Sunday, May 28, 2006

Raptors to Bustards

Portugal trip, 14th April to 1st May 2006

Systematic List
Part III: Raptors to Bustards

Note: All dates refer to April 2006 except where specified.
Species in pink are likely to be of most interest to British birders


BLACK KITE Milvus migrans (Milhafre-preto)

Surprisingly, none positively identified in the Algarve, though a probable seen from a moving car. Near Lisbon, up to 4 at Pancas on 19th and 20th and 1 at Ponta da Erva on 20th. Slightly easier in the Alentejo where counts included 8 at Elvas on 23rd.

Black Kite, Elvas (Portugal), 24-Apr-06
Black Kite, Elvas, 24th April

RED KITE Milvus milvus (Milhafre-real)

One seen with a Black Kite east of Mourão (in Spain) on 21st.

Black & Red Kite, E of Mourão, 21-Apr-06
Black Kite (left) and Red Kite (right), east of Mourão, 21st April

BLACK-WINGED KITE (Black-shouldered Kite) Elanus caeruleus (Peneireiro-cinzento)

One at Ponta da Erva on 19th (thanks to Julio Caldas and Sparky Faísca) with 2 there next day.

Black-winged Kite, Ponta da Erva (Portugal), 20-Apr-06
Black-winged Kite, Ponta da Erva, 20th April

GRIFFON VULTURE Gyps fulvus (Grifo-comum)

Eight seen together just west of Mértola on 25th.

Griffon Vulture, Mértola - Castro Verde (Portugal), 25-Apr-06
Griffon Vulture, west of Mértola, 25th April

SHORT-TOED EAGLE Circaetus gallicus (Águia-cobreira)

One distantly in the hills north Santa Catarina da Fonte do Bispo on 15th.


MARSH HARRIER Circus aeruginosus (Tartaranhão-ruivo-dos-pauis)

The commonest harrier around Lisbon with birds seen at Barroca d’Alva, Pancas and Ponta da Erva including 6 at the latter site on 19th. Elsewhere in the Algarve 2 at Ludo Farm on 29th and 1 at Castro Marim on 30th.

MONTAGU'S HARRIER Circus pygargus (Tartaranhão-caçador)

A total of 27 seen, mostly in the Alentejo. One at Barroca d’Alva on 16th was the only one in the Lisbon area. Best count in the Alentejo was 6 between Mértola and Castro Verde on 25th. In the Algarve singles at Azinhal and Ludo Farm on 29th and up to 2 daily at Castro Marim 27th, 28th, 30th and 1st May. All but 6 of the 27 were males.

Montagu's Harrier, Elvas (Portugal), 24-Apr-06
Montagu's Harrier, Elvas (Portugal), 24-Apr-06
Montagus's Harriers, Elvas, 24th April

Montagu's Harrier, Castro Marim (Portugal), 27-Apr-06
Montagus's Harrier, Castro Marim, 27th April

BUZZARD Buteo buteo (Águia-d'asa-redonda)

A total of 13 seen involving 1-2 birds at ten locations.

BOOTED EAGLE Aquila pennatus (Águia-calçada)

A total of 8-9 birds seen: 1 at Tomar on 18th, 2 at Pancas on 19th with 1-2 there the following day, 2 between Montemor-o-Novo and Arraiolos and 1 at Arraiolos on 21st, 1 at Évora on 24th and finally 1 over Castro Marim on 30th.

Booted Eagle, Pancas (Portugal), 20-Apr-06
Booted Eagle, Pancas (Portugal), 20-Apr-06
Booted Eagle, Pancas (Portugal), 20-Apr-06
Booted Eagle, Pancas, 20th April

Booted Eagle, Montemor-o-Novo (Portugal), 21-Apr-06
Booted Eagle, Montemor-o-Novo (Portugal), 21-Apr-06
Booted Eagle, Montemor-o-Novo, 21st April

Booted Eagle, Castro Marim (Portugal), 30-Apr-06
Booted Eagle, Castro Marim, 30th April

LESSER KESTREL Falco naumanni (Peneireiro-das-torres)

Two records: a flock of 5 east of Mourão (in Spain) on 21st and 23rd and a flock of 12 between Mértola and Castro Verde (near Tacões) on 24th.

