Birding

I thought this might be the grubbiest Colhereiro yet

I know the plumage is off-white but this one is dark brown in places!

He/she certainly was intriguing to watch. They have been in this particular pond for nearly two days now, since they let all the water out. And he/she has hardly moved from this narrow passage between the two ponds.European Spoonbill

There clearly is quite a lot of food here; after sundown on Saturday he/she was joined by two other Spoonbills, a Stork and a Heron. Yesterday afternoon though they only had an Egret for company, and the two of them spent half their time delving into the roots of the Arthrocnemum perenne. Not a behaviour I have seen before as usually I observe them as they moving slowly through the water ‘sweeping’ for aquatic invertebrates. However after yesterday’s antics I have been researching and discovered that they also eat newts and frogs so perhaps delving like an Egret is not as unusual as I had thought.

They are resident in Portugal but you are most likely to see the large flocks (known as a runcible) during the summer and early autumn. In this part of the Ria Formosa we rarely see more than a couple at any one time, although there have been exceptions as you may recall from my posts last September and December. We have been observing them here now for years, and they still make me smile even after all this time. There is just something about that bill of theirs!European Spoonbill

They are a large bird with a wingspan of just over a metre and weighing between 1 and 2kg. During the breeding season, adults develop some yellow on their bill tip and also on their breast along with a crest of white feathers so I am guessing this one is an adult. I have no idea if it is male or female as the plumage is the same for both sexes. Grubby brown though is unusual! As can see from the photograph below (taken Saturday shortly before sundown and possibly of the same bird) generally they look off white rather than brown.Even grubby at sunset

8 comments on “I thought this might be the grubbiest Colhereiro yet

  1. Great photos, Becky! You obviously had a wonderful time watching 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Jo . . . .we did, just so unusual for them in this part of the Ria Formosa to just let us stand there and watch. In Fuseta yes but Olhao tend to be far more cautious. Happy Day 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. They are really cute!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A runcible of spoonbills – how wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s definitely not looking its best, Becky… maybe it wanted to go with a more natural look for this photo shoot! Still cute though! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

Likes are great, but comments I adore

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: