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Old Friday 13th October 2006, 16:08   #1
Ruby
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Algarve end October

Hi Guys,

Off to the Algarve for a few days last week in October and wondered whether anyone had any good gen regarding what might be about where at that time of year.

We were there in the late Spring so have some ideas for locations - I was thinking of going to the Ria Formosa and also Castro Marim reserves, but didn't want to miss out if there were other places that might be good in late Autumn.

We'll have a car, so would probably be happy to travel 50m or so inland....


Rgds.... Ruby
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Old Friday 13th October 2006, 20:22   #2
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Originally Posted by Ruby
Hi Guys,

Off to the Algarve for a few days last week in October and wondered whether anyone had any good gen regarding what might be about where at that time of year.

We were there in the late Spring so have some ideas for locations - I was thinking of going to the Ria Formosa and also Castro Marim reserves, but didn't want to miss out if there were other places that might be good in late Autumn.

We'll have a car, so would probably be happy to travel 50m or so inland....


Rgds.... Ruby
Hi Ruby,
Three places always worth a visit are:

Pera Marsh - about 7km west of Albufeira - a shallow lake with reedbeds, sand dunes and a good mix of agricultural and semi-agricultural areas.

Cabo de San Vicente - well known for autumn migrants.

Quinta do Lago - comprises of an estuary of the Rio Formosa, a lake with reedbeds alongside a golf course, disused saltpans, small woodlands etc. this also leads into Ludo Saltpans.

I will be going in mid-November so would be very interested to hear how you got on.

regards

John
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Old Friday 13th October 2006, 20:57   #3
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Hi John,

Thanks for the info....

We'll probably head for Quinta do Lago (that was what I meant by Ria Formosa...) which looked like good habitat last time we were there.

Not familiar with the other places that you mentioned.

I can see Pera Marsh on my map, so may well visit there, but where is Cabo de San Vincente??

I'll let you know how we get on....


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Old Friday 13th October 2006, 21:07   #4
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Originally Posted by Ruby
Hi John,

Thanks for the info....

We'll probably head for Quinta do Lago (that was what I meant by Ria Formosa...) which looked like good habitat last time we were there.

Not familiar with the other places that you mentioned.

I can see Pera Marsh on my map, so may well visit there, but where is Cabo de San Vincente??

I'll let you know how we get on....


All the best.... Ruby
Ruby, Cabo de San Vincente is the headland at the extreme western end of the Algarve, quite a distance if you're east of Faro but can be worth it.

Have a good holiday

John
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Old Saturday 14th October 2006, 06:34   #5
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Ruby

I've just come back from a family holiday in the Algarve but managed to do a little bit of birding. I'd also recommend Quinta do Lago, there was plenty going on when i was there and i managed to find a Bluethroat. I dont know if you've been to Foia before but its also worth a visit, if not just for the spectacular scenery. I had Rock Bunting and Rock Thrush there amongst other things. The Castro Verde was nice also with noteworthy birds being Calandra Lark, Stone Curlew, Black-bellied Sandgrouse and Great Bustard, sadly no Little Bustard though.

If you need any detailed info, let me know.

Graeme.
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Old Saturday 14th October 2006, 08:12   #6
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Hi Guys,

Thanks for the info....

John - we're staying at Tavira, so maybe a bit far to go right to the Western end of the Algarve.

Graeme - The places that you mentioned sound interesting and some more info/directions etc would be v welcome. I seem to remember an older thread (quite possibly one of John's!) mentioning the Castro Verde - I'll have to have a scour through...


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Old Saturday 14th October 2006, 18:44   #7
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Originally Posted by Ruby
Hi Guys,

Thanks for the info....

John - we're staying at Tavira, so maybe a bit far to go right to the Western end of the Algarve.

Graeme - The places that you mentioned sound interesting and some more info/directions etc would be v welcome. I seem to remember an older thread (quite possibly one of John's!) mentioning the Castro Verde - I'll have to have a scour through...


Rgds... Ruby
Hi ruby,
I had a week at the Vila Gale Tavira Jan.2005, great place to stay. Don't forget the old saltpans behind the local market, opposite the left hand end of VG hotel when looking at it from the front entrance.

Also recommend a visit to the Natural Park of Ria Formosa near Olhao, 10-15km from Tavira. If you haven't already been there it's well worth a visit.

I did put a report in the trip report forum covering Casto Verde and other areas - click on my name and select threads started and look for "A Week in Portugal" end of Apr 2005.

regards

John
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Old Saturday 14th October 2006, 20:23   #8
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we're staying at Tavira
Rgds... Ruby
Hi Ruby.

