Thursday, 22 September 2016

Algarve and the Wetlands

The "Ria de Alvor" is the most important estuary of the western Algarve, and has about 350 hectares of sandbars, silts and saltmarsh. The small rivers Odiáxere, Arao, Farelo, and Torre, flow into the Alvor estuary forming a coastal lagoon with more than 2.5kilometers in length. The Alvor estuary is a place where the river freshwater meets the salt water of the sea, creating a gradient of salinity which associated with tidal dynamics and the presence of nutrients usually supports a great biodiversity. In more protected areas of the estuary, where water does not have too much turbulence, the marshes arise. Considered the most productive areas of the planet, they accumulate nutrients for the entire river basin of the rivers and even nutrients brought by the tides.
 
 

Approaching the Estuary by car.
 

This is the map, right next to the beach marking the footpaths.
 

The beach
 

and another view, taken already from the footpath at the start of our walk around the lagoon.
 

A view of the other side of the path. We were told by residents that most of the bird had already left., and they were right,
 


but we had to see for ourselves, and just taking in the natural beauty of this place, was such a pleasure. 

Our first sighting of the Black-winged Stilt.
 


 


 


 


 


 


 

Bird calls and movements in the tall grasses told us there were birds in hiding..
 

Showing the path we took, starting on the left hand side of the embankment.
 

Our first sighting of the flamingos
 

If we had arrived two weeks earlier we would have seen dozens of different species, especially ducks and herons.
 

but we were happy to see whatever birds still remained.
 

They were rather far away, and these were the best shots I could get.
 
Click on the links below to see these great memes.
WILD BIRD WEDNESDAYS
SATURDAY'S CRITTERS
I'D RATHER B BIRDIN, GOOD FENCES

43 comments:

Christine said...

Hello! This is another beautiful area of Portugal! It looks like you visited at the perfect time of day as the light is golden!
I loved seeing the flamingoes!
Have a great weekend!

Spare Parts and Pics said...

You sound like my old marine biology professor! I actually took a "Biology of Estuaries" class way back when... a fascinating class. Estuaries are critically important and underappreciated. We have destroyed far too many in S CA in order to build waterfront homes. Thanks for this post!

TexWisGirl said...

glad you got to see the flock! it is a neat area. i can imagine huge flocks gathering there.

Linda said...

This is such an absolutely gorgeous place to appreciate and enjoy nature! Your photos make me feel as though I took this drive and walk with you! Thank you so much for sharing. :)

Janice Adcock said...

Thank for sharing all this beauty!

Debbie said...

i'm not sure i know/understand where these pictures were taken (what part of the country) maybe i missed it or misunderstood!!!

it a beautiful, natural habitat! i guess everyone is moving around, getting settled in for the winter ahead. it must have been nice to see the flamingo's, there were so many!!!

The Furry Gnome said...

I finally looked 'the Algarve' and realized you're in Portugal! Fascinating stuff.

LEN said...

Your pictures bring back so many happy memories but I had not been to the places where you took your shots although I had seen the flamingoes

Nick Morgan said...

That looks like a really interesting area Sonjia. I wonder if my father ever visited. He did a lot of research on the wetlands and estuaries around the Mediterranean. I remember seeing flamingoes in Portugal when my kids were small. They couldn't believe such exotic birds lived outside zoos!!
Is that a spoonbill in the background of your last picture?

Breathtaking said...

Debbie

These photos were taken in Southern Portugal, in the Algarve, in a place called Alvore. I counted 50 flamingos spread out over a large area.

Bas van Es said...

Wat een geweldig mooi gebied daar mogen we wel heel zuinig mee omspringen.

matti juhani niilola said...

Hi. Really gorgeous place. There would be a pleasure to watch the birds and enjoy nature.

desertsandbeyond said...

Hello! We have wetlands like those here in California, along the coast, especially near San Diego. They are so different than the desert where I live. I love to travel to different regions, too. I need to get out and walk more. I have a back injury from a horse accident. Your blog is inspiring!
Cheryl Ann (desertsandbeyond)

carol l mckenna said...

