Sagres Raptor Migration 2012

17th October

The dreaded final day.

A good-sized Griffon flock spent an hour or so bloggin just north of the hill, and just too distant to see if they contained any of the scarcer species. Again, these birds caused a vacuum on departure.

1 Osprey, 230-282 Griffon Vulture, 3 Egyptian Vulture, 10-14 Short-toed Eagle, 24-43+ Booted Eagle, 1 Bonelli’s Eagle, 1 Black Kite, 5-9 Buzzard, 1 Goshawk, 3+ Kestrel.

A Richard’s Pipit south over the hill the afternoon highlight

16th October

Only 4 hours on the hill from 2.30pm with only light passage

c40 distant Griffon Vulture, Short-toed Eagle, Booted Eagle, 1 Bonelli’s Eagle, Black Kite, 1 Red Kite, 1 Hen Harrier, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, 8+ Kestrel, 2  Peregrine.

The morning was spent on a pelagic, which was mainly for dolphin spotting, but the cheapest way of doing it. c200 Cory’s Shearwater, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 1 Manx Shearwater, 30+ Balearic Shearwaters and 3 Common Scoters.

A surprising new species given the amount of time I spend on the Cabranosa was this Western Conifer Seed Bug Leptoglossus occidentalis

Leptoglossus occidentalis Sagres, Portugal October 2012

15th October

60 Griffon Vulture, 1 Egyptian Vulture, 4 Short-toed Eagle, 25-48+ Booted Eagle, 2 Black Kite, 1 Red Kite, 1 Hen Harrier, 29-50+ Buzzard, 3 Sparrowhawk, 8+ Kestrel, 1 Hobby, 2  Peregrine. 1 White Stork north

Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus Sagres, Portugal October 2012

Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus Sagres, Portugal October 2012

Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus

14th October

The Griffon flock seen late yesterday afternoon made it to Sagres at lunchtime. However, despite for keen-eyed observers experienced in picking out Ruppell’s Vulture, nothing was to be found. The birds left early afternoon, with the Griffon flock sucking everything in the area into a kettle before heading north, leading to a bird free afternoon!

c530 Griffon Vulture, 1 Egyptian Vulture, 2 Short-toed Eagle, 21+ Booted Eagle, 1 Black Kite, 1 Red Kite, 1 Marsh Harrier, 3 Hen Harrier, 14-20 Buzzard, 3 Sparrowhawk, 1 Goshawk, 6+ Kestrel, 2  Peregrine

Griffon Vultures Gyps fulvus Sagres, Portugal October 2012

Griffon Vultures  Gyps fulvus

13th October

A better day. A sub-adult Golden Eagle left the area north mid-morning, while a nice sized flock of Griffon Vultures appeared some 17kms to the north late afternoon, which could lead to some fun tomorrow.

c530-560 Griffon Vulture, 2 Egyptian Vulture, 3+ Short-toed Eagle, 25-36 Booted Eagle, 1 sub-adult Golden Eagle, 2-3 Black Kite, 1 Red Kite, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Hen Harrier, 14-20 Buzzard, 3-9 Sparrowhawk, 7+ Kestrel, 1  Peregrine

12th October

1 Egyptian Vulture, 1-2 Short-toed Eagle, 12-20 Booted Eagle, 3 Black Kite, 1 Red Kite, 4-6 Buzzard, 10+ Sparrowhawk, 2 Goshawk, several Kestrel, 1  Peregrine

11th October

Another long period on the hill and another quiet day. Migration seems to have stopped. Hopefully things will improve. The fifth day with no new birds – when it starts it should be good.

13+ Booted Eagle, 3 Black Kite,  2-3 Hen Harrier, 5+ Buzzard, 4+ Sparrowhawk, 6+ Kestrel

A Richard’s Pipit brightened proceedings early evening, and 10 Crag Martin passed thru. A Spotted Flycatcher and a Chaffinch being the only indication of migration taking place.

10th October

Arrived late at the Cabranosa  due to the lack of birds during the last three days.

1 Short-toed Eagle, 13+ Booted Eagle, 3 Black Kite, 5+ Buzzard, 1 Honey Buzzard, 8+ Sparrowhawk, 6+ Kestrel, 1 Peregine

9th October

Again very little moving. Once the fog came in it was over for the day dragonfly spotting. Due to the lack of rain on the Iberian Peninsula in the last 24 months numbers are well down. However, common species such as Lesser Emperor and Scarlet Darter can still be seen, and Red-veined Darters are still numerous despite being present in lesser numbers than previous autumns.

Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope Boca Do Rio, Portugal October 2012

Lesser Emperors Anax parthenope

8th October

Short-toed Eagle,  10+ Booted Eagle, 1 Black Kite, 1 Hen Harrier, 4+ Buzzard, 10+ Sparrowhawk, 1 Goshawk, 8+ Kestrel, 1 Peregine.

7th October

2 Egyptian Vulture, 5+ Short-toed Eagle, 12-21 Booted Eagle, 8 Black Kite, 2+ Hen Harrier, 4+ Buzzard, 2 Honey Buzzard, 10+ Sparrowhawk, 1 Goshawk, 8+ Kestrel, 2 Peregine.

Black Kite Milvus migrans, Sagres, Portugal October 2012

Black Kite Milver migrans, Sagres, Portugal October 2012

Black Kite Milvus migrans

6th October

A long day in the hot sun with very little moving until late afternoon, when a flock of Griffon Vultures made their way down to the Sagres peninsula, with 2 Ruppell’s in the flock.

