Monday, January 04, 2010

26th Dec 2009: Olhos De Agua, the Algarve, Portugal

What's this? A sunny day! The only day during our stay when the sun shone throughout.

All week long Hoopoes had been hard to get close to, but this one was enjoying its sunny perch too much to be bothered to move. Today I had promised to show my eldest daughter her favourite 'Upupa epops', and thanks to this bird. I was able deliver with some panache!

Ta da!

While we were gawwping at the Hoopoe, a Common Buzzard flew over and took a good look at us.

Our local beach. What a difference a bit of sun makes!

This looks SO much better than it would in July!

There were only a few sunbathers around - this Lesser Black-backed Gull...

...and a nice flock of Sanderlings...

...including this ringed (but sadly, not leg-flagged) bird (centre).

Flushed by a beachcomber!

The cliffs just behind the beach were surprisingly busy with birds, including tail-shivering Black Redstarts,

cliff-hugging Blue Rock Thrushes,

and lots of birds feeding on berries in the coarse undergrowth...

Male and female Eurasian Blackbirds

House Sparrows



and singing Sardinian Warblers - easy to hear - difficult to see well!

With all that small bird activity, it must have been a good spot for this Eurasian Kestrel to go hunting.

On our walk home in the late afternoon, I got distracted by a few low-flying Eurasian Crag Martins, looking deceptively similar to Sand Martins at first glance.

With better views, I found the contrast between the pale-based flight feathers and the dark underwing coverts quite distinctive.

The white tail spots were only visible when the tail was spread.

The insects which the martins were feeding on also attracted a Chiffchaff.

A Spotless Starling to round off a good day!

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