You might just think this an attractive lake on the edge of a golf course, or perhaps your attention is on the expensive homes surrounding it. And I wouldn’t blame you as it is a rather lovely spot, and you would be one of many enjoying a stroll here.
Some of you may have noticed the ducks flying in, or maybe you are curious about those white shapes on the island in the middle. If so, then hopefully you have a moment to join me as I stand behind a tree and start to look a little more closely at the reeds. There is potential for us to see quite a bit. Quinta do Lago is considered one of the bird watching hot spots in the Algarve. On previous strolls we have seen Black-headed Weavers, Coots, Shovelers, Eurasian wigeon, Tufted Ducks, Common Pochards, Gadwells, Little Egrets and Little Grebes. In fact I can already see the latter three in the photograph below.
Thanks to some well positioned trees and reeds we were able to observe these two for quite a while. Consequently they were the highlight of the trip this time. We always know there will be something special here.
You may recall the sad tale of the Green Heron, and our happier observation tales of the Snipe and Little Bittern. Although having said that, the latter two we have not observed for a few years now following the decision to strip back many of the reeds. Most of the cautious birds are probably now on the far side of the island, out of sight. Still we are getting quite good at peering into the distance which is why I reacted quickly when I spotted out of the corner of my eye a kaleidoscope of colour. Too far away to get the perfect shot or even to see with the naked eye, but I knew what it was and I was happy to get what I did in the circumstances.
For much better photographs of this stunning bird visit my 2018 post on these colourful guardians of the river, and next time you are beside water remember to pause for a while. Assuming of course you can do so without disturbing the birds!