Salgados is one of the most important wetlands in the Algarve, surprisingly it is not a nature reserve as it has a tremendous variety of habitats. The number of different species is fantastic. In 15 minutes you can see 10-15 different birds. These include Spoonbills, Greater Flamingos, Stonechats, Blue Throat, Little Bittern, Common Waxbill, Purple Swamp Hen, Crested Lark, and Purple Heron. The best time for bird watching is Spring Autumn and Winter. You will find Lagoa dos Salgados on the coastal road between Albufeira and Armação de Pêra. This area has been designated as an IBA (Important Bird Area)by Birdlife International. Also the only breeding area in Portugal for the endangered Ferruginous Duck. This lagoon is a must for any avid bird watcher.
On the road to Carvoeiro by the second roundabout opposite the Aldi supermarket Is another great Fresh Water Wetland Habitat.
Many birds stop here to rest and feed. One can spot Mallards, Northern Shoveler, Cattle Egret, Black-Tailed Godwit, Glossy Ibis, Green Winged Teal, Little Egret, Eurasian Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, White Stork, Gray Heron, Black-Winged Stilt, and Common Snipe.
Quinta do Lago and Quinta do Lago
Follow signs to Quinta do Lago, at the Q round about, then go right to the bottom following signs to car park, there is a board walk taking you to a bench. For bird watchers go to the left on the beach and around the golf, overlooking the lake where you can see Waders, Black winged Stilts, Plovers, Swamp Hens,Little Bitterns, Glossy Ibis, Osprey and Marsh Harriers. Greater Flamingos can be seen all year round.
Parque ambiental de Vilamoura is not a real park but a well preserved country side and has the largest Reedbeds in Southern Portugal.
Marsh Harriers show quite well here, as well as Little Bitterns, and Purple Heron.
South of Mexilhoeira Grande (Cruzinha, Apartado 41, Mexilhoeira Grande, Portimão 8501-903) also known as A Rocha locate themselves on this valuable wetland. Here they ring birds throughout the seasons and have an open day on Thursdays. Their website: http://en.arocha.org/portugal/ you can obtain information and directions. They also serve cake and tea for a donation that helps them continue with their valuable work. Flamingos can be seen on the mud flats as well as Godwits, both Bar-tailed and Knot. Others are Water Pipit, Terns, Black-winged Stilts, Short-toed Lark and Yellow Wagtail and Bluethroats. Some birds you will find in greater numbers depending on the season.
Sagres and Cape St. Vincent
A very important migration region during September and October. Northern Gannets, Cory’s and Balearic Shearwaters, Common Scoter, Kittiwake are a few of the Seabirds spotted. Scarcer species are Eleanor’s Falcon, Bonelis Falcon, Spanish and Imperial Falcon. Over 4,000 birds fly over this peninsula every year. Other raptors found, Griffon Vulture, Booted and Short toed Eagle and Common Buzzard. Black Kites, Honey Buzzard, Montague's Harrier and the shy Black Stork. Nocturnal Raptors would include Scops Owl and Long Earred Owl.
Autumn Passerine Migrants, Northern Wheat-eater, Tree Pipit, Warblers,Flycatchers Redstart, Whinchat and Short Toed Lark.
Passerines Common to The Algarve are Zitting Cisticola, Red Legged Partridge, Green and Golden Finch, Common Chiffchaff, Common Kingfisher, Blackbird, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Common Waxbill, Serins and Azure Winged Magpie.
The Eurasian Beeater returns in May to its breeding grounds in The Algarve.
Castro Verde Entradas
About an hour from Albufeira Follow A2 then take Take exit 12 , follow the IP2 to Castro Verde.
In November you maybe be lucky enough to see several Red Kites, Calandra larks and Golden Eagle. You can also see the Little and Great Bustard from the middle of February.
If you are interested in Bird watching, go to the local tourist information centre. There is a wonderful Bird watching guide you can purchase.
Also there are many bird guides that will take you on some amazing birding trips.
Get your binoculars and don’t miss the chance to see some amazing birds here in The Algarve.
Peter MacDonald & Kathie Lancaster Credit of Information
Peter MacDonald credit of Photos