Day 4. The Alentejo Region.
Georg had given us specific map references, where to go and look in this area.
We explored an area between Mertola and Castro Verde, taking the 122 northwards, turning onto the 123, taking all roads, lanes and tracks to every village on the left hand side off this road.
We turned onto the 122 some 15 minutes after daybreak, first lay by on the right as marked on map by Georg.
We immediately saw an Eagle in distant tree, suddenly a Black-shouldered Kite appeared to the right, it seemed to be coming closer, i took my eyes of it for a second to now see two eagles distant, as i turned back to the kite it was disappearing in the distance.
By going forwards and taking the first road on the left, we were able to see over a large area, we saw
Iberian Grey Shrikes, many
Woodlark, (heard only)
Wood Pigeon, (first one)
11.00 hours, getting very hot, constant hot strong wind.
Going further into the grassland area we came to a field 'harrowed' recently, M.S. picks out 2 Black-bellied Sandgrouse some 200 metres away, we observed for 30 mins, at times in flight, but never came any closer
Black-bellied Sandgrouse, 1
Black-bellied Sandgrouse, 2
Moving on a bit, we spotted 3 Great Bustards flying in to grassland to our right
Great Bustard, 2 of the same 3 after landing
Must be 14.00 hours, very, very hot strong wind, sun very hot
we make it into Castro Verde, find a nice restaurant, got treated like kings, best steak and coffee, air conditioned, luxury.
Return to the field, on the 123, Kevin spots two Great Bustards, very close, (this makes 5 seen so far)
Another Northern Wheatear
Then we came across a field full of cows near a river,
Cattle Egret, 70 +
Moving on we found first 2 Great Bustard (to make 7 seen), then M.S. found another 12 followed by another 2. Total Great Bustards seen today = 21
18.30 hours, the sun is getting lower, we turn the corner and see
2 Little Owls finish the day.
It does not get better than that surely !
A Mega day again ! !
Day 1. 32 species seen, 7 new species for me to add to my European list.
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.