Algarve 2016 – Day One

The Sermon on the Mount. Prof Matthijs Schouten lectures the BEES field course students on the Algarvian ecosystems.

The Sermon on the Mount. Prof Matthijs Schouten lectures the BEES field course students on the Algarvian ecosystems.

Today was the first day of our field trip to the Algarve, Portual. We went to the Salgados sand dunes, which began with the traditional “sermon on the mount”. The day got very stressful, with a long walk to the beach for an ice-cream. On the way we encountered a green spotted lizard, which gracefully posed for a photo.

Once we began habitat mapping, we saw a brown grass snake Lacerta schreiberi in the brackish water of the salt mars. As well as that we saw over 90 flamingos, an ibis, an Iberian hare and a bright green spider Micrommata ligurina. In the surrounding abandoned orchards we saw numerous fig and pistachio trees.

Just as Gavin Burnell was explaining to us how rare it was too see nomadic shepherds in the area (having only seen two in over 20 trips to the Algarve), we happened upon a man and his herd of sheep and goats. After he noticed us admiring his flock, he approached us with one of his kid goats and let us pet it. So now we’re off to see Ruth Ramsey for her famous goat recipe!

Lindy Verstraten, Melanie O’Driscoll, Sara Leacy, Tom Raymond, Alyssa Laprise, Derick Bora

BEES students with Algarvan shepherd and lamb on the Salgados

BEES students with Algarvan shepherd and lamb on the Salgados

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