Your information pack includes
Beste Zeit für einen Besuch :
Jan, Feb, Mar, April, May, June, July, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec
is a Self-Drive Birdwatching Tour designed by keen local birders.
Rightly famed for its golden beaches, golf courses, and wonderful year-round climate, the Algarve is also a secret destination for great birding. At almost any time of the year, there is something of interest to see!
Supplier Detail : BeCool Travel specialises in nature holidays in Portugal, brought to you by our local partners. We offer a range of tours professionally designed, developed, and run on the ground by small local tour operators, who proudly show off their home’s natural landscapes, culture, and heritage. By connecting independent travellers to local tour operators, we strive for fairer and more sustainable ways of traveling. This is a fundamental part of our philosophy and business approach, along with the urge for environmental protection and respect for local cultures. The aim is to achieve a positive experience for everyone, both for our clients and for the people whose landscapes, culture, and lifestyle they’ve come to enjoy. With a local nature tour operator, you not only discover the essence of your destination, but also deepen your appreciation of its beauty, importance, and uniqueness. BeCool Travel’s team also rounds up all the travel services you need for a complete and meaningful holiday experience. Book with confidence from trusted local businesses!
Arrival in Faro Airport and rental car pick up
Individual arrival to Faro Airport or Faro Train station and rent a car vehicle pick up. Drive to Hotel in Faro.
Olhão Salt-pans & Quinta de Marim
You should aim to visit the Salinas at high tide when thousands of gulls, waders, and terns may be present during the hours when their feeding areas on the salt marshes are temporarily submerged.
There are many paths to explore around the Salinas and birds can be found on any of the pans depending on the state of the tide and the season. Please take care not to cause undue disturbance to birds whether nesting or roosting. Care should also be taken after rain as the paths and tracks around the Salinas can be become very muddy.
Except in high summer, the most numerous species are usually Avocets, Dunlin, Sanderling, and Black-tailed Godwits. But look carefully as it was in this area that a rare long-billed Dowitcher was once found. Slender-billed, Mediterranean, and Audouin’s Gulls can often be found amongst the countless Lesser Black-backs. This is also a good place to find one or two Caspian Terns roosting and in the breeding season, Little Terns should also be here. Except for a few weeks in late summer you should see White Storks on or around their nests which are easy to spot atop the tall chimneys.
During migration times and even in winter lookout for an Osprey in this area.
The Natural Park is state-managed and the headquarters of the Ria Formosa is here. Currently, the entrance costs 2.5€ and you can obtain information about the fauna and flora either at the entrance or at the headquarters building.
There are sign-posted trails around the park. The park is an area of approximately 40 hectares comprising salt marsh, saltpans, Mediterranean scrub, and pine forest, freshwater lagoons, beaches, and mudflats. With such a range of habitats, it is possible to see a wide range of bird species.
If you are visiting in the spring look out for orchids in the wooded areas and in the summer months look out for Mediterranean Chameleon
Tavira & Santa Luzia Salt-pans (Salinas)
The Tavira salinas consist of numerous tanks, channels, creeks, and drainage ditches. In autumn and winter, the large tanks on the south side attract large numbers of waterfowl.
The tanks are a popular high tide roost for waders and gulls and Greater Flamingos can usually be found. It is a site best visited at high tide.
These are home to numerous wading birds at high tide including Dunlin, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Sanderling, and Kentish & Ringed Plover. Common Shelduck can often be found on the bunds amongst the roosting Lesser Black-back & Audouin’s Gulls.
Little Egrets and Kingfishers may be in the channel on the left and Spanish Sparrows often congregate on the fences. An Osprey sometimes perches on the poles eating fish and a Peregrine might fly past as it searches for prey.
The road to Quatro Águas is bounded on the east by Salinas and then the River Gilão, on the west by an extensive area of Salinas, creeks, and disused fish farms, and on the south by the tidal Tavira channel.
The pans are best at high tide but the channel is best at low tide when the mud and shellfish beds are exposed.
It is sometimes possible to see the six common species of gull found in this area, including Audouin’s and Slender-billed Gulls, on the same pan. Caspian Terns can also be found. Grey Herons, White Storks, Little Egrets, and Spoonbills are often seen here.
This is an ideal opportunity to relax and enjoy the attractions of the Algarve. You can walk/tour independently, or visit local places of interest. From Faro, there is a wide variety of sightseeing available (we can advise and/or recommend options according to your interests). For birdwatching, you may wish to visit Sagres to the West or Vila Real de Santo António to the East.
