Despite the grey skies though it has been great fun strolling around Olhao’s saltpans the last few days because of the large flock of Flamingos. Not unusual for small groups to be here, but to our delight there have been 60 plus recently. I know not up to the hundreds or thousands you might see elsewhere in Portugal or the world, but for me a flock of 60 is pretty amazing. The size of the flock would suggest that the food in the saltpans is pretty good at the moment, flamingos are after-all opportunists.
The downside of the grey skies is that the light has been poor for taking photographs from a distance, so these are not the greatest of photographs. However we were able to capture a few shots of their colour rings so have been able to identify that this group of juveniles, immature birds and adults were originally from Andalusia in southern Spain.
In one pond the birds walked slowly forward with their heads down in the water as they ‘filtered’ their food, whereas in another we saw them ‘stamping’ with their feet to capture their food. One day when I first spotted them they were moving forward, heads down and ‘snaking’ their heads side to side. The movement was similar to that of Spoonbills and for a moment I thought it was a flock of Spoonbills I was watching.
For more information on how to identify where Greater Flamingos are from by the rings on their legs check out European Colour Ring Birding, and if you happened to spot my title was six words on a Saturday why not enjoy a few more Six Word Saturdays including a wonderful one by Restless Jo of the recent carnivals here in the Algarve. We never got to the carnival because of the rain but fortunately Jo was much more determined than us!