The first exercise of the day was a behavioural study of Fiddler Crabs, Uca tangeri. This involved getting up to be at the seashore for shortly after 9 AM. You would think that a clear blue sky, sunny day in the Algarve in April would mean lovely warm weather……… we learned to our misfortune that this is not the case. Some poor souls (Joe!) didn’t dress for the weather and suffered the bone chilling, teeth chattering conditions that a strong wind across the Alvor estuary can bring. The cold didn’t appear to bother the crabs too much as we were treated to fantastic views of displaying males.
We waved goodbye to the crabs (pun intended) and after lunch we headed to the Salgados lagoon where we conducted focal and scan samples of various avian eccentricities! We were treated to fantastic views of European Flamingo, Black-winged Stilt, and Purple Swamp hen. A Marsh Harrier was seen hunting over the reeds and even Collared Pratincole made a flyby. However, the highlight was an appearance from a Bonaparte’s Gull, a rare American visitor to Europe!
We went to bed with our hearts full of the joys of Fiddler Crabs and Flamingos, wondering what tomorrow would bring.