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Lisboa, Portugal

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Old Friday 15th March 2019, 20:49   #1
mordovarot
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Lisboa, Portugal

Hi,
Need help, can't sleep
I was near the Lisbon aquarium (yesterday) and saw a bird flew over the river, not far from the bank. Pretty big with contrasting white-black wings. First thought was a pelican... Then I get through the list of common birds of this area and the closest match was a flamingo.
And now is a question (stupid, of course) - what could it be? I haven't seen long neck and legs, but all the other fits the flying flamingo from the videos in the Web.
Many thanks,
Viktor
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Old Friday 15th March 2019, 20:59   #2
RafaelMatias
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Flamingos do occur around there, but it seems very odd to me that you didn't notice long legs and neck. Were you far from the bird, or was the bird seen without binoculars. Flamingos have a very characteristic flight action, not very similar to that of a pelican. Pelicans are not unheard at the Tagus estuary (the last ones I recall were in the 90's) but should not be expected at all, they're major rarities/vagrants in Portugal (or rarely seen escaped birds ). Could it have been a late Shelduck? Not usually present on that bit of the estuary though. A bit difficult to offer more help without some more detailed info, I'm afraid...
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Old Friday 15th March 2019, 21:52   #3
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Thanks Rafael,
To be honest I never seen both of mentioned pelican and flamingo. And yes, I was without binoculars, just my eyes from some 50 meters... Sheldock is an option, it was on my mind, but the size...
Anyway I appreciate your help, Rafael.
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Old Friday 15th March 2019, 23:05   #4
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Could be anything from a black winged stilt through to a white stork.
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Old Friday 15th March 2019, 23:12   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PYRTLE View Post
Could be anything from a black winged stilt through to a white stork.
Agree, it could be many things, but Black-winged Stilt would not be one of those (bird described as "big"...).
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Old Friday 15th March 2019, 23:22   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RafaelMatias View Post
Agree, it could be many things, but Black-winged Stilt would not be one of those (bird described as "big"...).
And neither a white stork, trust me :) But I agree, not enough confidence in flamingo... :(
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Old Friday 15th March 2019, 23:26   #7
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It's really surprising about size perspective Rafael and that is why one has to think of black and white waterside birds.
As a youngster I remember a friend and I seeing our first ever Kingfisher, probably aged 7 years old (1962). He couldn't get over how small it was and genuinely thought it would be the size of a crow. But we were young and innocently exploring the world.
The other extreme was recalled to me by a dear friend when he was part of a County recording team. He was asked to investigate a report of a black headed bird coming regularly to feed from a bird table. No, said the elderly observer, during a telephone conversation, it wasn't a CoalTit, nor Sparrow, Bunting or Finch. Sure enough when he arrived, not long after being offered a cuppa, the mysterious bird started feeding from the bird table.

A Black Crowned Crane.
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Old Friday 15th March 2019, 23:32   #8
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Originally Posted by mordovarot View Post
And neither a white stork, trust me :) But I agree, not enough confidence in flamingo... :(
But if you're still around Lisbon and want to see flamingos, just 3 km north of the Aquarium spot up to 200 have been seen recently at the mouth of Trancão river. It's very easy to get there in a short walk.
See here for the latest spots: https://ebird.org/map/grefla3?neg=tr...=1900&eyr=2019
Check the ebird lists for other species present around there. It's an almost urban setting but it holds a considerable species diversity.
I hope you enjoyed the Oceanario/aquarium as well!
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Old Saturday 16th March 2019, 03:26   #9
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Thanks Rafael, but I had only 1 hour between my flights :) I'm already in Toronto, no any flamingo around :))) Next time!
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Old Saturday 16th March 2019, 23:25   #10
Marcio Cachapela
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northern gannet?
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Old Sunday 17th March 2019, 12:05   #11
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Although its clearly impossible to ID the bird with certainty (no offense), two species that fits the description havent yet been mentioned: Ruddy Shelduck and Egyptian Goose, the latter is the bigger bird.
The bodycolour of Ruddy is closer to flamingos (in tone), but Egyptian is a closer match in "darkness value".
Another possibility is Cape shelduck, but this species is much rarer in Europe.

Was it one of those?
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Old Sunday 17th March 2019, 16:21   #12
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You know, as more time passes as less confidence remains and details in my memory... :)
Now I can say that it could be one of 5 or 7 species. Damn it! :))) But it's ok, this is a part of the game, right? :)
Never go on vacation without binoculars, even if it short! It'll be my rule from now on.
I really appreciate your help guys, thank you so much.
Cheers,
Viktor
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