The dawn chorus is absolutely wonderful in Algarve and with spring having now sprung, it is great to see a plethora of birds enjoying the skies.
Migratory birds have been passing through since the beginning of January this year. Some are stopping to breed whilst others stay to feed and recoup before moving on to their more northerly summer homes.
The south-westerly coast of Portugal, Sagres in particular, offers us an excellent opportunity to gauge the migrating birds’ movements. In the autumn the Sagres Birdwatching Festival is a chance for everyone to enjoy all things ornithological together with other nature-filled activities. For a peek at last year’s activities and find out more about this year’s, running over five days stating on October 1 2020, click here.
Those usually the first to arrive on our shores are the swifts, swallows and house martins. Portugal has five species of swift – most enjoy the coastline with some preferring the cliffs to the urban eaves and inland ruins. The swallows and house martins prefer the urban eaves and their mud cup-shaped nests can be now be seen with parent birds coming and going.
Soon to follow are the nightingales, the hoopoes and various species of thrush. One thrush in particular stands out, the (Northern) Wheatear. This species is considered to have one of the longest migratory routes of any bird – around 30,000kms! Those that breed in Greenland and Canada are known to make the longest transoceanic crossings of any bird.
Of course, in Algarve we have a wealth of resident birds too which makes bird watching any time of year a great pastime, whether you live or holiday in the region. The tourism board has a birdwatching guide with over 30 routes maped out across Algarve, together with descriptions and details of birds that are resident and migratory. To find out more click here.
We could wax lyrical about the ornithological treasures we have in Algarve but to appreciate it, you really must visit and see for yourself.
Image: Hoopoe by Delyth Williams | Pixabay