Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Day 1 Ria Formosa

So today it was just me with no guide. Started with breakfast on the rooftop terrace, the expected House Sparrows were there, loads of Swallows darting around as well as 2 White Storks standing on tree and building. On the walk to the bus stop got things like Ringed Plover, Curlew, Little Egret, Black-headed Gull and the ever present Feral Pigeon. The No. 16 bus to the end of its route cost 2.22E. Bit of a walk back to get to the entrance, however as soon as I got off the bus there were 2 Kentish Plovers feeding. Turnstone, Dunlin, Redshank, Grey Plover and Little Grebe just on the walk to the entrance. Caspian Tern then flew over and the first bird I saw in the reserve itself was a Osprey close overhead. Got onto some common birds like Goldfinch, Coot, Wigeon, Teal, Whimbrel, lovely male Pintail, and then Flamingo. They were a distance away but have to put picture on here for my son to see.

There were loads of Chiffchaff and a few Sardinian Warblers flitting about. Adding Snipe, Gadwall, Shoveler and Great crested Grebe I finally got to the hide, which I didn't need to go in because there was nothing of note to see from it. Took another path that went down beside the golf course. As I was approaching a big lake there were a good handful of Iberian Magpie (or Azure-winged) which gave lovely views but wouldn't sit still for the camera. Purple Swamphen and Glossy Ibis showed well and Cetti's Warbler showed a couple of times but was mainly heard. Then the hotspot it seemed as Bluethroat, Little Bittern, very close Glossy, Black-headed Weaver, Common Sandpiper and Common Waxbill all in a small area. 

This is one of the best photos I have ever taken.

Little Bittern above
Terrapins below

Best I could get of Black-headed Weaver

Common Waxbill above
Purple Swamphen below

An immature Little Gull was at the back of the lake. There was a guide by the name of John there and he pointed out that there was also Iberian Chiffchaff in this area. The Chiffchaffs all looked drab but the small yellow mark on it's head was actually very easy to spot in such close quarters. 
Bar-tailed Godwit, Blackbird, Kingfisher, Greenfinch and Eurasian Magpie rounded off the day with I think 51 species. Here are some other photos I took.

Forgot to mention the Black-winged Stilts that always look immaculate. I then tried to get a charger for phone because out of the 4 we have at home I bought the one that doesn't work. Then had some delicious Chicken Korma with Garlic Naan, I know that's Indian food but tomorrow it is local fish for me. Think maybe Tuna but might be adventurous. Tomorrow I will have a guide with me and I am not sure which site we are doing first but it is going to be good.

Going to now look up the status of Iberian Chiffchaff, it is now a seperate species? 
3 or 4 new ones for me depending on above Iberian Chiffchaff.

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