I am going to Quinta at the end of the month. Does anyone have advice as to where to go and what birds I might see? I know that there are lagoon and estuary sites and would like also to get into the hills above Loule. Any help most welcome - thanks.
The free PDF guide may be useful,see here:
Quinta do Lago can be great for migrants at that time of the year.
There is a nature trail around the Sao Lourenco Golf course, you can download a map here:
During the season there is a parking fee on the main car park near the bridge (near Ponte do Ancoa). I think that this may be applicable until 30 Sept. Thereafter it is normally free until March.
On the estuary near the bridge you might get black and bar tailed godwit, whimbrel,plovers,shanks and several sandpiper species.
I guess getting towards high tide is best, when the waders are forced to forage higher up the mud flats, near the trail. Though we seldom get the timing right.
On the coastal scrub there's bound to be Sardinian warbler,fan-tailed warbler and even the chance of blue throat.
There is a hide at the golf course main "fresh water" lagoon where purple swamp hen is guaranteed, a pair of little bittern tend to hang out on the left bank of the lagoon but are not always easy to see, egrets are common and there is a possibility of both glossy ibis and spoonbill. Here there are a few pairs of black headed weaver birds and the odd kingfisher darting across the water. Good views of several species of duck and both crested and little grebe can also be had.
Hoopoe and azure winged magpie are common on the golf course where you should also look out for wagtails, chats,pipits and larks.
As you follow the trail through the pines look out for serin,finches,warblers,tits including crested, woodpeckers (Iberian green and great spotted), wryneck are also a possibility on migration . Pied and spotted flies, flit between the branches.
Overhead as you walk the trail look out for kestrel,sparrow hawk,marsh harrier, booted eagle and there's always a possibility of a vulture fly over.
Some practical advice,although they are easy to walk allow a couple of hours if you've never walked these trails before because you may be stopping to look at birds a lot.Take a bite and a drink along with you and avoid trying to eat or drink at the restaurant at the far end of the bridge, as its very expensive.
There is a public loo in the shopping precinct on the right as you drive through the golf village. Snacks and coffee are not too badly priced there.
We will be around during the first two weeks of October.
I'm sure Simon can put me right on a few things, but I hope that this proves of help.
I've always found Little Bittern really easy from the hide - usually a bit earlier in the year though when I've been.
Nice one Mick - looking forward to seeing you again around Sagres.
The OP Skippo should get to Sagres if possible - about and 1hr15mins drive from Faro.
.....might go west but perhaps not as far as Sagres.
...... and fancy the Fonte da Benemola
Just to let anyone interested know, I did get to Cape St Vincent, met Simon and with his help and others saw gannets, balearic and Cory's shearwaters, pomerine skua, sandwich terns and a med gull). Worth the trip - too cloudy to see raptors sadly. Back at Quinta do Lago saw spoonbill, egrets, flamingo, white stork, little bittern, purple swamphen, reed warbler, kentish, grey and ringed plover, turnstone, redshank, common sandpiper, curlew, hoopoe, greenshank, sardinian warblers, bar-tailed godwit,glossy ibis, gadwall, little grebe, pied and spotted flycatcher, blackcap, zitting cisticola, pochard, crested tit. Overall close to 50 species - well pleased and thanks again for the help.
Yes I was really chuffed with what I saw. The vegetation is pretty high, but you can still see over from the path in places - I guess it is over six feet but only five or so above the level of the path in several places. The hide is useful of course.
Sounds like you had an enjoyable trip skippo.
How high was the vegetation around the lake at Quinta do Lago, last time I was there you had a job to see over the top of it from the path.