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Posted by: atowhee | February 22, 2019

BIRDING SOUTHERN PORTUGAL

My eldest son, Dylan, and his family frequently visit Portugal from their home in London.  There this winter they took a short birding boat trip near the south coast.  Here’s Dylan’s report.
We went a short 2hr. guided birding trip by boat in the protected marshlands outside Faro. Very knowledgeable guide. Some of the birds seen:
White_StorkStorks [White–they annually add to nests that can stack up several feet on utility poles, church towers, castles, etc.  The old nests are often inhabited by Spanish Sparrow colonies in Iberia.  Think of all the good insects attracted by decades of stork poop and kitchen middens littering those stick nests.  Yum, say the sparrows.]
Osprey
Peregrine
Flamingos [Greater]
Avocets [European]
Black[-winged] stilts
White spoonbills
Curlew [European]
Whimbrel
Redshanks
Various other sandpipers
Sandwich Terns
Shelducks [Common]
Sardinian Warbler
Sad news the population of sea horses is down 90% here due to illegal fishing to service the Far East market. 😦 This had been a strong hold or this species with up to 2 million living here in the past.

 The good news is they can breed sea horses for release and there is a government education program underway to combat the illegal poaching of sea horses in the Algarve.
Two useful links if you do go to Faro:
– great local nature tour opertor: http://www.formosamar.com/en/
– map for a self guided walk around the Ria Formosa natural park: http://www.polislitoralriaformosa.pt/downloads/ingles.pdf
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