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Old Thursday 7th November 2002, 22:01   #1
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Mystery Portugal bird (No 1 thread)

Hi all

In May 1999 I had a birding holiday on the Algarve in Portugal. On one of the days I went out on my own and stopped at one of the many bridges you cross over along the road from Castro Marim to Mertola. I spotted two Martin species flying around near to the bridge. I watched them for over an hour. They landed on the ledge of the bridge and I managed to take a couple of photos of them, not very good I admit, but I had to lean over the biridge at an angle to even get these shots.

I had the photos developed straight away as I had worked out what I thought they were and reported them the next day to the ringing station at Alvor. They tentatively agreed with my assessment and sent someone out to see if they could find them to verify my ID but of course they were no longer there. The notes in my log book were as folows:

Poss Crag Martin but didn't have the spotted chin or throat. Seemed lighter in colour on the underwing, in fact lighter in colour throughout the underbody. Flight jerky, laboured, not smooth. My impression overall was of a slighly smaller bird but that could be my imagination as there were no Crag Martins about to make a direct comparison, allthough I did see quite a few later on in the day and they further convinced me of my ID. If only I could have proved my ID as it was possible that I had seen a possible 1st for Portugal (if the people at Alvor were correct).

I will post another thread to show the 2nd photo for you to see.

Obviously I haven't had these birds confirmed but I am relatively happy with my ID but I am willing to change my mind if one the experts on this forum could tell me that I am wrong.

See what you think?
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Last edited by John J : Thursday 7th November 2002 at 22:09.
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Old Friday 8th November 2002, 20:41   #2
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JuncoJo

It is rare to watch a potential lifer for so long. I still haven't had these birds confirmed but even so it was a challenge trying to work them out. The scenery where they were helped also.
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Old Friday 19th March 2004, 14:53   #3
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from your description and picture it seems possible you could have seen rock martin!
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Old Friday 19th March 2004, 14:59   #4
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No idea what they are, but they sure don't look like Crag Martin.
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Old Saturday 20th March 2004, 09:27   #5
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With that pale upper breast, wouldn`t Rock Martin be the choice?
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