We’ve changed views this week as we have had to return to England for a short while, and of course all I can think of it the wonderful views on our Portuguese doorstep. It is not just the birds that draw me back again and again to the salterns, it’s also the weather, the tides and the saltworks themselves. The views are forever changing from our Portuguese home, and I cannot wait to return after Christmas (subject to Covid19).
Unsurprisingly though it is when the skies are blue that I am most likely to take shots of the view. On grey days my focus is mostly on the birds.
Occasionally though I do remember to photograph the grey as well as the blue.
There seems to be a bit more of an even split in my tidal photography, although I never seem to remember to stand in the same spot. Nearly though!
The Ria Formosa is a wonderful shallow coastal lagoon, with an extraordinary ecosystem. It is considered one of the most important in Portugal; 55km in length, and of varying width. The widest section is 6km wide. The tides vary from 1.5metres to 3.5metres, so at very low tide you might think the land stretches almost to the barrier islands. It doesn’t!
There are six inlets to the lagoon, the majority of which have been created and/or are managed by humans. The largest is the Faro/Olhão, which has concrete jetties at its entrance and is regularly dredged. Its creation in the last century has affected the other inlets, particularly the one at Armona. Climate change is also affecting the waters in the lagoon, but despite all the research and ongoing monitoring and assessment, developments continue apace along the coastline. I fear for the Ria Formosa’s future.