1 Osprey, 110+ Griffon Vulture, 2 Ruppell’s Vulture, 3 Egyptian Vulture, 5 Short-toed Eagle, 5-15 Booted Eagle, 1 Bonelli’s Eagle,2 Black Kite, 1+ Hen Harrier, 4+ Buzzard, 1 Honey Buzzard, 20+ Sparrowhawk, 1 Goshawk, 6+ Kestrel, 2 Peregine.

5th October

Even slower today with little on the move, and birds that were in the air so high and almost impossible to see.

1 Osprey,  1 Short-toed Eagle, 22+ Booted Eagle, 1 Bonelli’s Eagle, 2 Black Kite, 2  Hen Harrier, 2+ Buzzard, 1 Honey Buzzard, 15-20+ Sparrowhawk,  1 Hobby, 6+ Kestrel, 1 Peregrine.

A quick visit to the Alvor Estuary turned up very little with tides still being high. This Greenshank in the saltmarsh the highlight.

Greenshank Tringa nebularia Alvor, Portugal October 2012

Greenshank Tringa nebularia

4th October

A long day in the hot sun as the wind dropped. Yesterday afternoon saw a big clear out of birds from the area, and today was long and quiet…

1 Black Stork, 1 Egyptian Vulture, 5+ Short-toed Eagle, 22+ Booted Eagle, 2 Bonelli’s Eagle, 2 Hen Harrier, 11+ Buzzard,20+ Sparrowhawk,  6+ Kestrel, 1 Peregrine

Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus Sagres, Portugal October 2012

Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus

A sighting of  a Quail on the hill was helped by a dog that flushed it. Despite much searching for yesterday’s interesting Circus, there was no sign in the area early morning or late evening, while a falcon late on seen briefly may have been an Eleanora’s, and was considered by other observers to have been that species. However, the bird was not seen well enough from the Cabronosa.

On the Odonata front, an average of 18 per minute during the day. Which equals 8,400 Red-veined Darters moved through my 10 metre counting area in 8 hours, or 100,800 over the 1.2km viewing area.

Red-viened Darter Sympetrum fonscolombii Sagres, Portugal October 2012

Red-veined Darter Sympetrum fonscolombii

3rd October

The highlight of 7 hours on the hill was a distant Circus species that was 2 kms away and in silhouette. Pallid got mentioned, but the bird was more likely a Montagu’s. Hopefully, the bird roosted in the area and will reappear tomorrow.

1 Griffon Vulture, 1 Egyptian Vulture, 4-7 Short-toed Eagle, 50+ Booted Eagle, 1 Bonelli’s Eagle, 1 Black Kite, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Hen Harrier, 4+ Buzzard, 3 Honey Buzzard, 20+ Sparrowhawk, 1 Goshawk, 1 Hobby, 6+ Kestrel.

The week of frustration continues with 1 Ruppell’s Vulture, 2 Spanish Imperial Eagle and 1 Golden Eagle failing to make it down to the bottleneck of Sagres.

Still a trickle of Red-veined Darters, not enough to count.

2nd October

3 White Stork, 7 Black Stork, 7 Griffon Vulture, 12 Short-toed Eagle, 49-75 Booted Eagle, 1 Bonelli’s Eagle, 10 Black Kite, 1 Marsh Harrier, 2 Hen Harrier, 8+ Buzzard, 1 Honey Buzzard, 25+ Sparrowhawk, 2 Hobby, 6+ Kestrel, 2 Peregrine

A quick evening visit to the Alvor Estuary Larid spotting – c150 Mediterranean Gulls provided a few photo opportunities.

Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus Alvor, Portugal October 2012

Mediterranean Gull  Larus melanocephalus

1st October

1 White Stork, 5 Black Stork, 2 Egyptian Vulture, 4+ Short-toed Eagle, 12+ Booted Eagle, 2 Bonelli’s Eagle, 15+ Black Kite, 2 Marsh Harrier, 2 Hen Harrier, 4+ Buzzard, 3 Honey Buzzard, 25+ Sparrowhawk, 2 Hobby, 2+ Kestrel, 2 Peregrine,  60+ Chough, 2 Raven, 4 Bee-eater

Humming-bird Hawk-moth, Vestal and the always stunning Crimson Speckled.

Emperor Dragonfly and a trickle of Red-veined Darter moving through, probably 1500 through during the day.

Red Admiral, Painted Lady, 2 Swallowtail, probable Lang’s Long-tailed Blue

30th September

Sagres 2012 begins for me… 3 hours on the hill

6 Griffon Vulture, 2+ Egyptian Vulture, 4 Short-toed Eagle, 10+ Booted Eagle, 2 Bonelli’s Eagle, 12 Black Kite, 1 Hen Harrier, 5+ Buzzard, 3 Honey Buzzard, 10+ Sparrowhawk, 2+ Kestrel, 2 Peregrine,  70+ Chough

7 Painted Lady

Thekla Lark Galerida theklae Sagres, Portugal October 2012

Thekla Lark Galerida theklae

29th September

A non-birding day… Osprey on the drive from the airport. Egyptian Vulture, Short-toed Eagle and Hobby from the balcony whilst enjoying a beer after the 2am wake up call.