Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Taste of Summer

Today is the 31st of October and the temperature in the shade just after midday was 30℃. It is like summer here and this morning I heard (but did not see) a Bee-eater calling; my friend Roger saw nine here just over a week ago. This is very late for this species to be here, they normally leave before the end of August. Perhaps the northern expansion into Britain as a breeding bird might mean that in future years these most northern birds might over-winter in the Algarve? For me, the arrival of these birds is the start of summer (end April or early May) so I thought a "medley" of Bee-eater photos was in order:

This last image is "junior" in the nest hole waiting for lunch. He left the following day.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Yanks at Salgados

For about a week, from 23rd to 30th September, a Buff-breasted Sandpiper and Long-billed Dowitcher were residing at Lagoa dos Salgados; both birds were originally found and photographed by a local Dutch birder Thijs Valkenberg.

I manged to connect with the sandpiper and got some reasonable shots (from the Land Rover) in rather harsh lighting, but no sign of the dowitcher:

*(Click on image for larger view)

It is quite amazing that this little vagrant from N. America (hence the term "Yank") has been blown off-course on its southerly migration and ended up in western Europe - what a journey!!

It is now over twelve months since I have made a new entry here. The reason is that information on Lagoa dos Salgados (for which I began this blog) has "dried up", rather like the lagoon itself! There will be more information (together with vitriolic criticism of the RSPB) in the near future.

I decided to change the format of the blog with a new background and colour-scheme which has unfortunately resulted in some text now being illegible - this will also be sorted out soon, and at the same time I intend to remove a lot of the long text sections relating to Salgados since the updates from RSPB in English are all now available on the SPEA website as PDF documents; I will link to these in due course.