Monday, May 02, 2011


Despite the vile weather, the three bird species which for me characterise the Algarve and herald the onset of Spring and early Summer have arrived here from their wintering grounds in Africa.

Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator) first seen on 11th March

Bee-eater (Merops apiaster)  heard on 29th March and seen the following day in large numbers

Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus)  -  the unmistakable song first heard on 13th April

The order of appearance of these three "jewels" is always the same but this year the dates were about one week to ten days later than normal. There is a huge supporting cast of other species such as Iberian Yellow Wagtail, Melodious Warbler, Little Tern and many rarer species, but these "three" are not only beautiful birds but so typical of the Algarve  -  when they leave their breeding ground here in the autumn to return to Africa I feel a real sense of sadness.

1 comment:

lanius1946pp said...

Hi Colin,
Nice pictures! I forgot to exchange e-mail addresses when we met every day at Ria de Alvor during our birding (especially shrike). After our return we follow the great grey shrike. Temperatures are very high and the shrike impaled already two viviparous lizards, which are normally hibernating more or less. We hope to get in contact, greetings, also to Margaret,
Loes and Paul