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pedro maia

Visiting Portugal Hotspots

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pedro maia

In order to leave the BY post only for the bird´s counting I star this  post to put pictures of the places I visit in my country looking for birds, trying to improve my skills and also getting to know places I´ve never been before, and there are many. Please feel free to comment critically the pictures, I really need to work on that.

 

I start with last Friday´s visit to Lagoa Pequena, some 30km south of Lisbon, in the vicinity of the better known (here) Lagoa de Albufeira.

 

First the pictures taken with the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS.

 

Right before arriving the pond is visible from the road, I stopped to have a look and there was a bird in the top of the trees, I tried to picture it and got it, it was difficult because it was up in the branches but it was a new one for me, a Hoopoe:

 

HBQIdGO.jpg

 

0XBBOW2.jpg

 

Not a bad start.

 

After parking the car, I went to the pond where there are a couple of hides, very cose to the water:

 

dSRO3de.jpg

 

VXiMTCg.jpg

 

Views from the hide:

 

hIaRAlm.jpg

 

6XHqIsr.jpg

 

And right away another addiction to my counting, a Coot:

 

g9WzxkF.jpg

 

Cormorans

 

HHqAhXN.jpg

 

And more pictures of the coot, quite a curious looking bird:

 

r22IWx6.jpg

 

kHLPxwP.jpg

 

XDwkJIp.jpg

 

One more for the counting, a Common Pochard:

 

bAMRpvM.jpg

 

And another one, Northern Choveler:

 

TdT8pYY.jpg

 

zZnqlmy.jpg

 

gle0ZDf.jpg

 

Some more coots:

 

tcWDBqI.jpg

 

0ajzLJX.jpg

 

Strange looking feet:

 

ItHVahw.jpg

 

Time to move to another hide:

 

SiW1VOE.jpg

 

Views;

 

q2J1oTJ.jpg

 

9M90KDE.jpg

 

One more for the bag, a Gadwall:

 

LXbRz6Q.jpg

 

A few more pictures:

 

AOcxoNw.jpg

 

csnv4YQ.jpg

 

uSdDpVT.jpg

 

Later I´ll post pictures taken with the other camera, but while leaving I took a couple of lousy pictures of another new for me, I think it´s a Great Tit:

 

cZ8ejET.jpg

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pedro maia

And now some pictures taken with the Canon EOS 1200D with a Tamron 70-300 lens.

 

I must say that I struggled with this one, the light was difficult, quite flat, I messed up with the settings and the maximum 300 zoom is clearly not enough for birds, although right now that´s what I have to work with.

 

vKiuNVV.jpg

 

WyEuo4m.jpg

 

mgxMNDD.jpg

 

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I think this guys look like mobsters:

 

0Qfioki.jpg

 

There was lot´s of action and it´s a great place for me to practice birds in flight pictures, most of them were terrible but some were ok by my standards (and show that the lens zoom is too short):

 

4BkgpPK.jpg

 

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It´s always nice to see a bird of prey but it was a bit far and doesn´t ad to my counting, it´s a marsh harrier:

 

cvw5cRV.jpg

 

4QCSM27.jpg

 

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YBwrGUD.jpg

 

A grey heron

 

qrnPrDH.jpg

 

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279LWSD.jpg

 

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Now a shoveler

 

QkulWrS.jpg

 

9iWUGF6.jpg

 

And the fight for elbow room:

 

FmWNLWx.jpg

 

A place to return.

 

 

 

 

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Peter Connan

Great idea for a thread, I will be watching with interest as the year progresses!

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Kitsafari

lovely hides for a lovely place!

 

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Dave Williams

It's a great idea for a post, telling us about your local areas, giving an idea of the countryside, the hides etc all with photographs too. Maybe don't put so many shots of the birds, especially when it's the same bird and a common one too. A list of typical species see at each place would be sufficient.

I think anyone heading to Portugal would find all that invaluable information.

