Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Portugal - 31.10.12

The sleepy Black-Winged Stilt and Glossy Ibis

The last day of our holiday was upon us and so after brekkie we decided to walk down to the beach and walked east towards a small resteraunt in the distance that had a large wooden walkway attached to it over the inland area of marsh. The first birds of note were a group of 7 Spoonbill on the marsh sleeping again! 4 Serin then flew over before a small bird flew out of a tree infront of us and onto the floor. It was a Redstart which was a nice surprise as it was my first anywhere this year! After watching it for a couple of minutes I caught up with the others in the small car park and to my left a small bird flitted up from the weeds and called a single Zit. I immediately recognised the call as i'd heard it once before down in Kent. It was a Fan-Tailed Warbler! It skulked around for a bit before perching up for 10 seconds to let me have a proper look at it. Once on the beach the waves were rather large even with no wind which transfixed Tom all the way to the restaurant. 3 brown birds then landed in the dunes and looking at them in the bins I was please to see all 3 were Crested Larks a bird i've also seen in Kent! After 90 minutes we finally got to the restaurant and the only Wheatear of the holiday was perched on a rope fence below. After a dinner of clams and fish we walked over the long bridge. A Cetti's Warbler called from the other side and 4 Black-Tailed Godwit flew overhead. Once on the other side we walked along the edge of the golf course and found 2 more Crested Larks in the rough. My first ever female Sardinian Warbler perched long enough to get a good view and eventually we arrived at a new hide. On looking out just Little Egrets and Redshanks could be seen but a small pool a bit further along the path held a bird i'd hoped to see. A Black-Winged Stilt. We had a quick walk up to see it but it had gone to sleep. Realising we were being picked up in 3 hours to go to the airport we headed back but I noticed a small lake on the golf course so said i'll be 5 minutes and i'll catch you up! I was hoping for a Purple Swamphen but I only saw Coot and Moorhen plus Little Grebe, Pochard and Shoveler but then suddenly I noticed infront of me a Glossy Ibis. I managed a photo before it flew and I had to run back. The flight back was a bit of a rough landing at Luton and we got home just past midnight. A great break away with the family and a grand total of 79 species.


  1. Hi Ian, just came across yr blog - what a find! :-) We returned from Portugal on Wednesday and had spent much of our time at Quinto do Lago,walked the bridge,ate in the restaurant and visited the hide too - we therefore also saw all the birds you mention and more or less in exactly the same places,(!) - barr the Fan-tailed Warbler,Stilt or Swamphen :-( We did go to Quinto do Lago lake though where I saw my first Waxbill and we climbed up Rocha da Penna and watched 3 Bonelli's Eagles hunting!

    Portugal is a great place to go birding ( in summer we saw Bee-eaters and Golden Oriole) and your blog is a great place to learn. Keep posting glad I found it - Happy Birding, Theresa

  2. Hi Theresa, thank you for your kind words. So sorry it's taken so long to reply but i've only just seen your post. It certainly was a good place for birding and Waxbill and Bonelli's Eagle would have been nice to seen. Glad your enjoying my blog and I hope you continue to read it.