A lovely morning with a stool, cushion, tripod, hat, camo-netting and various cameras and lenses produced these shots.

It's been a chilly, damp Spring, with it feeling more like winter some days, but the weather's changed now and I thought I'd get a quick morning on my own before it becomes roasting hot out on the Plains, so, having left the Quinta nice and early I was all set up before sunrise .... and then waited, freezing, for a wonderful three hours before the first of my two target species deigned to turn up!

Silly me - having warned everyone all Spring to dress warm, "as it can be surprisingly chilly out there", I failed to follow my own instructions and froze, but it was worth it when the Black-bellied Sandgrouse below landed right in front of me ...




Having taken some film and the shots above I moved on to the Rufous Bush Robin's nest I found a few weeks ago ...



She's still sitting so I reckon another morning I'll pop on out there again for some shots of her feeding the chicks - but next time I'll be taking a jersey!

Apart from actually going in to Faro airport I actually like picking up guests there as it always gives me the chance to explore the area a little, and today was no exception, so I thought I'd just quickly post some of the shots we got today while I was down there ... first off the blocks was this Eurasian Wryneck, one of the four individuals we were lucky enough to find during the morning.


A short while later came a surprise, a solitary and distant Curlew Sandpiper moulting in to summer plumage.


This Little Egret showed off its gorgeous plumes and posed well for us,


as did the many Kentish Plovers we saw.


Several times this flock of Greater Flamingos flew overhead and they looked stunning in the beautiful weather we're now enjoying.


It seemed that nearly every bush held a singing Sardinian Warbler.


As well as finding a well hidden Kentish Plover's nest we also found this Little Tern nesting scarcely a meter away from a busy walking trail.


One of my guests was particularly anxious to find a Purple Heron - and was even more particularly pleased when we did just that! A pity it didn't stick around for very long but that's Life ...


I was pleased I captured the Purple Heron before it disappeared for good and was also pleased with this quick shot of an Iberian Magpie. It's always difficult to get the focus right on moving birds against tangled backgrounds.


Of course everyone loves European Bee-eaters - especially when they've caught a bee and bring it back to the branch just above your picnic!


OK, they're originally an escaped cage-bird, even if they are well established now, but Common Waxbills are always nice to see.


Last but not least on the photo front was this Eurasian Hoopoe.


We saw many, many more species of course, Crested Tits and Little Bitterns amongst them, but I think that should do for now!


So ... since our new site went live I don't think I've had a day "at home" when I wasn't taking guests birding and, what with one thing and another, I simply haven't had a second to sit down and just write a few lines here - and it hasn't just been me either as Tony's been hard at it too .... but today, yes, we've a free day so I've had a beautiful lie-in, took the dogs around the block, cleaned out Uncle Harry's quarters, rescued him from a tree - twice! - and am generally soaking up the sunshine and relishing the warmth. It makes a change from the freezing 4º at the top of Foia as the sun rose yesterday ...

It's been a very late Spring and we've had our fair share of damp days to end the drought.

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The mist creeping every morning through the valleys surrounding the Quinta make it all worthwhile though and everything's green with the wildflowers putting on as gorgeous a display as ever.

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The unsettled weather has kept the birds down a good deal. However, we've had our successes too, like the Booted Eagle with its Stone Curlew prey, below.


A couple of other birds spring to mind too, smaller ones this time ... like this Firecrest,


or this Dartford Warbler,

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or this Spectacled Warbler singing in the rain,

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or this Eurasian Wryneck.


Out on the Plains the Little Bustards have been displaying well.

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The same area has also produced great views of Great Spotted Cuckoos, like this mating pair,

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while some species are well advanced like this Eurasian Hoopoe bringing food in to its hungry offspring waiting, beak open, in the nest-hole below.

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Birding in Portugal

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

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