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This is a species that a lot of people like to see when they come to the Quinta. They arrive back late from migration, typically getting in during the first week in May, one of our last arrivals, but they make their prescence felt from day 1 by singing from any available perch.


Linnet-20090506, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

Friends and family will know of my quest for a decent shot of a male Linnet in breeding plumage Ö. Well, this shotíll do for the present and Iíll keep trying for that one I know is waiting for me somewhere!


This is the photo Iíve been longing to take. I love the way that the Nuthatch uses old Woodpecker nests, reducing the size of the entrance hole with mud to prevent larger birds raiding its nest, as in this picture. Iíve been keeping a special look out for one, and today, while Daniela and I were doing a Common Birds Census for SPEA, the Portuguese Bird Study Association, I had my chance and grabbed it!


Fresh back from Africa, I found this Red-rumped Swallow preening itself just outside Santa Clara while taking the children to school a few days ago …. OK, it has nothing to do with the Quinta, but they’re one of my favourite species and I hope that they breed again with us this year. I s’pose this picture is pure self indulgence – I just want to be able to see it when I next open this blog!


The two pictures above were taken a few days ago when I grabbed a day off with Daniela and Carolina; and where did we go ….? To the Plains of course!
We saw some wonderful birds but I thought I’d just tickle your fancy with the above two piccies of two of our flagship species around here.
The flock of Sandgrouse we counted at 31, which shows improvement and the Gt Bustards, 47, ditto. Fantastic to see them both increasing in numbers even if they are being squeezed as regards habitat. Hard work by a lot of people; so sad then to hear that the male Spanish Imperial Eagle in the area, who bred successfully last year, was found shot two weeks ago ….