I’ve been planning this trip for a while (since last year) and today I can finally announce a date and bookings are already available. Only 8 spaces are available so will probably sell out quite quickly.
Here is a date for your diary, Wednesday 13th May 2020. This is a guided trip to the amazing Castro Verde area in the Lower Alentejo with transport included.
Come and join me for a day where you’ll be picked up in either Albufeira, São Bartolomeu de Messines or São Marcos da Serra in a Air Conditioned 9-seater Minibus and driven into the Steppe terrain around Castro Verde. You will visit the fantastic LPN centre nearby where you will have a presentation followed by staff available for any questions. For those that are feeling the need to explore, we will take a gentle 3.5km walk around the site to view the many species of bird life present in this area. If we are lucky we will see the beautiful European Roller that breed at the centre.
After a lunch stop (not included) you’ll be driven around the local Castro Verde area on the hunt for some of the larger species of raptors that frequent the area, including various Vultures, Eagles and Harriers. Of course, we may even get to spot the Little and Great Bustards that the LPN have helped survive in the area.
This morning I spotted the first Otter Spraint that I’ve noticed in a long time along our section of the River Odelouca. I often wonder what happens to the Otters when the river dries, I suspect their food source is in the farmer’s and firefighter’s barragems (man-made lakes).
You’ll notice that the Spraint is dark brown instead of the usually red colouring. This is due to the current lack of Louisiana Crayfish in the river.
This is a real sign that the thermometers are rising, it has been well over 20 degree Celsius for the last few days during the daytime and this has awoken the Violet Carpenter Bees.
These gentle giants are flying around feeding and also mating. You may think that these are dangerous due to their size, but are really docile and yes like all bees the female has a stinger, but rarely uses it. Many people think these are black, but if you look closely, you will notice the violet reflecting in the sunlight. In some countries Carpenter Bees are a pest as they damage wooden structures, however, Violet Carpenter Bees only seek out dead wood. If you have a garden or some land, leave out a rotting tree trunk or large branch which will become a nest and hibernation home for them. They are solitary bees, but this time of year you may see them mating.
Here are a few shots I snapped in the garden this morning
This shoot was probably my most challenging sunset yet. I wanted to shoot the Farol de Alfanzina (Alfanzina Lighthouse) but also be able to capture the rays of beam. I spent around 3 hours on the cliff to the east of the Lighthouse yesterday afternoon as I prepared the shoot (more information about the shot below).
Should you wish to purchase a print, it is already available in the shop!