Birding in Ría Formosa near Faro in Portugal

JP's blog

This post is about my birding experiences in Ría Formosa, the beautiful nature reserve at the Algarve around Faro. While I studied in Faro I spentplenty of time in the stunning “Ría” birding and taking photos. All the bird sightings and fotos reported here were taken between september and december.

The Ría Formosa is a lagoon formed by a system of barrier islands communicating with the atlantic ocean by inlets. Part of the Ría Formosa is the “Parque Natural da Ría Formosa” near Faro. It is a Special Protection Area of around 16,000 ha and a Ramsar site. The system consists of saltwater lagoons, extensive mudflats, sand banks, dunes and saltmarshes. It can be reached from Faro, by car, by bus and depending on the season also by ferry. If the ferry is an option I would highly recommend taking it as it´s comparable to the bus by price…

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Sagres Birdwatching Festival 2017

JP's blog

During my semestre at the University of the Algarve in Faro, my girlfriend and I visited Sagres for the Sagres Birdwatching Festival 2017. The festival took place in and around Sagres the 04th till 08th of october during the autumn bird migration. In october, the Sagres peninsula at the Algarve becomes one of the main crossing points in Portugal during the autmn migration. During the fetsival, there was a huge variety of activities offered ranging from field trips to lectures to boat trips and kayak tours.

For us, the birding day started early in the morning with a field trip to Portada de Atalia. The day started with a lot of frequent songbirds but also some more special bird like european shags (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) and the iberian magpie (Cyanopica cooki). The started with plenty of songbirds like the european stonechat (Saxicola rubicola), spotted…

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Birdwatching in Longyearbyen, Svalbard – the gate to the Arctic

JP's blog

Longyearbyen is considered a gate to the Arctic and it is an amazing location for bird watching and nature encounters. It has an airport and harbour suitable for big logistic operations and the harbour frequently hosts big research vessels and plenty of cruise ships so albeit being a remote location it is comparably accessible. During my graduate studies, I spent three months in the Arctic studying an living in Longyearbyen. In this time, I spend as much time outside as possible and had some amazing bird watching trips and many stunning wildlife encounters. The exposed situation of Longyearbyen allows amazing seabird sightings, marine mammal observations as well as encounters with extraordinary terrestrial species.

Longyearbyen is situated at coast of the Adventfjorden surrounded by mountains and the Adventdalen where freshwater from…

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Three billion birds.

nature has no boss

The findings of a study published yesterday in the Journal Science demonstrate that North America has lost 30% of it’s birds population since 1970. The authors of this study suggest that this loss of almost 3 billion birds is like a canary in the coal mine and conclude their abstract with the statement “This loss of bird abundance signals an urgent need to address threats to avert future avifaunal collapse and associated loss of ecosystem integrity, function and services.”

National Geographic summarizes the Science article well touching on the reasons why bird populations are in decline and why birds matter.

Habitat loss in the name of development another example of a fools progress.

Another strip mine, another strip mall. The human population is striping the planet bare. Time to take action and make sure your local governmental representatives at all levels work to protect habitat, the environment and the future…

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One nut at a time

nature has no boss


Working their way through a pile of sunflower seed one nut at a time. We love having the Red Breasted Nuthatches around as company. By mid-October  most of the migrating species have flown the coop for warmer climates but these little guys stick around all year long. Everything about them from their song to their perky behavior helps to brighten even the cloudiest day.

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