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ParadisePortugalSawdaysThe Sawday’s guide to extraordinary and legendary places has picked Quinta do Barranco de Estrada on the Santa Clara reservoir as the place for birders to stay if they want to get the best of a ‘Spring birdlife explosion.’

The boutique travel guide, Sawday’s, “still looks for authenticity, warmth and character, places that embody the slow life and where hours of love have been poured into the tiniest detail to create those simple, personal joys that make something truly special.”

OilAriealShotSmallA campaign that is raising concerns about planned oil exploration off the Algarve coast has been supported by a donation from a British wildlife holiday company.

A group from Honeyguide Wildlife Holidays has donated £500 (€550) to SPEA, Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves. SPEA is part of the coalition Plataforma Algarve Livre de Petróleo (Platform for an Algarve Free of Petroleum) that is campaigning against oil and gas exploration in the region.

SagresBirdFest2017An exciting week for birding and nature enthusiasts as the Sagres Birdwatching Festival returned on October 4th and runs until the 8th, backed by Vila do Bispo council and organised by SPEA. Events are dedicated to nature, birds and outdoor fun.

In Sagres, "you can see almost everything", says André Pinheiro from Almargem, one of the promoters of the initiative who says that it’s the unique landscape which makes this festival not only for bird watching, but for nature in general.

egretWhile the Algarve in summer is more renowned for its holiday beaches, increasingly it is gaining a reputation for the wealth of beautiful birds that also migrate here for the season – but unlike the majority of the holidaymakers, they arrive from the south and not from the north.

Several, such as the impressive Alpine Swift and its smaller relatives, the Pallid and Common Swifts, can be watched while prostate on the beach as they zoom around their nest-holes in the cliffs. Others, such as the delicate Subalpine Warbler or the striking Black-eared Wheatear, will take a more determined search inland, but more than repay the effort.

eagleImperialEuropeanThe head of Portugal’s Food and Veterinary agency has received an application to authorise diclofenac for veterinary use. The problem here is that as well as being used in medicine to treat sick cattle, the drug is fatal to birds that eat carrion.

Birdlife Europe and Portuguese environmental organisations already have appealed to Portuguese government not to authorise the drug, saying it threatens already rare species such as the Black vulture and the Imperial-Iberian eagle.

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