In this edition, we're highlighting Bonneli's Eagle. This relatively large bird of prey is known for its hunting skills. Classed as "Endangered" in Portugal, in 2011 there were 116 to 123 breeding pairs in the country. Following a steep decline in the 80s, the species now shows signs of recovery, especially in the south of Portugal.
On the first weekend of October, thousands of people throughout Europe will have their eyes on the skies, in EuroBirdwatch. In Portugal, there will be over a dozen opportunities to observe one of nature's most striking shows: bird migration. The Birdwatching & Nature Activities Festival is one of the events of the weekend.
The event, organised by BirdLife International, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and draws participants in 40 countries. In Portugal it is coordinated by the Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds, in collaboration with local partners. Last year, it was joined by over 150 people, who observed up to 60 species in some points of the country.
Our oceans face a barrage of treats. This year, Manuel Vieira and Vera Marques invite you on a short trip around the oceans at Forte do Beliche, in an exhibition that explores how our lifestyles affect sea life. The exhibition, which is part of the campaign to reduce plastic waste, will have informative and interactive panels. Oceans cover two-thirds of the Earth's surface. They contain high biodiversity, and provide an immense variety of ecossystem services, including climate control. However, they are increasingly threatened. Come and discover how you can help minimise those threats.
We all know that Sagres is a congregation place for migrant birds. This is especially noticeable when winds from the East push migrants form the Strait of Gibraltar – their main route – to these end of world lands . During the Spring, and just to remind us that in Sagres there are always birds coming and going, the “levanter” brought us many interesting birds. Some examples were Common Redstarts and Ortolan Buntings already in full breeding plumage, Yellow Wagtails form the British Isles and Scandinavian subspecies, and even rare birds like two Red-throated Pipits, possibly en-route to the high Arctic. Already in Summertime, in late June, it was time for the easterlies to bring us some Great-Spotted Cuckoos, an early migrant. We are eagerly waiting for what comes next!
Text from Birdland
Credit photos - Peterichman
This year, we want to give you the chance to combine the Algarve's delicious dishes with enjoyable moments in Nature. The 'Snack Route' (Rota do Petisco) will be happening during the Festival. To take part, all you have to do is pick up the event Passport at one of the participating venues (it costs €1, which is donated in its entirety to social projects by local associations, as part of the Solidarity Route (Rota Solidária)). Then you just have to present that Passport at one of the participating venues and for €3 you can enjoy a 'Snack Menu' (Menu Petisco) of a snack and a drink, or for €2 savour a Regional Sweet (Doce Regional) menu: a dessert and a drink. The 'Snack Route' is organised by Associação Teia d'Impulsos, sponsored by Sagres and supported by the local councils of towns involved and other public and private entities.
In October, Sagres has it all. From Bonelli's and Short-Toed Snake Eagles to Egyptian Vultures, Griffon Vultures and Storks, thousands of soaring birds circle in search of a passage to Africa. Astounding numbers of seabirds fly by, on epic journeys that can be pole to pole. Pipits, Sylvia Warblers, Northern Wheatears and dozens of other songbirds also cross the Sagres peninsula on their way South. And when you least expect it, you spot a true rarity, like a Lesser Spotted Eagle, a Yellow-Browed Warbler or a Red-breasted Flycatcher. For all the birdlovers at the festival, it will be hard to tear their eyes away from the sky! Start your journey with our video!