Thursday, December 18, 2014

Short trip to Portugal and Spain

Spent the last few days in Portugal and Spain. My PhD project on Great Bustard conservation is gaining speed, and I went over with my supervisors to meet our collaborators in Alentejo and Extremadura. The meetings were very important, friendly and useful, and hospitality was great wherever we were. However, this was my first visit to Iberia, and I was somewhat frustrated by the minimal amount of time I had for birding. In total we drove on one track in castro Verde for about 20 minutes, and had another hour in Campo Maior. That's it. Still managed to get some very casual lifers (Azure-winged Magpie, Thekla Lark, Spotless Starling and Iberian Chiffchaff) and it was good to see some small groups of Great Bustards at Campo Maior and Castro Verde. Also some Little Bustards at Castro Verde. Really enjoyed the large numbers of birds everywhere (like in Israel) - I am really looking forward to spend good amounts of time in the field there in spring.

Great Bustards - males, at Campo Maior, Portugal. It was a sunny day so they were doing some 'stuff' already - getting prepared for lekking season.

Spotless Starling is a common urban bird but I didn't get a chance for a proper photo

Black-winged Kites were reasonably common

Red Kite, Campo Maior

Coming down to land at Lisbon on Sunday:

Campo Maior

Steppe habitats at Castro Verde

Temple of Diana at Evora, Alentejo

Nice place Evora


  1. Now I've learned what you're studying - very interesting to hear that your PhD focus is the Great Bustard. I'm curious now to look more closely at your blog to learn more about what university and how an Israeli birder happens to choose this bird, and move to England for awhile.

  2. Hi, i’m a portuguese birder and i follow your blog for several year now, it’s a big surprise that your PhD is on Great Bustard conservation, and that part is going to be in Portugal, I’m looking forward for your post’s!