Monday, 1 November 2010

Sagres raptor migration October 2010 Part one

The Calçada - one of the signature species of Sagres in early October

How many birders go to Portugal and actually spend time in one place? Yes, there is a nice selection of birds to be seen… but you can spend too much time in the car!!! Just how long does it take to get to Castro Verde??? Rather than a trip report, here is part one of the day-to-day records of the migrating raptors in the Sagres – Cabo De Sao Vicente area on the southwest tip of the Algarve.

So Sagres… steeped in history – the legend that is Henry the Navigator lived and died in the town up to 1460. A few years on… the place is rather good to go birding and spending enough time there gives you great close-up views of many European raptors.

Note these aren’t the official figures as the counters get there a long time before me, but from one chair without moving…

Oct 4th – 2 Short-toed Eagle, 6+ Sparrowhawk, 5 Buzzard, 5 Booted Eagle, 1 Hobby, 4+ Kestrels.

Oct 5th – 4 Short-toed Eagles, 5+ Sparrowhawks, 2 Buzzard, 22+ Booted Eagles, 2 Griffon Vulture, 1 Hen Harrier, 2 Peregrine, 4+ Kestrel and 6 Black Stork.


Oct 6th – 1 Black Kite, 1 Black-shouldered Kite, 23+ Short-toed Eagle, 6+ Sparrowhawk, 4+ Buzzard, 1 Honey Buzzard, 1 Bonelli’s Eagle, 200+ Booted Eagle, 1 Egyptian Vulture, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Hen Harrier, 1 Peregrine, 6+ Kestrel, 3 Black Stork

Black Kite

Bonelli's Eagle - the only one to fly over

Honey Buzzard

Oct 7th – 5 Short-toed Eagle, 7+ Sparrowhawk, 5 Buzzard, 49 Booted Eagle, 1 Peregrine, 6+ Kestrel, 5 Black Stork.

Black Stork

More Booted Eagles... they come close if you sit quiet!

Oct 8th – 4+ Sparrowhawk, 1 Buzzard, 14 Booted Eagle, 1 Hobby, 2+ Kestrel

Oct 9th and 10th bad weather days – hence no birds!

Oct 11th – 11 Short-toed Eagle, 5 Sparrowhawk, 1 Buzzard, 14+ Booted Eagle, 2 Egyptian Vulture, 1 Hen Harrier, 1 Hobby, 2 White Stork.

Short-toed Eagle

Booted Eagle

Getting around elsewhere, whilst not trying to add to much mileage, a Greater Flamingo was in the Alvor estuary complex with a couple of Spoonbills and a nice variety of waders, and up to 120 Mediterranean Gulls throughout the period. The Boca do Rio held very little other than regularly encountered species though the odd Crag Martin brightened proceedings, while 11 Alpine Swifts were over Lagos (10th) with Blue Rock Thrush regular in the Modello supermarket area in the town.

Greater Flamingo in the Alvor Estuary complex

Cattle Egret at the Boca do Rio

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