Lesser Kestrel, Mértola - Castro Verde (Portugal), 24-Apr-06 Lesser Kestrel, Mértola - Castro Verde (Portugal), 24-Apr-06
Lesser Kestrel, Mértola - Castro Verde (Portugal), 24-Apr-06
Lesser Kestrels, Tacões, 24th April

KESTREL Falco tinnunculus (Peneireiro-vulgar)

Small numbers (1-2) seen at a variety of locations.

Kestrel, Pancas (Portugal), 19-Apr-06
Kestrel, Pancas, 19th April

Kestrel, Elvas (Portugal), 23-Apr-06
Kestrel (and House Sparrow), Elvas, 23rd April

Kestrel sp., Elvas (Portugal), 24-Apr-06
Kestrel sp. (probably Common), Elvas, 24th April

MOORHEN Gallinula chloropus (Galinha-d'água)


Moorhen, Elvas (Portugal), 23-Apr-06
Moorhen, Elvas, 23rd April

PURPLE GALLINULE (Swamphen) Porphyrio porphyrio (Caimão)

On 15th, 3 at a site between Ludo and Quinta do Lago and 4 at Quinta do Lago.

Purple Gallinule, Quinta do Lago (Portugal), 15-Apr-06
Purple Gallinule, Quinta do Lago (Portugal), 15-Apr-06
Purple Gallinule, Quinta do Lago (Portugal), 15-Apr-06
Purple Gallinule, Quinta do Lago, 15th April

COOT Fulica atra (Galeirão-comum)

Common breeding bird especially in the Algarve where young seen at several sites.

Coot, Quinta do Lago (Portugal), 15-Apr-06
Baby Coot, Quinta do Lago, 15th April

LITTLE BUSTARD Tetrax tetrax (Sisão)

A total of 19 seen but many more heard calling. East of Mourão (in Spain) males seen and heard included 15 on 23rd (including a flock of 6 in flight). In the Alentejo, seen at Elvas and around Mértola with a total of 16 calling males located between Mértola and Castro Verde on 24th.

Little Bustard, between Mértola and Castro Verde (Portugal), 24-Apr-06
Little Bustard, between Mértola and Castro Verde (Portugal), 24-Apr-06
Little Bustard, between Mértola and Castro Verde (Portugal), 24-Apr-06
Little Bustard, between Mértola and Castro Verde (Portugal), 24-Apr-06
Little Bustard, between Mértola and Castro Verde (Portugal), 24-Apr-06
Little Bustards, between Mértola and Castro Verde, 24th April

GREAT BUSTARD Otis tarda (Abetarda-comum)

At least 22 seen. In Spain, east of Mourão, 2 seen on 21st and 22nd with 6 there on 23rd. In the Alentejo, between Mértola and Castro Verde, an impressive disparate group of 16 was located near São Marcos da Atoboeira.

Great Bustard, E of Mourão (Spain), 22-Apr-06
Great Bustard, E of Mourão (Spain), 22-Apr-06
Great Bustard, E of Mourão (Spain), 22-Apr-06
Great Bustard, east of Mourão, 22nd April

Great Bustard, E of Mourão (Spain), 23-Apr-06
Great Bustard, east of Mourão, 23rd April

Click here to go on to Part IV of the systematic list: Shorebirds

Part I: Wildfowl and Gamebirds
Part II: Grebes to Flamingo
Part IV: Shorebirds
Part V: Other non-passerines
Part VI: Passerines
Part VII: Other non-avian wildlife

Or to return to the overview of the regions visited, including very brief details of the main birding sites:

Algarve I - 14th to 16th April
Lisbon - 16th to 21st April
Alentejo - 21st to 26th April
Algarve II - 26th April to 1st May


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