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Female Montagu’s Harrier in early morning sunlight

The Save Salgados Petition has had to take a little bit of a back seat during the last few days as I was already booked as a Birding Guide pretty well solid this last week.
The petition hit 10,000 yesterday evening just three weeks after it was started and the response has been terrific; thank you all so much for signing and sharing.
I wish I could have shared this beautiful Montagu’s Harrier with you as a better way of expressing our gratitude, but here’s a picture of it anyway.
We also had amazing views of a family of Bee-eaters feeding their chicks and I’ve posted up some piccies on my Birding Blog if you want to see them.

Salgados 6.7.2012.jpg

IMG_0262.jpg, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

This is Salgados right now … officially “protected” as a Wetland Bird Sanctuary of prime importance, but in fact completely dry! Just sun-baked earth … no Life at all.

If this is what full protection means now, what hope have we if the “development” of the area goes ahead as planned?
It’s a disgrace that Portugal is currently promoting itself as a location for Nature-based holidays while allowing the degradation of a unique area like this to be despoiled in an erroneous grab for tourist dollars.
Please sign and share our petition to help the NGOs concerned get proper protection for this vital area … once it’s developed it’ll be gone for ever …

The RSPB and SPEA both support our petition!

Flamingos, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

The petition gathers momentum!

Today we managed to get both SPEA, (Sociedade Portuguesa para Protecção das Aves), and it’s better known counterpart the RSPB, to both publish articles with the petition link on their websites. SPEA’s is here and the RSPB’s here.

The petition’s numbers are climbing steadily; 4,320 now, and we should have breached the 5,000 mark by this time tomorrow – so let’s head for 10,000! And after that 20,000! Let’s really show these politicians and property developers that it’s OUR land too!

What next? I’m trying to get the Audubon Society involved and have written to and rung all their Press officers and editors. Does anyone have any contacts?

Also, does anyone have any UK media contacts? If so can you write to them – or if you haven’t got the time to, can you introduce me and I’ll do it? If we can get some Big Hitters involved … any help you can give us would be very gratefully appreciated.

See you the other side of 5 grand!

Avocets at Salgados

The Avocets above are regularly admired at Salgados and it’d be disaster if the development as planned went ahead and we lost them there …
Our petition has passed the 2,000 mark already, so awareness is growing of the dire threat that faces Salgados.

This awareness has begun hitting the headlines and various articles have been published already, such as those in the Algarve Daily News, (here), and The Resident, (here), and Birdwatch Magazine who have also written about it (here).

Almargem has also complained officially to the EC; here’s a rough translation of it. There’s even been a Facebook page specially created.
Meanwhile here at the Quinta Daniela and I are writing emails to hundreds of nature-based organisations and publications and all our friends and posting blog entries on our Birding site and Facebook page, so please join us in doing the same if you haven’t already – every little helps and we really are starting to make a difference!

Salgado

Salgado-3655, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

Readers of this blog might remember the sad demise of Sideways a few months ago, and ever since his passing Life here really hasn’t felt the same, especially for the rest of the crowd – Meiktila in particular was missing a friend – so the other day Daniela thought she’d surprise us all with a new puppy, and here he is.
Then came the inevitable, “What shall we call him?” The children were predictably inventive, and when he started munching on water melon rinds the suggestion was “Tudo” as in “Come tudo” or “Eat anything”, but Daniela didn’t like that one.
I of course wanted to continue the tradition of a battlefield name and fought hard, (but with not as much success as real life I’m afraid), for “Kohima” or “Kima” for short, but nobody else liked it.
Finally, yesterday evening over dinner we had a brainwave … with the threat facing one of our favourite birding spots, Salgados, at the moment, we should call him Salgado – just in case we’re unsuccessful in this battle! At least we’ll have a name to remember the area we love now – and hope to continue to be able to do so for years to come too, so if you haven’t already signed our petition to save Salgados – or Péra Marsh as it’s sometimes known – please do so by clicking on the link attached and share on your Facebook page and Twitter as well.
We started this petition 36 hours ago and are just shy of 1,000 signatures already so let’s all get aboard and save this unique and valued area – for us and our children just as much as for the birds, butterflies, dragonflies, moths and mammals for whom it is vital.

Flamingos at Salgados-0471

The picture above was taken at a unique and Internationally recognized wetland Bird Sanctuary called Salgados.

To Portugal’s shame, short-sighted politicians have just reached an “agreement” with a property developer currently facing corruption charges to destroy it entirely by building yet more unwanted hotels – as if the Algarve didn’t have enough already!

I just created a new petition and I hope you can sign — it’s called: Save Salgados, a unique internationally recognized birding sanctuary, from being destroyed!

This issue is very important to us all, and together we can do something about it! If you sign and then share with your friends and contacts, we’ll soon reach our goal of 40,000 signatures and build pressure to get this agreement rescinded.

Click here to read more about it and sign:
http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Save_Salgados_a_unique_internationally_recognized_birding_sanctuary_from_being_destroyed/?launch

25 years on …



File0097-straightened, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

Our home, Quinta do Barranco da Estrada, better known as “Paradise in Portugal” has now been running successfully for 25 years.
We started off with pretty well nothing but a few wooden shacks, a dream and some dry, barren land as the picture above shows.
For the past month or so as the date’s drawn nearer we’ve been racking our brains for some way to celebrate this achievement and finally have it!
We’re offering a 25% promotion for any stay of four nights or longer during the three weeks around the 25th week of the year, i.e. anytime between 11th June and 1st July.
Thus a double room will cost a mere 82.50 euros, (approx £66), rather than 110, (approx £88), including, of course, all the standard extras like the boats, sauna and wifi etc.. In these days of austerity we thought that this would be the most appreciated way of celebration!
If you’d like to take this offer up please drop us an email as soon as possible quoting this promotion as we expect the vacancies we still have available to fill quite quickly.
Looking forward to seeing you out here!

Sideways RIP



Sideways 1 for web, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

I seem to always post good news here, and not surprising really as the Quinta’s a pretty good place to be, but occasionally my natural exuberance takes a hit.
I have to say this last week is one of the worst where that’s concerned as one of my favourite friends passed away suddenly a few days ago after a short illness.
We will miss him here, as I am sure will everyone who ever had the good fortune to meet him. He was the friendliest and most intelligent dog I’ve ever had the pleasure to know.
We buried him here in the garden he loved and have planted a cyprus tree to mark his grave.
Rest in Peace Sideways; I count myself honoured to have had the chance to know you for so long.