Algarve Field Course (Part 6): BIRD IS THE WORD!!!

P1000571Salgados Brackish Lake

First and foremost, I would like to say a big hello to John Quinn’s mammy…you may refer to her as Maureen. She is absolutely blessed to have such a jolly and witty son. Maureen I would like to ask you though to give out to John for his lack of focus on the road while driving. John has said that the car cuts out when it is not moving as it is suppose to be more economic…..However in the words of Luke: “the car is not economic, that’s just John’s driving”.

John also has a tendency to drive after what he sees (birds) and notices other things on the road at the last minute. So please Maureen if you could give him the wooden spoon when he gets back to you it would be much appreciated as he does not listen to us.

Today my group carried out focal and scan samples to study the behavior of flamingos. Others observed pochards ( a diving duck) and black winged stilts, a beautiful long-legged wader. We all had the amazing pleasure of seeing an osprey grab a fish from the water, the splash was really loud, sooooo amazing! We also saw eagles, shrikes, bee-eaters, hoopoe, stork, a kentish plover and a purple swamp hen (aka Mir lynch) at the lake. On the way to Salgados we saw a little owl on a telephone pole watching over his mate in the chimney pot of an abandoned house. Later in the day we all sat around the pool discussing the projects we conducted during the day.

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While carrying out our observations I could hear Laura Tobin say “feeding, feeding, vigilance, feeding, preening”, and then there was a clack-clack-clack, we looked up and saw a group of storks circling the lake. Later a herring gull flew in and frightened off our flamingos. After relocating them they stopped feeding for around 10 minutes and took a nap or preened.
Amy’s ants: Poor Amy Mariga had the misfortune of standing on an ant’s nest and didn’t notice until they had made it half way up her legs! Hope you have recovered from your traumatic experience Amy, my deepest condolences!

All in all the trip has been amazing so far and I can’t wait for our “Last Supper” tonight. It’s a shame this trip has come to an end so fast. =(

Over and out,
Amy Horgan

You can read the previous posts in this series here:

Part 1,2,3,4,5

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