Monday, July 04, 2005

Two views of how the "flood" at Pera (Lagoa dos Salgados) look with and without water. A recent trip (end of June 2005) revealed moderate water level for this time of year, considering the lack of rainfall last winter. The local ETAR (seage treatment works) is currently the only source of water into the lagoon and, surprisingly, the the water quality is fairly good; there is no sign yet of extreme (raw sewage) contamination and the resultant avian botulism. Success rate of breeding birds also appears to have been good with most water birds rearing at least two broods. As of now (3rd July) there are still Pied Avocet, Black-winged Stilt and LittleTerns sitting on eggs.
On an unhappier note, on my last two visits, I have witnessed stray dogs (reportedly from the fishermens' beach at Armacao de Pera) running amok over the flood and reed-beds and killing stilt chicks, and quad-bikes driving over the dried-out parts of the lagoon and disturbing large flocks of waders and gulls (the latter including a recent count of 35 Slender-billed Gulls).

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