Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Northern Alentejo

Yesterday and today I worked in northern Alentejo with João Paulo. We worked in the main lekking areas - Campo Maior, Vila Fernando, Monforte and Alter. These sites still hold medium-sized sub-populations that somehow hold on despite the rapid intensification of agriculture in the region. Nice days out in the field with nice warm weather that enhances the display of males. Working in this region is complicated as often the bustards hide in olive groves or montados, and are difficult to locate and watch. Also in some irrigated sites the cereals are very tall, making the females almost invisible. Here are two males and five females, with necks like periscopes:

I was happy to see good concentrations of Little Bustards in many sites. Always difficult to photograph on the deck:

Montagu's Harriers breed in the area in good numbers. Also Black-winged Kites. Other birds included Booted Eagles, Black Stork, some Black Vultures etc.

Montagu's Harrier

Iberian Grey Shrike 

Working at Alter

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