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Griffon Vultures Portuguese/Spanish border

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Old Monday 7th March 2016, 16:07   #1
Lynda MS
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Griffon Vultures Portuguese/Spanish border

Hi
I understand there is a large colony of Griffon Vultures on the border of the Sao Mamede national park.
Does anyone know the exact location and whether the site is accessable for photography purposes?
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Old Wednesday 9th March 2016, 07:46   #2
Simon Wates
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Here is a page from Gonçalo Elias's excellent site about the site (Portas de Rodão) you refer too - with a map showing observation points - its in Portuguese

http://www.avesdeportugal.info/sitportasrodao.html

Its also the place with the well known resident adult Rüppell's Vulture.
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Old Wednesday 9th March 2016, 15:48   #3
Lynda MS
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Thanks Simon, useful information, but there is also a fair sized colony further south, somewhere near the Marvao to Valencia road and right on the border, but the exact location eludes me so far.
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Old Thursday 10th March 2016, 20:03   #4
Gonçalo Elias
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Hello Lynda,

The colony you mention is at a place called Galegos. It is very easy to find, as it lies directly next to the road.

Leaving from Castelo de Vide (or Marvão), pass Portagem and follow the signs to Spain. About 1 km (or less) before crossing the border, a huge rock appears on the left, it's called Fraga da Esparoeira.

Image here: http://www.avesdeportugal.info/images/esparoeira.jpg

I should note, however, that the colony is not very large, it has 3 or 4 pairs, I think.

Hope this helps,
Gonçalo
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Old Monday 21st March 2016, 13:03   #5
Lynda MS
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Thank you for the information Goncales
I found the rock but only saw one vulture overhead. However if you go a bit further, cross the border and about 100m on the left is a ruined house, a further 100m after this is a grass track on the left, you can park here and there is a track that gets you closer to the rock. There is said to be a colony here of over 20 pairs, unfortunately it started to rain and the cloud was low but we saw 11 vultures overhead at this point. I need to go back on a better day.
Another day I went to the Portas do Rodao and managed some photography from the viewing platform in front of the Castelo do Rodao [also signposted as the Castelo Rei Vamba] where we saw about 6 pairs overhead and on the rocks opposite. Best photo on www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
Which is the best month/time of day for vultures?
I will never forget the vultures at Monfrague, hundreds of them which we saw at the end of January.
Lynda
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Old Thursday 24th March 2016, 15:22   #6
Pedro Ramalho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynda MS View Post
Which is the best month/time of day for vultures?
I will never forget the vultures at Monfrague, hundreds of them which we saw at the end of January.
Lynda
Right now is good, but most birds should be on eggs/chicks and the other member of the pair can be absent of the colony, but you should be able to get some “good” numbers at Rodão at any time in the next few months, the most important is that you arrive early before the birds start to take off, that is also important because Egyptian-vultures return earlier than Griffons, and being there earlier is the best strategy to get all the breeding species, Griffons, Egyptians and Black storks, but there’s not a right time to arrive, it depends of the time of the year, weather conditions etc, as a rule of tumb 2-3 hours after the sun rise is a safe window. Be on the lookout for Black-vulture, they are no very frequent at Rodão, but occur occasionally
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Old Thursday 24th March 2016, 15:24   #7
Pedro Ramalho
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Originally Posted by Simon Wates View Post
Its also the place with the well known resident adult Rüppell's Vulture.
Not any longer Simon, I think that the last confirm sighting was in 2012 or 2013
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Old Friday 25th March 2016, 06:37   #8
Simon Wates
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Not any longer Simon, I think that the last confirm sighting was in 2012 or 2013
I was convinced someone had seen it there last breeding season...
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Old Saturday 26th March 2016, 20:49   #9
Gonçalo Elias
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Originally Posted by Lynda MS View Post
Thank you for the information Goncales
I found the rock but only saw one vulture overhead. However if you go a bit further, cross the border and about 100m on the left is a ruined house, a further 100m after this is a grass track on the left, you can park here and there is a track that gets you closer to the rock. There is said to be a colony here of over 20 pairs,
Hi Lynda, I am not sure about the most recent figures, but I think that 20 pairs is a little too optimistic.

Best r.,
Gonçalo
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