 

In terms of asking for help on all subjects photographic it might be better to try the Photographic Section?

 

Just a thought, but you did ask for a critique.

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Tom Kellie

~ @pedro maia

 

What an excellent thread! Thank you for starting it.

 

I love the rich assortment of images you offer.

 

Seeing birds in multiple poses helps me to better appreciate their typical behavior.

 

When I found your thread I was delighted by your originality.

 

I'll be recommending this thread to my graduate students as an example of presenting birds in context.

 

Really, really nice. Many warm thanks.

 

Tom K.

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pedro maia
2 hours ago, Dave Williams said:

It's a great idea for a post, telling us about your local areas, giving an idea of the countryside, the hides etc all with photographs too. Maybe don't put so many shots of the birds, especially when it's the same bird and a common one too. A list of typical species see at each place would be sufficient.

I think anyone heading to Portugal would find all that invaluable information.

 

In terms of asking for help on all subjects photographic it might be better to try the Photographic Section?

 

Just a thought, but you did ask for a critique.

 

I asked for critics and I´m glad to receive them, I´ll have what you say in mind, I can get carried away since everything in new for me in birds world, but in next post I´ll start refraining myself a bit ^_^.

 

And I´ll also put my photographic doubts in the right section, to leave this post more "clean"

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pedro maia

@Tom Kellie I´m glad you appreciate the idea, I´m also getting to know places from my country where I´ve never been, and it´s a small country.

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pedro maia

Last Saturday was quite a full day, during the morning we returned to the Lezíria de Vila Franca de Xira, a place we´ll sure visit from now and then, we arrived little after 10:00, which probably isn´t the best time of the day, but still got to see some nice birds, and some new for my list:

 

0zKXZ4T.jpg

 

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This one is the least shy of them all:

 

dMjetRP.jpg

 

The only bird of prey:

 

4ws32Cp.jpg

 

fJsRsi9.jpg

 

I like these poses:

 

son7tvv.jpg

 

g7lbjfT.jpg

 

Rural scene:

 

LT5P0hJ.jpg

 

And the contrast between two worlds:

 

3AxBzy7.jpg

 

 

 

 

Edited by pedro maia

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Game Warden

@pedro maia We'll have to plan a trip to Lagoa de Santo Andre to photograph the storks and flamingos :) (Plus plenty of other species...)

 

Perhaps we could arrange a ST photography trip? Rates are very good in the campsite...

 

Matt

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pedro maia
12 hours ago, Game Warden said:

@pedro maia We'll have to plan a trip to Lagoa de Santo Andre to photograph the storks and flamingos :) (Plus plenty of other species...)

 

Perhaps we could arrange a ST photography trip? Rates are very good in the campsite...

 

Matt

 

Matt, Lagoa de Santo André is a must go place, I have to go there one of these days and we can arrange things to go together and have that picnic with some wine to widen our vision, it will sure help to spot the birds.

 

However, right now it´s hard for me to do it other than in a day trip basis, I don´t mind getting up early and it it´s that far away, but I´m struggling to be able to have a weekend out with my wife (aging parents and no siblings to share the tasks) and also camping isn´t really my thing.

 

But we´ll arrange something ;).

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pedro maia

After leaving Lezíria de Vila Franca de Xira, we went further north to Entroncamento, some 100km from Lisboa, to have lunch in a nice restaurant where they claim to serve slow food, a deserved claim, where we gathered stenghts with a good plate of fish and a glace of wine (ok, maybe two), before heading to our next destination.

7vFwNQn.jpg

 

That destination was a natural reserve called Paul do Boquilobo, close to Golegã, where I haven´t been before.

 

A common vision in our roads:

numUwLv.jpg

 

It wasn´t easy for us to find the reserve, not that there are no road signs but because we arrived there and though it didn´t look like the correct place and then lost nearly one hour until we got back to find out we were in the right place in the beggining.

