Friday, 18 September 2015

Portugal Day 7


This morning we drove from the Atlantic coast of Portugal to the inland plains east of Castro Verde, this my fourth time to this fabulous area. We managed to find some Great Bustards but true to form they very much kept their distance. Passerines in this area included plenty of Corn Buntings and Stonechats with numerous Southern Grey Shrikes, Iberian Magpies, House Sparrows, Crested Larks and similar fare. Warblers were made up of Sardinian, Dartford, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler.

On this particular day it was the raptors that stole the show with sightings of Griffon and Black Vultures, Booted Eagle, Short-toed Eagle and an absolute cracking Bonelli's Eagle. Black-shouldered Kite and both Kestrel and Lesser Kestrel added some finesse and two 'aquila' eagles flying around together caused some identification head-scratching!  I am confident one is a juvenile Spanish Imperial Eagle but it's partner is causing something of a conundrum as it displays a significant feature more akin to Steppe Eagle. Anyway the following images depict both birds so I would welcome views as to whether this really is a Steppe because if it is then it's out of range by a huge distance!


Neil M

Castro Verde plains

Red-rumped Swallow

Cattle Egrets. These birds all flew up
in a bit of a panic following an attack by
a Common Buzzard which killed one of
their number.

Great Bustard

Juvenile Spanish Imperial Eagle

'aquila' eagle sp

Both eagles 'together'!

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