What a place and gorgeous photography!

Happy Weekend to you ~ ^_^

Missy George said...

Gorgeous..nice to see them in their natural habitat..Love the Flamingos!!

Sandra said...

love that beach and those flamingos are amazing.. so much beauty out there and you captured a lot of it for us to enjoy

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Seeing flamingos out in the wild like that is amazing! Love all of the beautiful scenes and long legged birds! Happy weekend! Hugs, Diane

Ranten said...

Lovely pictures!

Teresa said...

Es precioso. Besos.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Great shots of the stilt. What an aptly named bird!
~

Gunilla Bäck said...

What a gorgeous place to visit! I love the flamingoes.

Nancy Chan said...

Beautiful beach. I love to see the flock of flamingos. Have a beautiful weekend!

Anni said...

Look at ALL those flamingos!!! Wow. Impressive amount indeed.

And your stilts...love the markings. Much more dapper dresses than our Black Necked Stilts.

As always, I'm here not only to view your wonderful post, but also to send along my thanks for sharing with us birders at I'd Rather B Birdin' this weekend!

Ps...love the scenery photos too. Beautiful area.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

When I looked at the first couple of pictures, I thought I'd comment that it was an absolutely beautiful estuary even without birds -- and it is really a beautiful place to walk! But then I saw the stilts -- how wonderful -- and then the flamingos -- and so many of them. To me that seems like a lot of birds to see, especially the exotic flamingos. A wonderful day indeed. Thank you for sharing it.

baili said...

can't say that what is more beautiful the way you capture the scenes or your area itself ,you really are expert in your photography dear

eileeninmd said...

Hello, lovely photos of the estuary. It is a gorgeous place. I love the adorable stilt and the gorgeous flamingos. Both are wonderful sightings, I wish I could have been there too.
Awesome series of photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

Forest Dream Weaver said...

This place looks so beautiful and unspoiled. It must have been very special to see the flamingos.
Thanks for sharing this...Happy Sunday!

Lea said...

A beautiful series of photos!
Hope you are having wonderful day!

Bob Bushell said...

Beautiful Black-winged Stilt, living on the estuary.

Irma said...

A beautiful series of photos.
Great shots of the stilt
I love the flamingos.
Best regards, Irma

Dee said...

Oh my gosh! FLAMINGOS!!!

I've only even seen flamingos in zoos!

Yours are BEAUTIFUL!

Haddock said...

Wonderful pictures.
The eco-system works so wonderfully.

A Casa Madeira said...

Que imagens belas.
Boa partilha.
Tenhas um bom começo de semana.

Helma said...

Ohhhh ..... I see Flamingos !!!! Great to see this. And also stilts. What will you enjoyed when you saw these beautiful birds. The Flaminog and the stilts I've never been able to photograph.
Very nice. The nature that you show is also great to see. I would like to be there quite a while :-)
Greetings,

Denise inVA said...

A wonderful area, I enjoyed seeing your photos. Seeing so many birds must have been amazing.

orchid Miyako said...

Dearest Sonija; What a beautiful estuary area from your country and Thank you very much for your word p:-) The Stilt and flamingos are GORGEOUS, I just have to wait winter birds to come, haha. I don't know why but I can see only heron all year around.

Sending Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan to my Dear friend in Portugal, xoxo Miyako*

NatureFootstep said...

what a wonderful area to be birding. Love the stilts and flamingoes. And the area is very beautiful too. :)

Ela said...

Wow ! THat's a gorgeous place !!
I love your photos !!
Greetings

A Casa Madeira said...

Olá! aqui no Brasil ela é conhecida como:
Tostão, Brilhantina ou Maranta.
Com o passar do tempo, fica pendente.
Gosta de meia sombra.
Espero ter ajudado.
Abraços
janicce.

Ida said...

Nice shot leading into the estuary. Such a cool place. I loved the flamingos.

Marie C said...

The estuary is beautiful! Awesome photos!

Mary Brown said...


You know this tour, even if it is virtual.

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Wonderful place!!! :-)))

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