Portimao. The 7/8 hour Pelagic. The big day for Petrels up close, we hope !
and to finish the day off, a visit to Salgados Lagoons.
Dawn brings a blue sky and no wind, perfect conditions.
07.30 hours, we meet up with Georg, our guide who has planned this event.
Also we meet up with Frederico and his lady who we met on the last pelagic.
Also in the company will be another photographer.
This Pelagic is on board a catamaran, we will go out for some 10 miles + , passing working trawlers, then 'chumming' to attract Petrels.
We meet with Alberto and Daniel, skipper and crew, marine biologists.
Set out to sea by outboard engine, no wind for sailing, more calm sea, hopefully for better photography !
Catamaran, excellent ! luxury !
This is what I have come for 'Petrels'
Soon out of Portimao we start seeing birds
Two flocks, first c100 Petrels, second c70 Petrels, distant
Cory's Shearwater, close
Great Skua, 1
Wilson's Storm-petrels, several, never close
European Storm-petrels, several, never close
Sandwich Tern, 2
Common Tern, 1
Georg, brilliant, detail information on everything.
Crew, excellent, a constant source of information.
10.34 hours, about 12 miles out,
285 / 300 metres depth of water, (1000 feet approx)
Sea temperature 18.1 * C
Air Temperature 27* C (and getting hotter)
Clear blue sky, easy calm.
Daniel starts 'chumming'
Alberto brings round 'Tea and sandwiches', this is luxury, bird watching at its best !
The Petrels fly in, feeding distant at first, then, closer and closer to our catamaran, the photo 'chase' is on.
This is the hard bit, trying to get it right, moving boat, moving sea, flying bird the size of a house martin and just as fast !
Time goes by very quickly, so much action, so much to take in.
Back on shore to soon ! Success rating for this trip = 100 / 100 First Class, not to be missed.
A big 'Obrigado' here to Alberto and Daniel for this splendid trip.
Coffee with Georg and Frederico, plans made that all of us would go to visit the Salgados Lagoons.
We followed Georg to this site, this saved a lot of time of the finding our way on our own !
Greater Flamingo, 100's
White Stork, 9
Purple Swamphen, 3
Artic Tern, juv, flew over
Cattle Egret, 40 + came in to roost
Glossy Ibis, 35 + came in to roost
Bluethroat, a poor 3 second glimpse !
A small detour led by Frederico to show us where he regularly sees Crested Tit. ''Only at 08.30 hours'', he says. It is now dusk, no Crested Tit.
At this point it was goodbye to Frederico and George.
On behalf of all three of us, 'a big thanks' for your superb company.
THAT WAS THE DAY A MEGA DAY !!!
Day 2. 34 species seen, 6 new species for me to add to my European list.
Day 3. 28 species seen, 8 new species for me to add to my European list.
Day 4. 9 species seen, 7 new species for me to add to my European list.
Day 5. 11 species seen, 2 new species for me to add to my European list.