From March to August Birdwatching Lisbon hosted several tours in the Tagus and Sado Estuaries as well as experimental tours in Southern Portugal (Castro Verde plains).
Besides the observation of some of the most emblematic species of the Tagus/Sado estuaries during this period (such as Purple Heron, Little Bittern, Glossy Ibis, Black-shouldered Kite, Bonelli´s Eagle, Black Kite, Booted Eagle, Collared Pratincole, Kentish Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Gull-billed Tern, Little Tern, Hoopoe, Bee-eater, Pallid Swift, Red-rumped Swallow, Short-toed Lark, Azured-winged Magpie, Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler, Melodious Warbler, Western Bonelli’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Rock Sparrow, Cirl Bunting, amongst many others), there were also interesting observations of more unusual birds such as 1 Lesser Yellowlegs in April, 1 Temminck’s Stint in August, and 1 Ruddy Shelduck also in August. Other interesting records included the observation in the Tagus Estuary of 2 Caspian Terns in June, ca. 10 male Great Bustards between June and July, 1 Purple Swamphen in July, and 2 Black Terns also in July.
In the Southern Portugal tours it was possible to observe not only steppe bird species (such as the Montagu’s Harrier, Lesser Kestrel, Great Bustard, Little Bustard, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Stone Curlew, Roller, Calandra Lark, Short-toed Lark, Black-eared Wheatear, etc.), but also the local resident Spanish Imperial Eagle, and also Griffon Vulture, Cinereous Vulture, Short-toed Eagle, Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin, Thekla Lark, Dartford Warbler, Spanish Sparrow, Rock Bunting, amongst many others. In some small reservoirs it was also possible to spot a few Ferruginous Ducks in the middle of the Red-crested Pochards groups, but the highlight of these tours was, without a doubt, the observation of Red-footed Falcons! This little falcons that breed in Eastern Europe were caught by unusual strong and continuous eastern winds while migrating from Africa to their breeding grounds and ended up in the western tip of Europe! This meteorological phenomenon resulted in the observation of ca. 100-150 Red-footed Falcons in Portugal (including a few in the Azores and Madeira archipelagos) during last May!
Autumn is now arriving, with waders, ducks and gulls coming in from northern latitudes, whilst summer visitors are getting back to their winter quarters in Africa… Its an excellent time for birding around Lisbon as lots of different species can be seen in a given day!
Looking forward to host you in one of our tours!