Portugal and Spain
Day 1 Saturday 14th May 2011
We arrived at Faro airport at 3 pm, picked up the hire car and we were off. My son Andrew and I were on a birding holiday for 4 days in Portugal and 3 days in Spains Donana. We were staying in a hotel in Tavira for 3 nights as a base to our bird watching in Portugal. We had Gosney's 'where to find birds in southern Portugal' and 'where to watch birds in Donana' by Moreno and Gutierrez as reference guides plus plenty of interenet research before we arrived.
On the way to the hotel we visited the Natural Park of Ria Formosa reserve which is signposted just as you leave Olhao heading towards Tavira on the N125.The park features a visitors centre and varied habitat with woodland, salt pans, pools, salt marsh, dunes and shore. White storks, bee eaters, azure winged magpies, woodchat shrike, spanish wagtail, crested lark, cuckoo, melodious warbler, sardinian warbler, spotless starling. Waders including kentish plover with young, bar tailed godwit, greenshank, grey plover,ringed plover ,lrp, black winged stilt, dunlin,and whimbrel. Yellow-legged gull, little tern and cormorant also. We then headed to the hotel Porta Nova in Tavira and after a quick shower we were watching pallid swifts,common swifts and house martins from the roof top bar before strolling into town for something to eat.