 

A paul is a bog, the final strech of the road (gravel in the end) leads to a farm, Quinta do Paul, when you pass it there are some cars parked, you do the same and then you just walk along the reserve.

 

This winter has been rather dry so the water level was quite low and thus the birds are not that close from the path and from the hides, but it´s still a nice stroll in a beautiful place, and there are birds in the pog and, of course, in the trees, but those are quite skittish and it wasn´t easy to spot them and take pictures because they tend to be in the tree tops, not good for neck problems, but I still managed to picture 3 or 4 to my BY.

MuA1LcU.jpg

 

2BagLF4.jpg

 

pVdAvjE.jpg

 

The first hide (there´s another one about one mile further the path but it was facing the sun and there weren´t any birds visible from that second one):

kT4HFmr.jpg

 

5b0wKyt.jpg

 

Views from the hide:

suhUjae.jpg

 

7T1vaqI.jpg

 

uDc9PlK.jpg

 

Way back to the car:

jvXeIUD.jpg

 

A winter afternoon:

byTQHbn.jpg

 

When we arrived to the car we could hear a woodpecker banging loudly on a tree trunk, but it was getting dark and we were tired so we didn´t try to find it.

 

And that´s all from last Saturday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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xelas

@pedro maia, this thread is an excellent idea, to show us the birding sites in Portugal. I hope you will be OK with me using your idea, to present the birding sites in Slovenia the same way.

 

Speaking of Portugal, how would those sites be populated 8with birds and with birders) in August?

Edited by xelas

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Tom Kellie
2 hours ago, xelas said:

@pedro maia, this thread is an excellent idea, to show us the birding sites in Portugal. I hope you will be OK with me using your idea, to present the birding sites in Slovenia the same way.

 

~ @xelas

 

Even for non-birders like me, who nonetheless enjoy birds, a clear, straightforward pictorial guide to productive birding sites in other countries would be most welcome.

 

I've enjoyed seeing and photographing a variety of birds in the City Gardens of Venice, Italy.

 

That's not so distant from Slovenia. It would be helpful and appreciated to see a Slovenian birding site visual guide.

 

Similarly, any other countries would benefit from the pleasing approach of @pedro maia.

 

Thank you for your proposal considering birding in Slovenia.

 

Tom K.

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pedro maia
3 hours ago, xelas said:

@pedro maia, this thread is an excellent idea, to show us the birding sites in Portugal. I hope you will be OK with me using your idea, to present the birding sites in Slovenia the same way.

 

Speaking of Portugal, how would those sites be populated 8with birds and with birders) in August?

 

Of course you can use the idea, I´ll be very pleased if you do it, it will mean that for once I had a good idea :lol:.

 

As for the second question, I think it will depend of the places, I think those in the Tejo estuary area will be OK (although for some species it will depend of their migration patterns, which I´m sure you know better than me), but if you really think about coming I can check the best spots some Portuguese websites, like this one http://www.avesdeportugal.info/.

 

What I can say is that there´s a good chance that it will be quite hot around here in August...

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pedro maia

Friday afternoon I went to try a couple of places in the lower parte of the Serra de Sintra, a very turistical place 15m from home (30m from Lisboa), I went to a particular road in the Parque Natural Sintra -Cascais visiting first Lagoa Azul, a small pond tright by the road very popular for picnics in weekends but with few people on a friday.

 

q9SIuIe.jpg

 

I first saw these fellows, nice but not what I was looking for:

 

SBQeZZ5.jpg

 

Truth is I wasn´t expecting much and there wasn´t much, only the Muscovy Ducks would be good for my BY.

 

g5qjyCg.jpg

 

There was the inevitable Mallard

 

9zkocK4.jpg

 

And this goose, which I think it isn´t BY material

 

Rn3DCTD.jpg

 

I put quite a bit of work trying to take a picture through lots of brunches  of a bird which turned out to be a White Wagtail (I think), which was #1 in my BY post.

