Algarve Field Course (Part 5)

Eoghan Griffin continues our series from Portugal.
You can also read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 of the series.

seminar in the evening

For 6,000 years the Monchique Mountains have remained relatively untouched from agriculture or industry. The swathes of Cork oak and Canary Oak were harvested with only Cork Oak being replaced. Eucalyptus plantations are now lining the narrow winding roads of the Monchique leading to it’s highest point, Foia, which is 902 meters here and boasts some idyllic views with pictures to prove it

Then on the 13th of April 2013 fifty four BEES students descended into it’s forests to stumble through prickly matos- a mixture of shrubbery and grassland, listen out for the elusive lesser spotted woodpecker and piss off a particularly large orange and black banded centipede.

With wonderfully informative interesting lectures from Prof. Matthijs Schouten still ringing in our ears we headed to Cape St. Vincent, the most south westerly point of Portugal, fondly known as the End of the World. Typical of the End of the World the Bird population is slightly lacking. No certain reason for this is known though it may be due to the warmed waters with little nutrients and therefore the food sources for sea birds might not be of the adequate level.

It was a glorious day either way with some amazing finds, some exquisite views and the promise of a good meal and a little swim before debriefing inviting us home.


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