Friday, 23 October 2009


What an amazing few days.

The thing that struck me most about being in Portugal was the abundance of birds. There were birds everywhere - hundreds of them! The fields were full of larks, the bushes heaved with sparrows, finches and warblers and the watercourses were stuffed with waders (particularly Avocets), flamingos, gulls and egrets. It was a like being in paradise - even when it was raining!
Tagus Estuary
The Tagus Estuary, on which Lisbon lies, was particularly graced with abundant birdlife. Joao, my guide and I found nearly 50 Stone Curlew, 60 plus Little Bustard, legions of Black-tailed Godwits, Kentish Plovers and Ringed Plovers, Literally thousands of Greater Flamingo and Avocets, hundreds of Crested Lark and White Stork and loads of Marsh Harrier, Black-shouldered Kite and Cattle Egret. We also had a Bonelli's Eagle, Booted Eagle, several Hen Harrier - the list goes on.
Some of my doggy friends in the Tagus Estuary
Feral horses
One of the pools at the Tagus Estuary
We also found a few national rarities including a Red-throated Diver on the sea near the Sado Estuary (which is around 40km south of Lisbon), Portugal's 11th or 12th a Marsh Sandpiper in a dyke in Tagus and a very probable American Golden Plover (found by yours truly) with some roosting Kentish and Ringed Plovers - again at the Tagus Estuary.
Vasco da Gama bridge
Portugal is so cheap to get to these days and there's barely anyone out there birding it. We all need to get out there check out their wonderful birds and make a name for ourselves by finding some new ones!

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