Sagres raptor migration October 2010

Sagres raptor migration October 2010

 

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???

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.


Sparrowhawk

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

Oct 13th – 25+ Short-toed Eagle, 8+ Sparrowhawk, 2 Buzzard, 50+ Booted Eagle, 1 Egyptian Vulture, 1 Montagu’s Harrier, 2 Peregrine, 1 Hobby, 6+ Kestrel, 15 Black Stork


Egyptian Vulture

Oct 14th – 1 Osprey, 3 Red Kite, 1 Black Kite, 9 Short-toed Eagle, 10+ Sparrowhawk, 4+ Buzzard, 28+ Booted Eagle, 3 Egyptian Vulture, 1 Griffon Vulture, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Hen Harrier, 1 Montagu’s Harrier, 2+ Peregrine, 11+ Kestrel


Red Kite

Oct 15th – 2 Red Kite, 1 Black Kite, 19 Short-toed Eagle, 12+ Sparrowhawk, 12 Buzzard, 1 Honey Buzzard, 30+ Booted Eagle, 3 Egyptian Vulture, c194-200 Griffon Vulture, 1 Marsh Harrier, 2 Hen Harrier, 1 Montagu’s Harrier, 1 Peregrine, 2 Hobby, 5 Kestrel, 2 Black Stork


Griffon Vultures

Oct 16th – 2 Red Kite, 1 Black Kite, 36 Short-toed Eagle, 15 Sparrowhawk, 6 Buzzard, 2 Honey Buzzard, 50+ Booted Eagle, 1 Egyptian Vulture, 200+ Griffon Vulture, 1 Hen Harrier, 1 Montagu’s Harrier, 2 Peregrine, 8 Kestrel, 3 Black Stork, 1 White Stork


Griffon Vulture

Oct 17th – 1 Osprey, 21+ Red Kite, 1 Black Kite, 1 Black-shouldered Kite, 10+ Short-toed Eagle, 6 Buzzard, 40+ Booted Eagle, 2 Egyptian Vulture, 500+ Griffon Vulture, 1 sub-adult Ruppell’s Vulture, 1 Marsh Harrier, 3 Hen Harrier, 1 Montagu’ Harrier, 2 Peregrine, 2 Hobby, 5+ Kestrel, 1 Black Stork

Oct 18th – 1 Osprey, 50+ Red Kite (note c30 were seen several kilometres to the north on travelling to the site – c350 were in the area late evening Oct 17th.) 1 Black Kite, c15 Short-toed Eagle, 10+ Sparrowhawk, 10+ Buzzard, 2 Honey Buzzard, 41+ Booted Eagle, 2 juvenile Spanish Imperial Eagle, 2 Egyptian Vulture, 500+ Griffon Vulture left the roost, 1 juvenile type Ruppell’s Vulture left the roost – a different bird to the one that we saw go to roost on Oct 17th. 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Hen Harrier, 1 Montagu’s Harrier, 1 Peregrine, 10+ Kestrel, 1 Black Stork


Short-toed Eagle nice and close




This the only Ruppell’s Vulture seen on the 18th leaving the roost – the sub-adult had damage to primaries on the left wing

Oct 19th – 1 Osprey, 10+ Red Kite, 2 Short-toed Eagle, 3 Sparrowhawk, 7 Buzzard, 1 Honey Buzzard, 20+ Booted Eagle, 2-3 juvenile Spanish Imperial Eagle, 3 Egyptian Vulture, 680-720+ (one flock) Griffon Vulture, 1 Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, 1 Peregrine, 3 Kestrel


Some of the many Griffon Vultures ‘kettling overhead’

So 20 species of raptor made it to Sagres during the period Oct 4th-19th – and I missed Golden Eagle and Black Vulture, not a Goshawk could be found… and rumour has it an unidentified eagle spp – probably Spotted or Lesser Spotted was in the area but never put in an appearance.

Other highlights over the period in the vicinity included the regular Thekla Larks, up to 80+ Chough daily, 2 Richard’s Pipit (15th), 11 Little Bustard over (18th) and a variety of more common and expected sundries. A probable Eleonora’s Falcon was in the area late-evening on the 6th, but despite seeing it land it couldn’t be picked up again in the fading light.

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