Purple Gallinule at Praia Grande!

A few days in The Algarve.
Part Two - Praia Grande and Alvor.

One bird that any birder will be keen to see in The Algarve is the rare and elusive Purple Gallinule. The board-walk at Praia Grande is the best place for this as there is usually at least one bird in residence. We were lucky to get some clear views before the bird disappeared behind the reeds on an island in the middle of the pool; passing birders completely oblivious to the bird and the sad golfers opposite too focused on their sorry little pastime to take note of views available to them from just 15 feet away!
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 The gallinule eventually came quite close as it fed on plant roots but was never clearly visible with people walking past just a few feet away.

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Sardinian Warblers were plentiful in the bushes beyond the boardwalk and gave good views as they searched for insects among the flowers.

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Other birds of note included the Crested Skylark and Linnets.

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Other birds of note included Cattle Egrets flying over the abandoned fields.
These birds are seen all over The Algarve but can be difficult to approach. I find walking directly towards them when their heads are down feeding and then stopping when they look up is best. They are  a lovely bird to capture against a clear blue sky.

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Breeding-plumage Cattle Egret flies overhead.

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A short journey west brings you to the fishing village of Alvor where extensive boardwalks give further views of coastal birds and of the extensive dune systems.

One of the most notable sights are the large yellow broomrape flowers jutting out of the wet sand -

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This area is good for birding in the winter and during migration. Things were quiet when we were there although a few Whimbrel did settle among the plants during the late afternoon.

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