Quinta do Lago Wetlands
In Quinta do Lago there’s a small coastal lagoon protected from the sea by dunes. The lake is edged with tamarisks, bulrushes, and reeds which give cover to species such as Little Bittern, Purple Swamp-hen, and occasionally Squacco Heron.
There is a trail that leads to an observation tower and is a good spot for photography.
Eurasian Coots are common and there should be several species of ducks including Gadwall and Common Pochard. Little Grebes and Common Moorhen nest here.
Several heron species are seen regularly. There is also the chance to see Black-headed Weaver. During the winter, the ponds attract small flocks of Northern Shoveler and a few Crag Martins. From time to time Glossy Ibises and Spoonbills are also seen.
Near the pine cone areas, you can observe several species of land birds such as the Turtle Dove, Bee-eater, Short-toed Treecreeper, Eurasian Jay, and Azure-winged Magpie.
It is also possible to observe more secretive species – Little Bittern and Purple Swamp-hen.
Trafal is a small wetland bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, golf courses, and pine woodlands. 200 meters to the west of Trafal is the small coastal lagoon, Foz do Almargem. The lagoon is surrounded on three sides by pine woods and is edged by reeds. The beach and dunes border the lagoon to the south. In rough winter weather, the dunes are sometimes breached.
Azure-winged Magpies are very common in this area, as are Jays. Black-winged Kites and Hoopoes can often be seen perched on the poles, and Marsh Harriers can regularly be seen quartering the wetland. If you are lucky a Booted Eagle might show too.
Lagoa de São Lourenço & Ludo
The Lagoa de São Lourenço is a body of water that is largely surrounded by a golf course. The Lagoa is rich in aquatic vegetation, edged by reeds and bulrushes, and thus is rich in avifauna. In winter large numbers of ducks including Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Teal, Common Pochard, Eurasian Wigeon, and Tufted Duck gather. However, there are many special birds that make their homes here all year round including Red-crested Pochard, Little Bittern, Purple Swamp-hen, Black-headed Weaver, and Great Crested Grebe. They are joined in summer by Little Terns, hirundines, and swifts.
At the southern end of the lake are the channels, salt marsh, lagoons, and sandy barrier islands of the Ria Formosa which, depending on the tide and the season, can be teeming with waders, gulls, herons, and egrets. To the east of the golf course is an area of pines that open onto Ludo, a busy salt-producing farm where it is possible to see Greater Flamingo, Eurasian Spoonbill, Booted Eagles, and many nesting White Storks.
Lagoa dos Salgados and Vilamoura
This is probably the most extensive area of reed beds and lagoons in the Algarve. It is bordered by farmland with cereal fields and orchards to the south, a sewage treatment plant, favoured by gulls and ducks, to the east, and golf courses to the north. This is one of the most important sites in the Algarve for migrating passerines, especially warblers and hirundines, Corn Buntings in winter, and is a hunting area for various raptors including Black-winged Kite, Marsh Harrier, and Booted Eagle and, in winter, Short-eared Owl.
In the Parque Ambiental, Vilamoura, half a decade ago, there were farmlands covered with irrigated orchards, cereals, and pasture. Over the years, the land was replaced with reed beds, alongside the man-made artificial ponds and irrigation channels.
The riparian vegetation of the river of Quarteira and the bordering golf courses constitutes a habitat of the great diversity of birds and small mammals.
This pond has good patches of reed and reedmace and holds several interesting birds. Regular species here include Little Grebe, Moorhen, Purple Swamp Hen, and Kingfisher, as well as some passerines, such as Cetti’s Warbler; in winter, there are usually Bluethroat, Chiffchaff, and Penduline Tit. In the surrounding fields, it is possible to find several passerines, such as Northern Wheatear on autumn passage, or White Wagtail and Meadow Pipit in winter.
In Lagoa dos Salgados, at certain times of the year, along the banks of the lagoon is not difficult to find waders. Black-winged Stilt, Turnstone, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Sandpiper, Common Redshank, and Greenshank are some of the common species that can be regularly observed. Sometimes Bar-tailed Godwit turns up. Other interesting birds that can usually be seen on this site are Coot, Greater Flamingo, Glossy Ibis, Spoonbill, Marsh Harrier, and Caspian Tern.
The surrounding areas may produce Kestrel and several species of passerines like Crested Lark, Stonechat, and Zitting Cisticola; in autumn, a few trans-Saharan migrants put in an appearance, like Whinchat and Northern Wheatear, whereas in winter there are Skylark and White Wagtail.
Individual departure or extra days