seen at Santa Luzia saltpans, Abicada, Alvor Dunes, Lagoa dos Salgados, Ria de Alvor and Ludo
- Slender-billed Gull (Larus genei): 5 at Santa Luzia saltpans
- Audouin’s Gull (Larus audouinii): about 20 at Santa Luzia saltpans
- Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus): seen at Santa Luzia saltpans, Sagres (cap), Abicada, Alvor dunes, Lagoa dos Salgados, Ponta da Piedade, Ria de Alvor and Ludo
- Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis): seen at Santa Luzia saltpans, Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia, cap and Vale Santo), Abicada, Alvor Dunes, Lagoa dos Salgados, Ponta da Piedade, Ria de Alvor and Ludo
- Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus): 1 adult at Abicada and at Ria de Alvor (same bird)
- Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia): 1 at Santa Luzia saltpans, 3 at Abicada and 2 at Ria de Alvor
- Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicensis): seen at Santa Luzia saltpans (1), Abicada, Alvor dunes, Ponta da Piedade (1) and Ria de Alvor
- Rock Dove (Columbia livia): seen at Sagres (Cabranosa, cap, Vale Santo) and Ponta da Piedade
- Stock Dove (Columba oenas): 6 at Abicada
- Common Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus): seen at Castro Verde (Entradas)
- Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto): seen at Cruzinha, Castro Verde (Entradas) and Ludo
- Little Owl (Athene noctua): heard at Cruzinha and seen at Castro Verde (1 at Vale Gonçalinho, 2 at Entradas and 2 at Rolão) and seen at Ria de Alvor
- Common Swift (Apus apus): 2 at Sagres (Cabranosa)
- Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis): 2 at Abicada, 1 at Cruzinha (ringing), 1 at Castro Verde (Entradas), 1 at Ria de Alvor and 1 at Ludo
- Hoopoe (Upupa epops): Heard at Cruzinha and seen at Abicada and Castro Verde (3 at Vale Gonçalinho)
- European Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis): 1 at Monchique (Foia)
- Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major): 1 at Monchique (Caldas de Monchique)
- Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos minor): 1 at Castro Verde (Entradas)
- Calandra Lark (Melanocorypha calandra): seen at Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho and Entradas)
- Crested Lark (Galerida cristata): seen at Santa Luzia saltpans, on the track to Cruzinha, at Abicada, Alvor Dunes, Lagoa dos Salgados, Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho, Entradas) and Ria de Alvor
- Thekla Lark (Galerida theklae): seen at Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia, Cabranosa and Vale Santo) and Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho and Entradas)
- Wood Lark (Lullula arborea): seen at Castro Verde (Entradas)
- Eurasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis): seen at Sagres (Vale Santo), Abicada, Lagoa dos Salgados and Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho and Entradas)
- Sand Martin (Riparia riparia): 2 at Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia)
- Eurasian Crag Martin (Ptyonoprogne rupestris): seen at Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia, Cabranosa and Vale Santo)
- Red-rumped Swallow (Cecropis daurica): about 20 at Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia)
- Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis): seen at Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia and Vale Santo), Monchique (Foia), Abicada, Alvor dunes, Lagoa dos Salgados, Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho and Entradas) and Ponta da Piedade
- Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava): seen at Lagoa dos Salgados
- Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea): seen at Sagres (2 at Cabranosa and Vale Santo),
Caldas de Monchique (1) and Ludo (1)
- White Wagtail (Motacilla alba): seen at Santa Luzia saltpans, Sagres (1 at Ponta da Atalaia and 1 at Vale Santo), Lagoa dos Salgados and Castro Verde (Entradas)
- Winter Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes): seen at Monchique (Foia)
- European Robin (Erithacus rubecula): seen at Monchique, Abicada, Castro Verde (Entradas, Nossa Senhora de Aracelis), Ponta da Piedade and Ludo
- Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica): seen at Abicada
- Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros): seen at Sagres (2 at Ponta da Atalaia, 1 at Vale Santo), Monchique (Foia) and Castro Verde (2 at Vale Gonçalinho, Nossa Senhora de Aracelis)
- Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra): 1 at Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia)
- European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola): seen at Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia, Cabranosa and Vale Santo), Monchique (Foia), Abicada, Alvor dunes, Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho and Entradas), Ria de Alvor and Ludo
- Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe): seen at Santa Luzia saltpans (2), Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia and Vale Santo), Monchique (Foia), Abicada, Alvor dunes (1), Lagoa dos Salgados (1) and Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho and Entradas)
- Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius): 1 at Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia) and 2 at Monchique (Foia)
- Common Blackbird (Turdus merula): seen at Santa Luzia saltpans, Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia), Monchique, Abicada, Cruzinha (ringing), Lagoa dos Salgados, Castro Verde (Nossa Senhora de Aracelis), Ponta da Piedade and Ludo
- Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos): 1 at Monchique (Foia)
- Cetti’s Warbler (Cettia cetti): heard at Santa Luzia saltpans (1), Ria de Alvor (1) and Ludo
- Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis): seen at Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia and Vale Santo), Monchique (Foia), Abicada, Alvor Dunes, Lagoa dos Salgados, Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho, Entradas), Ponta da Piedade and Ria de Alvor
- Dartford Warbler (Sylvia undata): seen at Monchique (Foia)
- Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala): seen at Santa Luzia saltpans, Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia), Monchique (Foia), Abicada (1 leucistic bird), Cruzinha (ringing), Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho), Ponta da Piedade, Ria de Alvor and Ludo
- Eurasian Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla): seen at Monchique and Cruzinha (ringing)
- Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita): seen at Cruzinha (ringing), Lagoa dos Salgados and Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho)
- Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus): seen at Cruzinha (ringing)
- Common Firecrest (Regulus ignicapila): 1 heard at Monchique (Caldas de Monchique)
- European Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca): 1 at Abicada
- Eurasian Blue Tit (Cyaniste caeruleus): seen at Monchique (Caldas de Monchique)
- Great Tit (Parus major): seen at Monchique (Foia), Castro Verde (Entradas) and Ludo
- Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea): seen at Monchique (Caldas de Monchique)
- Southern Grey Shrike (Lanius meridionalis): seen at Budens (1), Abicada (1) and Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho, Entradas and Nossa Senhora de Aracelis)
- Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius): seen at Monchique (Foia)
- Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus): seen at Sagres (3 at Ponta da Atalaia), Abicada, Ponta da Piedade, Ria de Alvor and Ludo
- Magpie (Pica pica): 5 at Santa Luzia saltpans, 1 at Lagoa dos Salgados and 1 at Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho)
- Red-billed Chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax): seen at Sagres (Vale Santo)
- Western Jackdaw (Corvus monedula): seen at Sagres (Vale Santo), Lagoa dos Salgados (2) and Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho)
- Carrion Crow (Corvus corone): seen at Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho and Entradas)
- Northern Raven (Corvus corax): seen at Sagres (2 at Vale Santo) and Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho and Entradas)
- Spotless Starling (Sturnus unicolor): seen on the track to Cruzinha, at Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia and Vale Santo), Abicada and Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho and Entradas)
- House Sparrow (Passer domesticus): seen at Santa Luzia saltpans, Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia, Vale Santo), Monchique (Caldas de Monchique), Alvor Dunes, Cruzinha (ringing), Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho) and Ludo
- Spanish Sparrow (Passer hispaniolensis): seen at Santa Luzia saltpans and Ria de Alvor (40)
- Common Waxbill (Estrilda astrild): seen at Abicada
- Common Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs): 3 at Monchique (Foia) and seen at Cruzinha (ringing)
- European Serin (Serinus serinus): seen at Abicada, Alvor dunes and Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho)
- European Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris): seen at Abicada and Cruzinha (ringing)
- European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis): seen at Sagres (Ponta da Atalaia, Cabranosa, Vale Santo), Abicada and Alvor Dunes
- Common Linnet (Carduelis cannabina): seen at Monchique (Foia), Abicada, Lagoa dos Salgados, Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho) and Ria de Alvor
- Rock Bunting (Emberiza cia): heard at Monchique (Foia)
- Corn Bunting (Emberiza calandra): seen at Sagres (Vale Santo), Abicada, Lagoa dos Salgados and Castro Verde (Vale Gonçalinho, Entradas)
- Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii): seen at Sagres, Abicada, Alvor Dunes and Ponta da Piedade
- Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra): seen at Monchique (Picota)
- Swallowtail (Papilio machaon): seen at Abicada
- Death’s Head Hawkmoth (Acherontia atropos): 1 caterpillar at Sagres (Cabranosa)
- Sacred Scarab (Scarabaeus sacer): seen at Sagres (Cabranosa)