It was decided to give the Alentejo Region a second look, it was so good first time !
Again 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 123 some 15 minutes after daybreak, first lay by on the right, found us back in the 'raptor' area
first sighting is a big eagle, is it Golden or Spanish Imperial ?
then further sightings of
Booted Eagle, 1
Golden or Spanish Imperial Eagle ?
then the big eagle again, photo, later identified by Georg, thanks
The same tracks and roads were covered as our day 4 trip.
We stopped again in Castro Verde for refreshment, not so grand this time, the bus terminus cafe
Noted from this cafe was a view of a building with about 10 large paintings, poster style, of local 'Steppe' birds on its wall. Top quality, really did look good.
Back on the grassland area, 16.30 hours, M.S. sees a Sandgrouse !
Scanning the hill, we see 12 Sandgrouse then we see there is 20
Black-bellied Sandgrouse, 20
Something different today,
18.00 hours, WE STOP, we put all our gear away, cameras, binoculars, the lot. FINISH. Packed in the middle of the grasslands of Alentejo !
M.S. drives to Faro Airport. Return car hire. Baggage booked in. Coffee and a Roll x 3 = 30 Euros. That was more expensive than the 'top class' restaurant we found in Castro Verde, where the patron treated us like kings, with best large steak and salad and at least 10 cups of strong coffee for M.S. and myself and a gallon of water for Kevin = 25 Euros
22.40 hours flight departs to Gatwick, train, taxi, home in South London at 03.30 hours.
Big Thank you's to
M.S. for all your driving, (1500 miles + and a bit of 'off-roading' !).
M.S. (eyes) and Kevin (ears) for all the 'mentoring', (i need their help, big time !)
Mr. Frederico Morais and wife, thank you for your company on the two Pelagics.
Mr. Georg Schreier, thanks Georg for organizing the Pelagics, also your total enthusiasm which contributed so much to the huge sucsess that we had visiting Portugal
Alberto and Daniel, skipper and crew, marine biologists.
Summary of the week
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.
Day 5. 11 species seen, 2 new species for me to add to my European list.
Day 7. 10 species seen, 4 new species for me to add to my European list.
Day 8. 1 species seen, 1 new species for me to add to my European list.
Total birds seen by me in Portugal = 127 SPECIES
35 new bird species new to my European List.
100* / 100* for the ALGARVE, PORTUGAL