January 18, 2024

Winter birds - Top of Clare

 Starting at Blackhead with just some Great northern Diver and Black Guillemot, the next stop is into the shade of Gleninagh hills at Coolsiva Harbour where birds can be seen offshore with the scope, 8 Black throated Divet, plenty of Great nothern divers and around 80 Common Scotor.

Round to Ballyvaughn where pairs of Red breasted Merganzer, flocks of Wigeon and Brent Geese. 2 Long tailed Duck were being follow by a Herring Gull

January 11, 2024

1st Winter Swell of 2024

 The 1st Swell of 2024 was around 2M 14 secs and West,A four day swell with very light offshore winds, some mornings were icy ay -2'c .

Im proud to find my injury problems behind me and an opportunity to get some consistant, surfing done locally around home.


January 10, 2024

The Ludo Jan 2024

 I love to come into the Ludo NP in the Ria Formosa , every time I come it shares a wildlife moment me.

A fantastic place to get close to water birds and miles of good walking in predominantly good weather.

Flamongos, |Spoonbill, Avocet, Black winged Stilt, Black tailed Godwits, Dunlin, Sanderling , Common Sandpiper and Caspain Terns.

 Raptors were here too with Osprey, Booted Eagles, Marsh Harriers and Peregrine all seen within the walk.

Pochard, Pintail, Shovelar and Gadwall made up the ducks and a I found a 1st winter Red-rumped Swallow that has overstayed hawking the pond with Crag Martins



1st winter Red-rumped Swallow
Crag Martin

Peregrine  Falcon

Black Redstarts, Sardinian Warbler and Chiffchaffs- 3 little birds of Ilha de Faro

 Around the hotel and most of the beach front of Praia de Faro that shows shrubbery you could find one of 3 birds. Black Redstarts flit around rooftops and gardens, Chiffchaffs seemed to be everywhere in most available shrubbery and Sardinian Warblers that are real locals.

A male Black Redstart will always catch the eye, but as usual they are always at a safe distance and if not they will just  leave, come back later ,they like a favorite perch.


January 8, 2024

The Gulls of Ria Formosa NP sandbanks Faro Portugal

 Just south of Faro are miles of deserted beach and back beach that holds a great concentration of Gulls, Cormorants, Flamingos, Terns and waders.

Even though this in walking distance from the Hotel ,Its an area that is off the beaten track and an area that I saw from the plane a few years back and wanted to check out.

Mostly this area is inaccessible, mainly covered by boat and birdwatching tours out of Faro, but for a hardy coastal lad like myself the draw of so many Gulls are worth the walk with Scope and backpack. When the road ends at Praia de Faro village a boardwalk carries on for over a mile then its sand trekking at Barrihina beach Ilha de Faro and sandbanks that go out of sight.

Yellow legged Gulls and Audouin`s Gull

Nice flock of Audouins Gull with over 50 birds on an outer bank

Lesser Black backed Gulls and Audouin`s Gulls

Audouin`s Gull in flight

Audouin`s Gull and Yellow legged Gulls

Great black backed Gull sub adult locally scarce

Yellow legged Gull adult

Yellow legged Gull 1st winter

Slender billed Gull flight

Slender billed Gulls

Lets not forget the Caspain Terns

January 7, 2024

Slender billed Gulls -Faro

 A walk up toward the end of the beach Island of Praia de Faro you come to the start of deserted sandbanks of Barrinha beach that offer shelter and safety to thousands of Gulls. Flamingos, Cormorants and Waders. I was hoping for a new Gull. 

A fisherman walks past, and keeps walking, I keep an eye on him in the scope as hes heading toward a far away sandbank containing loads of birds. I waited

There was plenty of Audouin`s Gulls with the Thousands of  Yellow legged and Lesser Blacked Gulls to go through . Caspain Tern and Sandwitch Tern were also available.

Up they go in the distance [thanks fisherman}with a good few gulls coming my way. 1 adult Slender-billed Gull past me and I wasnt `100% sure then and I picked up 8 Slender-billed Gulls in the scope as they approached  they flew onto the sandbanks that I was viewing , they stayed a bit distant but decent scope views and an opportunity for some phoneskoping.


With 8 possible Slender billed Gull heading my way.. its not until now that Im home checking my photos to find an Osprey on the sandbank...A life at the shoreline.