Here is an Azure-winged Magpie sampling berries from one of the garden trees.
Meadow or Tree Pipit? I initially thought this bird was a tree pipit as it liked to perch in the highest branches of a tree. Meadow pipits usually creep through the grass like mice and keep low to the ground. Close examination however shows the bird has the more slender bill and very long, quite straight toe of a Meadow Pipit, so it is just behaving like it´s tree-dwelling cousin.
Hoopoes are abundant around the gardens, finding rich pickings in the well watered lawns and shrubberies of the estate. They also love golf courses and are a common sight on fairways and greens, probing for worms and grubs in the short grass and soft soil.
The Zitting Cisticola is often quite approachable as it flits about in low scrub and open bushes, whereas the Sardinian Warbler usually hides away in denser foilage and is more skittish by nature.
We spotted this Bluethroat on a walk along the estuary bank. They are rarely seen far from water and this one was no exception.
The fringes of the estuary hold a number of shallow freshwater ponds and small lakes which are rich in wildfowl such as these Gadwall, Tufted Duck and Shoveler. I would like to be here in Spring or earlier in the Autumn as there would undoubtedly be close views of many migratory species from the hides.
Dusk is a good time at the ponds to watch flights of wading birds coming in to roost for the night. This Glossy Ibis has just arrived to share a reed platform with the Mallard,
In Portugal this species declined greatly in the 19th and 20th centuries, but has increased more recently thanks to protection and reintroduction schemes, although it remains rare and has a fragmented distribution.