Spring is in the air!

Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus 7691Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)

It may not seem like it yet to most but here in Portugal Spring is definitely in the air. The first migrants are in and our Barn Swallows are already nesting in the eves outside the Quinta's dining room, though we daren't let them actually inside yet just in case we have a squall and have to shut the window again. That'll happen towards the end of April and then we'll have their constant chatter over dinner - can't wait!

Something else that we're looking forward to again this year is welcoming the winners of the BTO's Raffle. We offered the BTO a stay at the Quinta as their first prize last year and they managed to rais over £34,000 on the back of it which was, as they say, a Right Royal Result!

The winners were Chris and Derek Allnutt and we had them to stay during June and took them birding a couple of times as part of the prize during one of which we snapped their picture ...

Chris Derek Allnutt 6805

It wasn't the only time we raised funds for education and conservation either, as we repeated our regular offer to the Birdfair of a week's stay at the Quinta for their auction. This has always been a hit, and not just with the auction winners but with us too as the winners are often past guests who return again, and so it was last year with a special couple, Debbie and Ian Durie, returning for some more Birding, Nature Watching and Photography.

Debby Ian Durie 9140063

All in all we helped raise close to £40,000 and were obviously over the moon - so chuffed in fact that we're offering both prizes again and we obviously hope to raise just as much this year. For the Birdfair auction you'll have to wait till August and then bid for the week at Rutland, but the BTO's Raffle is live now so click on this link - you never know, someone's got to win and your ticket price is all going towards the best of causes!

Just to give you a taste of what those four saw last year while they were with us, here're a few pictures in alphabetical order taken while we were out with them during those two weeks 

Black Stork Ciconia nigra 9120353Black Stork (Ciconia nigra)

Black bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles orientalis 7101Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Pterocles orientalis)

Black headed Weaver Ploceus melanocephalus 9140142Black-headed Weaver (Ploceus melanocephalus)

Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis 6636Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)

Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus 9140074Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus)

Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus 8055Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus)

Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus 7984Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus)

Northern Gannet Morus bassanus 9110624Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus)

Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus 7449Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)

Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio 9140162Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio)

Red billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax 9711Red-billed Chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax)

Rufous Bush Robin Cercotrichas galactotes 7255Rufous Bush Robin (Cercotrichas galactotes)

Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris 7031Tawny Pipit (Anthus campestris)

Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis 7201Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis)

But it was only the birds that stopped at Z, for there was lots more - yes, I know we're called "Birding in Portugal", but we're so much more! There were butterflies like this lovely Southern Gatekeeper, (Pyronia cecilia),

Southern Gatekeeper Pyronia cecilia 6905

and Dragonflies like this Southern Skimmer, (Orthetrum brunneum), 

Southern Skimmer Orthetrum brunneum 6913

and to top one of the weeks off, a species that I wish I could find every time we had friends to stay, a Common Chameleon, (Chamaeleo chamaeleon)!

Common Chameleon Chamaeleo chamaeleon 9140240

Yes, it's worth the effort! Go on, click on the link and have a go! We'll look forward to welcoming you!

Birding in Portugal

Quinta do Barranco da Estrada
7665-880 Santa Clara a Velha
Portugal

Email :
Phone : +351 283 933 065
Mobile : +351 938 386 326