Lisbon, Portugal - great birding on the city's doorstep

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Lisbon, Portugal - great birding on the city's doorstep
From: Angus Innes <>
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2013 21:49:06 +0000

To be watching many thousands of waders and seabirds and dozens of species 
within half an hour of leaving Lisbon Airport, including such striking species 
such as the Greater Flamingo, Eurasian Spoonbill , Avocet  (Recurvirostra 
avosetta) and Black-winged Stilt, and to maintain the offering through three 
days and an extraordinary diversity of wetland habits is outstanding. The Tagus 
and Sado estuaries are wetland gems - and we were never more than 50 kms from 
Joao Jara  of Birds and Nature Tours Portugal (and his excellent colleagues)  
looked after his largest ever group - 23 volunteers from the Wildfowl and 
Wetland Trust's London Wetland Centre (LWC), with outstanding competence and 
charm. Not mad twitching, you couldn't do that with a group of 23, even if you 
wanted to - but quality and relaxed birding. Each day brought masses of birds 
and some rarities. We had massive flocks of Flamingos, Glossy Ibis, White 
Storks and waders (totalling 26 species). Other choice sightings included 
Bonelli's and Booted Eagles, Temmincks and Little Stints, Black-winged Kites, 
Grey Phalarope, Collared Pratincole, Squacco Heron and Purple Swamp-hen, plus 
some African colonists - such as Waxbills, Yellow-crowned Bishop and 
Black-headed Weaver. We birded saltwater estuaries, freshwater lagoons, 
irrigated rice fields, the lagoons of Salt Works, Reed Beds, Freshwater lakes, 
Cork Oak Farms, plains and a bull farm.
The food throughout and the accommodation at our base at the Hotel do Sado at 
Setubal, overlooking the mouth of the Sado Estuary, was excellent.  Joao does 
small groups, day trips, local estuary trips or a mix including the mountain 
areas of Portugal. Lisbon is less than two hours to hills, mountains and 
uplands that have Eurasian Cranes, Bustards, and a number of species of Eagles 
and Vultures.
Thanks to an e-mail I read on Birding Aus in 2009 from Andrew Taylor, lauding a 
day and a half trip from Lisbon during a conference, Joao's name was inserted 
into a recess in my memory.  Subsequently, I suggested Lisbon (and Joao as a 
possible guide) as a birding destination to a group of fellow LWC volunteers 
who make short birding trips to the Continent twice a year. I met up with him 
at this year's Birdfair at Rutland Water in the UK (the World's biggest) where 
his company was exhibiting. He is a former chairman of the Portuguese Rarities 
Committee and his two colleagues on our Lisbon trip , both of whom also spoke 
fluent in English, included a birder who lectures on Tourism in Lisbon and the 
banker/ author of the major handbook on Portuguese birds. What great hands to 
be in.
Whilst mentioning the 2013 Birdfair, I should point out that Queensland, the 
Northern Territory, South Australia and Tasmania  flew the birding flag for 
Australia amongst the 350 plus exhibitors. Mark Jarvis, Mick Jerram and Chris 
Watson giving presentations of the birds of the Top End, of the NT Savannah and 
the Centre, on behalf of Northern Teritory  Tourism who were a sponsor ot the 
Birdfair. They were part of the continuous lecture programme that runs in four 
marquees, at half hour intervals from 9.30am to 5pm, for three days. I had the 
pleasure of of putting faces to the names of some regular Birding-Aus 
contributors - and got to 16 lectures.
Angus Innes.


To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • Lisbon, Portugal - great birding on the city's doorstep, Angus Innes <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU