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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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 Emperors Anax parthenope
Short-toed Eagle, 10+ Booted Eagle, 1 Black Kite, 1 Hen Harrier, 4+ Buzzard, 10+ Sparrowhawk, 1 Goshawk, 8+ Kestrel, 1 Peregine.
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
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.
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
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
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-veined Darter Sympetrum fonscolombii
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.
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
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
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
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.