Birds of the Baixo Guadiana

On Tuesday I shared the walk, and today I thought I’d share the birding shots I had mentioned. The first shot I took moments after we got out of the car.

Swallows in Spring

Just look at that fabulous glossy-blue back, red throat and tail streamers. Isn’t he wonderful. The Swallows begin to arrive in February in the Algarve, a good couple of months before they turn up in England. No wonder we enjoy our winter sojourns in southern Portugal, Spring arrives early. The next few birds we saw are all residents, albeit it is noticeable we see more of them in the spring than we do in the Winter.

The next one though was rather special. Not because it is rare to see, but because I rarely have the opportunity to photograph them perching. I wasn’t at all sure what he/she was initially as it was quite a long way off, and even with the camera it wasn’t easy. However once I got back to the apartment and had the picture up on the screen it was obvious of course. It is a ‘Peneireiro-vulgar‘, another resident of Portugal.


We watched her/him for quite a while – sorry can’t see the tail to be sure of the gender. Eventually he/she eventually took to the air, and we were able to continue our walk. I was rather proud though as not only did I manage to capture it in flight, I captured a few others too. No other birds of prey but certainly some you should recognise.

I think the photograph I liked best from the walk though was the one of a bird we regularly see in England as well. The gorgeous Goldfinch – Pintassilgo in Portuguese. It is a very common resident in the south of Portugal and will be found in urban settings as well as open countryside. I spotted this fellow high in the tree watching us as we came to the end of the walk.Goldfinch

My final photograph wasn’t actually taken on the walk but was the same day and wasn’t that far away from Azinhal. We spotted him first circling above us, and then he very kindly decided to land on some pylons so I could take some identification shots. It is a Buzzard. Again resident and common in Portugal. It’s Portuguese name is ‘Águia-d’asa-redonda’, which translates as Round Winged Eagle. Buteo buteo

I recall, and MrB’s nature notes confirm, there were other birds spotted as well as all of these such as the Marsh Harrier and the Azure-Winged Magpie. The latter a native to the Iberian Peninsular. My photographs however are unsuitable to share here, so if you would like to know what the beautiful Azure-winged Magpies look like I suggest you take a peep at some glorious photographs I took of them further up the Guadiana. The Marsh Harrier, unfortunately I have yet to get a great shot but this one isn’t bad and you can catch a few glimpses here, here and maybe here. Happy Birding!

Author: BeckyB

It had been a good life walking, cooking, photographing, volunteering, blogging, and best of all spending time with MrB, family, & friends. Sadly it no longer is. Suddenly and unexpectedly I have become a widow.

34 thoughts

  1. Excellent to see the photos and a reminder of the early arrival of some of the migrants. Wonder why some fly onto the cold UK! Perhaps see you soon. We’ll be in Cabanas for Ts birthday from 20 th Jan for a break from the Sierra cold!

    1. I know I would stay here and not continue north! Be great if we can manage – hope it is dry when you come down. Very grey and wet today – need the waterproofs for the trip to the market!

    1. Like the fact you love the Goldfinch, not that you are hopeless! I don’t think you are hopeless at all, and if you saw how many of my birding shots end up in the bin!!!

  2. BTW I know I have asked you this before, but I forgot to write it down, what camera do you use? I know it is a bridge with a big zoom and I was thinking of buying something similar for the OH’s birthday this year.

        1. Ooh, you must be getting very excited! Soon to see those glorious sunsets and birds again. Too early for the spring flowers? Or are you there for a couple of months?

        2. The Almond Blossom will be starting to come out this week, and by end of month/early Feb there should definitely be spring flowers appearing πŸ™‚
          We’re there til mid April so will definitely get to see most of the flowers πŸ™‚

  3. Your birds are beautiful Becky. Love the swallow, I haven’t seen one of those for years, we get swifts and sand martins down here. And I haven’t seen any goldfinches this winter as yet either. Last year one got inside the conservatory and I could hear a noise behind a cupboard, when I investigated this poor little mite had got itself stuck, but I was able to pick it up and release it without any harm.

    1. Oh the poor thing – glad you rescued it. One flew into a window at my Mum’s the other day unfortunately it didn’t make it 😟

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