Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Happy New Year Everyone

Last episode of the blog found us enjoying the tail end of the autumn raptor migration on the south west corner of Portugal.

Now two months later, Christmas is all but over, many many bird sightings and kilometres later we are back at one of our favourite little caravan parks  for the rest of the Festive Period enjoying the benefit of electricity and wifi, here at Figueria Caravan Park 


Beach art at Boca do Rio

Watched this skilled guy
 balancing stones


Sadly all washed away by the next high tide

Windscreen sunset over the Atlantic

Pulo do Lobo waterfall

Alfred Hitchcock moment!

Carrapateira Beach

Digging is exhausting

But it must be done!

Sunset at Carrapateira


It might be December but it's still warm and sunny most days, some days we are on the beach in tee shirts and shorts, but it's cold at nights and in the early mornings until the sun gets overhead. We were up just before daylight a few days ago to take some friends to show them this beastie that we found on our last visit to this spot, thanks to some intelligence from a fellow UK birdwatcher we have come to know. Alas he was hiding that day (the owl not the birdwatcher) but we were all wearing down jackets, hats and gloves and were still shivering!

European eagle owl

Most of our time has been spent "wild camping" as we prefer to do, we've been up in the remote Steppe lands in the Alentejo region of Portugal which is allegedly the hottest and driest part of this wonderful country, looking for and this time succeeding in finding the elusive Great Bustards and cranes. Whilst in the area we also visited a number of villages and towns we haven't been to before and enjoyed exploring their tiny cobbled streets and castles.


Spanish Imperial eagle making the most of
some carrion


Buzzard

Great Bustards

A gorgeous overnight spot, remote and peaceful
between Castro Verde and Mertola





"Supermoon"

Looking across the Steppe from our
high spot by the chapel



Moura castle Keep





Flowery cobbled lane in Serpa


Common Cranes near Moura





Rooftop Garden in Moura

Beja Castle


Medieval inscription 

Yours truly ascending
Beja castle keep

Worth it for the view from the top


Interesting art feature outside a Beja house

Beja Street art



We've had another few days at Alvor lagoon looking out of the bedroom window on flamingoes and black winged stilts and here we got some wonderful views of a pair of Black Winged Kites who are not shy and obliged very favourably for the photographer.




In early November we had a week here, a quiet tranquil spot in the campo which had a real getting away from it all feel. Very friendly Dutch owner and clients, didn't improve my language skills though as they all spoke English very efficiently but we were made very welcome.

Our friends Glen and Pete arrived on 1st December, they have been here in their camper the last couple of years and we met up now and then but they have now sold "Bertie the Burstner" and have rented an apartment for three months instead. LAst week we all went owl hunting and  we're meeting up for a walk again soon and are planning a New Year's day get together. 


Flamingo at Alvor lagoon

Oystercatchers and a caspian tern

Pete and Glen being studious

Egret


It'll then be time for us to begin our trek homewards with a very special someone to meet when we get home. Our grandson, Percy Thomas Crompton was born on 12th December, he was due today, on Boxing Day but arrived two weeks early. A little brother for a very proud Hattie, now five and a half and in Year One at school.




1 comment:

Vallypee said...

I just looked up Beja. It looks delightful but I I can imagine nights there are chilly (spot the euphemism) in the winter. It’s so far inland and very high. Still, it looks gorgeous!