. . . . is how Wikipedia introduces what we know as birds, and whilst that description is accurate it doesn’t capture the variety and general ‘amazingness’ of one of the things* which bring us back again and again to the Algarve.  Yup it’s another bird post!

We are not twitchers but, when in the Algarve at least, we are what you could call enthusiastic birdwatchers.  If you are not certain what a twitcher is or think this is just semantics, then pop across to The Guardian where a very helpful Terence has answered Julie’s question.  Having said that I have been known to do what Stewy says (see the Guardian article), but because of my camera rather than the binoculars!

Oops getting sidetracked again – today I wanted to share photos of the Sardinian Warbler.

Sardinian Warbler in Olhão's saltpans, March 2015

Sardinian Warbler in Olhão’s saltpans, March 2015

It is very common here in the Algarve, and across the rest of Portugal and in fact the whole of the Mediterranean region. Apparently it has been spotted as a vagrant species in Great Britain, but that is rare and so for us when we first saw it we had no idea what it was. Whilst common here it is quite secretive, flying in and out of the scrub.  Occasionally it will perch for a few moments on an uppermost branch which is how I managed to capture it in these photographs.

Taken with Nikon Coolpix (Nikkor x42 Wide Optical)

Taken with Nikon Coolpix (Nikkor x42 Wide Optical)

The adult male, as shown here, has a glossy black head and its eyes are reddish-brown with a red eye-ring. The upperparts are dark ash grey whilst the underparts are a much lighter grey, in fact the throat is white.  The flight feathers and tail are blackish, and the edges are white.

The female has a grey head, and her flanks are greyish-brown.

If you have enjoyed this focus on just one bird then as well as making sure you follow this blog, I recommend having a look at a great blog by Matthias – Wildlife Weeks.  He shares weekly posts on wildlife from across the globe and some of his photographs are incredible.  And if Song Birds are you thing, then you might enjoy Songbird Journey by Miyoko Chu.

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Taken in February 2014 Think it was with my Konica Minolta which had x10 optical

* PS – for those that are interested the other things which bring us back again and again are delicious food, friendly residents, beautiful countryside, sunshine and the challenge of learning a new language!