As you will be at Tavira, I suggest that you check out the river (best at low tide) and the salinas to the west of the town of Fuseta, only about 15kms or so to the east of Tavira. I had some excellent birding there in August.
Also try the Parque Natural do Ria Formosa, about 10kms further along the same road. There is a very small charge to enter, but there is good birding in disused salinas, waterscrapes, a lagoon (with hide) and the Ria Formosa itself.
Further afield, try the river and saltmarshes behind Faro airport. Take the road to the airport and just before you reach it, there is a roundabout. Take the first exit (right) and follow the road for about 2kms. Vast area with thousands of birds in August. Should be better at this time of year.

Best regards to you and Mrs Ruby.
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Old Sunday 15th October 2006, 13:34   #9
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Thanks John(s)

Plenty of good ideas there - should be enough to keep us busy!

John H - I've dug out your 2005 trip report - thought as much, I actually had printed this out when we were in the Algarve in May-June and it was very useful. We were only there for 4 days and didn't get up to the Castro Verde last time, but I'd like to give it a try this time.

John B - Nice to hear from you - hope that you and Rebecca are keeping well. Lynne passes on all her best..... slightly concerned that she has just gone off to Lingfield races - and she's got the credit card!!!

Spent the morning sea-watching....... the sea was very nice, just a shame about the birds! We have been starved of suitable wind conditions, so even though today didn't look great, I thought I'd give it a go. Not much good sadly with 6 Bonxies and 1 Arctic Skua, a couple of distant Auks and quite a few Gannets about the pick of the crop.

How's the birding in Donana at the minute?? - unfortunately I think lack of time will prevent us getting across the border into Spain this time....


All the best.... Ruby
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Old Sunday 15th October 2006, 19:47   #10
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PM sent.

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Old Thursday 19th October 2006, 12:47   #11
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Ruby,

In case you are still looking for information, I was in the Algarve during a few days in the first half of October 2002. Here is some information on a set of sites resonably close to Tavira that may be of use.

Quinta do Lago is somewhat surreal, being a hyper-posh resort that couldn't contrast more with the small Portuguese villages you drive through to get there. Very reminiscent of upmarket American towns. Once you have recovered from the shock, walk east along a marked trail (Pied Flycatcher) to the Sao Lourenco Lake, a water body on the edge of a golf course. Although man-made, it has become rather semi-natural. Purple Gallinule was easy to see with a bit of patience; I had 8 there as well as Kingfisher and White Stork and the usual array of waterfowl.

A bit further east in the woodland along the trail were Azure-winged Magpies. If you continue even further east, you arrive at the western edge of Ludo Farm, a wonderful labyrinth of saltpans. In the past there were access restrictions there but apart from a couple of private signs around a small block of buildings access was open throughout.

Birds encountered there included flocks of Greater Flamingo, Marsh Harrier, several Kentish Plover, 2 Hoopoes, 2 late Red-rumped Swallows, White Stork, 90 Azure-winged Magpies gathering to roost, Woodchat Shrike, 2 Common Waxbills, Hoopoe, Subalpine Warbler, Purple Gallinule, Cettis's Warbler and 3 Caspian Terms on the river as well as several species of common waderss and ducks.

The western section of Quinta do Lago, including the pool at the end of Avenido do Ayrton Senna were comparatively unproductive, though I did see 3 Azure-winged Magpies in the scrub at the western end of the saltpans.

Another site that is near the above are the Montenegro waterworks. Situated adjacent to the airport (right behind the car park of the rental companies), they are nonetheless difficult to find. From the N125 drive into Montenegro, turn right at the cross and continue all the way down to the airport. Here a dirt track is sandwiched between some arable land behind a fence, a small river and the airport fence. Follow this down to the end - beware, though, it is not a good track. Although this spot has yielded some good birds in the past, it was unproductive when I was there in the evening. A few Curlew Sandpiper amongst the Dunlin, two Grenshanks, 3 Sardinian Warblers and a couple of Common Waxbills is all I saw.

There are other good sites within reach (though outside your 50km), such as Castro Verde about an hour and a half to the north in Alentejo region (close views of Great and Little Bustards, Stone Curlew, Azure-winged Magpie, Red Kite, Hoopoe, etc.). Note though that nobody speaks English up there but it is worth visiting to see the low intensity farming practised there and associated wealth of birds.

If you need additional information on the above or other sites, let me know.

Cheers,

Andre
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Old Thursday 19th October 2006, 17:33   #12
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Hi Ruby.

As you will be at Tavira, I suggest that you check out the river (best at low tide) and the salinas to the west of the town of Fuseta, only about 15kms or so to the east of Tavira.
Hi again Ruby.

I think my age is catching up on me. I meant to say "to the east of Fuseta", not west.

Regards.

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Old Thursday 19th October 2006, 21:19   #13
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Hi again Ruby.

I think my age is catching up on me. I meant to say "to the east of Fuseta", not west.

Regards.

John.

That's alright John - a quick glance at the map and I knew what you meant!!
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