Saturday, 12 March 2011

back in jan i went down to portugal for a week, non birding mind but i had my bins and camera to hand at all times:). we stayed on the algarve coast near portimao. even without any proper birding there were a few potential lifers of which i scored two - azure-winged magpie and caspian tern. the magpies were a lot easier than i was expecting - just in the scrub around the apartment. caspian tern was a lucky tick on the final evening when two appeared in front of me at lagos marina whilst sitting at a coffee bar. a redhead goosander was probably a major rare find for portugal not that it means anything to me, the place looks great for yank rares tho. most of the expected med bird species were seen but no other wildlife except for jamming a mongoose which crossed the track in front of the car. of course first thing i did was get down to the beach to perve on the local portuguese beauties....

nice moult, shame about the face

didn't waste any time getting stuck into the ylg's. on average they seemed to be slightly darker/dirtier/more streaked than birds i've seen in the west med (and which turn up in uk). there was a nice variation to keep up the interest (!), aren't gulls great...

super advanced 1st-winter?? completely moulted tail (2nd-winter type feathers) and all tertials

with a pale shade of grey on the mantle and pale centred coverts i'd call this an argenteus if i saw it back home. being as they're rare in portugal, maybe i shouldve looked at this more closely. or maybe not

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