 

luDnCJB.jpg

 

Wdnju7Z.jpg

 

Time to go for my real goal, Quinta do Pisão a few km further the same road, I pass by nearly every Sunday when I take my mother for a drive and didn´t know it exists,, a place run by the municipality of Cascais that has lots of activities and is supposed to be a good place to spot birds, I didn´t have much time left so I made a quick visit to only a part of the farm but is definitely a place to return, I think I didn´t see the mos interesting parts.

 

Some of the fauna that occurs

 

heK3RAb.jpg

 

Promising but not the real stuff

 

CdmqLUn.jpg

 

A kill

 

Sv0kbmb.jpg

 

YT8AGCh.jpg

 

Through the farm

 

86CN5Ys.jpg

 

C5lMi98.jpg

 

It had to work hard to see this female Blackcap because I could hear it but wasn´t visible, finally appeared and it´s a cool bird I think

 

Z4j3OZ2.jpg

 

ZJoKpwS.jpg

 

A view of the vegetable garden and time to go home, I´ll return for sure.

 

S5IijxG.jpg

 

 

 

 

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pedro maia

Saturday, quite a hot day even for this latitudes, 24º in February, good day to try a new spot in another estuary, the river Sado estuary, we went to a place called Herdade da Mourisca, close to Setubal, some 40km south of Lisboa.

 

Birding can be tiring so first thing to do is to gain some energy.

 

BMdrR93.jpg

 

The restaurant was very close to our destination so we arrived at a good time, there was very few people for a Saturday, and it was the low tide, time to spot waders.

 

HmdybER.jpg

 

One can see that it´s a popular place for birding

 

dB73jcO.jpg

 

The hide

 

FMPLw42.jpg

 

w0mYvRU.jpg

 

Local scenes

 

p8gwqNJ.jpg

 

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Bird sighting tours waiting for a better tide

 

wM6JcqH.jpg

 

More locals

 

ik0ALgw.jpg

 

cEHSRP9.jpg

 

bpKMJjf.jpg

 

And more views

 

kQGHzrO.jpg

 

WGYxTxo.jpg

 

Good time for some maintenance

 

9WswEQC.jpg

 

The inevitable egret

 

WmzKcjd.jpg

 

A few more birds

 

OcbrqID.jpg

 

LswY3u9.jpg

 

ngC3F6K.jpg

 

We were longing for a G&T in the interpretative centre terrace but sadly the place had been invaded by hoards of barbarians so we called it a day and went back home.

 

KzzoEeS.jpg

 

One more place I got to know and a very nice one, to be revisited and, if possible, with that final G&T.

 

 

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pedro maia

Just a few pictures from Parque do Tejo, in the eastern part of Lisboa right behind the Vasco da Gama Bridge, I was there for little more than an hour last Saturday, it was the low tide but in the morning the light isn´t the best, I´ll return there with the low tide in an afternoon.

 

I also have to explore better the wooded sections of the park because I focused on the river, nothing too interesting, lots of gulls but I liked to see the pied avocets:

 

 LDls2Io.jpg

 

PBCXBqI.jpg

 

QlHDgsG.jpg

 

The I saw this guy which I thought, and hoped, to be a bar-tailed godwit, but now I´m pretty sure it is a black-tailed godwit that doesn´t ad to my count.

 

ispdctK.jpg

 

wt45q0P.jpg

 

0eaSglU.jpg

 

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I suppose this is a common blackbird with some feather abnormalities

 

1P5SCbO.jpg

 

As I walked further east, already outside Lisboa´s limits reaching the Trancão river mouth, I saw a group of birds in the distance which ended up being flamingos.

 

C9sqRm7.jpg

 

They were quite far away so I decided to go back to the car and cross the Trancão river to try to get closer to them but I found out it wasn´t possible, or so it seemed to me, so I went home, later in the afternoon I would get to see them from much closer.

 

A vue of a hide and the bridge as background

 

lAgpyKi.jpg

 

 

 

 

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