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This short-break includes visits to the most important wetland in Portugal, to montado‘s forest and cereal steppe. Participants can stay at one of our partners located in Évora where we start our daily trips. Accommodation is not included in the tour price.
Alentejo is a region in Portugal with a great diversity of habitats where you can see a vast array of bird species. This program was designed to let participants discover beautiful sceneries and destinations where the avifauna wealth is notorious.
During this tour, it will be possible to observe species like Flamingo, Glossy Ibis, Purple Heron, Great and Little Bustard, Cinereous Vulture, Iberian Imperial Eagle, Black-winged Kite, Lesser Kestrel, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Calandra Lark, Hoopoe, Bee-eater, Roller, Azure-winged Magpie, Southern Grey Shrike, Spotless Starling and many other species.
The relatively short distance to the places we will visit makes the city of Évora the perfect place to stay. It should also be noted that it is a World Heritage City and that is why we have reserved a day for you to get to know and enjoy the city.
It is advisable that participants arrive at the accommodation the day before.
An intense bird watching program that you can combine with a cultural visit to the World Heritage City, Évora.
The main idea is to take daily trips from Évora and get to know the best places for bird watching at a relatively short distance from the city. No more than one and a half hour driving.
Each day will be dedicated to a region and to observe specific sets of bird species. In the Tagus estuary we will look for water birds and in the Castro Verde plains we will look for steppe birds.
Tagus Estuary is the most important wetland of Portugal where you can observe a large number of bird species, especially waders and waterfowl. During the day we will visit several places inside the nature reserve and visit the EVOA Tagus Estuary Birdwatching and Conservation Area (www.evoa.pt). During winter we can see huge concentrations of shorebirds and waterfowl that find refuge in this area. Some of the species that can be observed are Purple Heron, Flamingo, Greylag Goose, Common Shelduck, Osprey, Pied Avocet, Bar-tailed Godwit, Ruddy Turnstone, Common Greenshank, Whimbrel, Sanderling, Short-eared Owl, Bluethroat, Penduline Tit, among many other species.
We will visit the area of the Alqueva dam, the largest artificial lake in Europe, where we can observe some waterfowl, such as Redcrested Pochard or Collared Pratincole, among other species. In this area occurred the reintroduction project of Osprey in Portugal. The tour continues through fantastic landscapes composed by cork and holm oaks forests and cereal steppes.
This area is known by the diversity of birds of prey: Red and Black Kite, Black-winged Kite, Short-toed Eagle, Iberian Imperial Eagle, Golden Eagle, Booted Eagle, Cinereous Vulture and Griffon Vultures.
We will visit steppe areas between Évora and Beja where it is possible to see Montagu’s Harrier, Great Bustard, Little Bustard, Blackbellied Sandgrouse, Stone Curlew, Lesser Kestrel, Calandra Lark and European Roller.
We will visit several areas in northern Alentejo, defined by Natura Network and Birdlife as important sites for birds. We will devote the first hour to visit areas identified as important for the conservation of steppe birds, which includes the Great Bustard and the Little Bustard or Montagu’s Harrier. Later we will visit Caia’s dam and Torre da Bolsa to look for waterfowl and passerines. In winter is possible to observe large flocks of Common Cranes.
While visiting Portugal for a work trip, we spent an additional three days in Portugal birding and visiting Alentejo with Jorge. He provided an excellent tour of the winter birding sites as well as cultural activities, including a tour of Evora.
He arranged a schedule that included pick-up and drop-off in Lisbon, accommodations, meals in the field, recommendations for dinners, and of course a variety of birding habitats. He has excellent knowledge of the birds and birding locations in Alentejo, and knew exactly how to target desired species. All plans went smoothly and the trip was organized efficiently and logically. Highlights included wintering shorebird and waterfowl dams, steppe birds, and spotlighting for Barn Owls in the Tagus estuary. He even kept all the ebird lists throughout the day!
Highly recommended, and wonderful addition to any trip to Portugal.