A huge apology to all those who have visited this site in search of news on progress at Lagoa dos Salgados ("Pêra Marsh"). Although I am still monitoring the situation and am in contact with SPEA and RSPB on a regular basis, my attention and time have been diverted to what is also happening on my own doorstep at Ria de Alvor; I hope to begin a separate sequence of illustrated bulletins on the problems facing this locality (which, as well as being a RAMSAR Site, has become incorporated in the EU "Nature 2000" network since September 2006).
I met Aidan Lonergan (RSPB Director, Northern Ireland) in May this year while he was spending a month-long sabbatical over here with a brief to "look into" the options for the future preservation of the lagoon. Aidan spent his time well, met with most of the parties involved, and is of the firm opinion that this site MUST be saved. I was very impressed at how well he had grasped the many complexities of the situation in such a short space of time. Aidan is in the process of writing up a report on his visit and has vowed to return in the near future to assist with the move to preserve this site.
I have also recently been in contact with José Tavares (RSPB Country Programmes Officer for Portugal) who informs me that there has been a lot happening behind the scenes and that a full update is imminent. I will post that here as soon as it becomes available.
In the meantime, you might find it useful and informative to visit a new Portuguese birding forum "Fórum Aves" http://aves.team-forum.net/ the site is in Portuguese and to access all the sections you need to register (which is free but not easy if you do not understand Portuguese!). Two of the sections, the Galeria (Photo-gallery) and Birds of Portugal in English (for which I act as Moderator) are available to view by visitors, but you cannot post a response unless you are a registered member; if anyone wants a translation of the registration process please let me know. But as a start, from the title page (linked above) select "Início", then select "Birds of Portugal (in English)" and you will find threads on Lagoa dos Salgados as well as Ria de Alvor in which I have linked to various missives, including articles in the local English weekly "The Algarve Resident".
As soon as I have more information I will distribute it.
Best wishes to all supporters,