A Field Guides Birding Tours Report

Beyond the Ports of Portugal: A Birds & Wine Tour 2022

April 26-May 7, 2022 with Marcelo Padua & local guide guiding

Portugal continues to be one of Europe’s most underrated countries, managing to stay out of the news and fly under the radar of many travelers, but it delivers time and time again an amazing experience for each of our groups and this time was no exception.

We started the tour in the vibrant city of Porto with a visit to the wine lodges where Porto is aged, and a brief birding session at the Mouth of the Douro River, where we had good looks at several gulls, including Mediterranean and Auduouin’s. We also found some common species such as Zitting Cisticola, and Eurasian Magpie, and even an Osprey that was a bit of a surprise. We wrapped up our time in Porto with a Fado Concert and a seafood feast that set the tone for the many memorable meals we would have on the tour.

We left Porto behind and meandered our way up the Douro, making stops along the way to find species such as Greater Whitethroat, Short-toed Treecreeper, Dunnock, Mistle Thrush and Rock Bunting. We broke our scenic trip with a stop at the beautiful Quinta Da Pacheca, where we connected with the scarce Eurasian Tree Sparrow and enjoyed a lovely lunch, followed by a visit to the winery that is one of the oldest in the Douro, and continued on our way to the picturesque medieval village of Castelo Rodrigo, where we arrived at night.

We then explored the Douro along the Spanish border in an area where the vineyards give way to a more wild terrain, and Eurasian Griffons and Egyptian Vultures glide seamlessly through the valleys at eye level. Birding the Douro International area was certainly one of the most memorable days of the trip, and even our picnic lunch produced some of the best views we had at several species (not to mention the best cheeses we had on the entire trip).

Leaving Castelo Rodrigo was hard but we packed up and headed to the Faia Brava Reserve, where we learned about the conservation efforts of the Rewilding Europe initiative before making our way south to Portalegre, where we met the fascinating João Afonso who told us about his history as professional ballet dancer turned winemaker. It was wonderful to try his wines and learn about Portuguese wines from one of Portugal’s most prolific writers on wine (one of his books is on its 12th edition).

We birded the forest near Portalegre and picked up a good number of species, such as the Crested Tit, Wood Lark, Eurasian Jay, Western Subalpine Warbler and several others before turning south again and making our way to Herdade do Esporão. Here we started to see the difference between wines produced in the North and the wines of the South, and we did it while enjoying a spectacular lunch and views of several birds along the lake that sits in its property before reaching the town of Mertola where we would spend the next several days.

It was nice to settle down in one place for several days and explore the great birding venues within a short driving distance from Mertola. This was certainly the best birding of our trip and we enjoyed great looks at several species such as Great and Little Bustard, European Roller, Eurasian Wryneck, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Little Owl, Golden Eagle and several others. The scenic country side, the history of the city and the delicious wines produced around Mertola certainly left a lasting impression in all of us, but we had to get moving one last time, and we headed back north towards our little palace nestled in the forest just south of Lisbon. Casa Palmela was the perfect place to end our tour, with some of the best sites for shore birds close by and some incredible forest birding right in the back yard. This was a memorable tour and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

I hope our paths cross again somewhere and that we can share another glass of wine together some day.

All the Best,

—Marcelo Padua

One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)

EGYPTIAN GOOSE (Alopochen aegyptiaca) [I]

This introduced species has established feral populations in Portugal and we saw them both at Herdade do Esporão and later on at Herdade da Apariça.

COMMON SHELDUCK (Tadorna tadorna)

Multiple sightings of this striking species towards the end of our tour as we birded the areas around the Tagus River.

NORTHERN SHOVELER (Spatula clypeata)

A few birds seen at the EVOA reserve.

GADWALL (Mareca strepera)

Seen multiple times but always in small numbers towards the end of our tour.

MALLARD (Anas platyrhynchos)

A common species that was seen on several days of the tour.


A couple of pairs seen from the blinds at the EVOA reserve.


We saw this handsome species on multiple days but we had particularly nice views at the EVOA reserve.

Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)

COMMON QUAIL (Coturnix coturnix) [*]


We saw this ornate species on multiple days of the tour.

Phoenicopteridae (Flamingos)

GREATER FLAMINGO (Phoenicopterus roseus)

This was Sharon's favorite bird of the tour. They are present in good numbers in the salt pans around the town of Alcochete.

Podicipedidae (Grebes)

LITTLE GREBE (Tachybaptus ruficollis)

This is the smallest grebe in Europe as its name suggests and we saw it a few times once we were south of the Tagus River.

GREAT CRESTED GREBE (Podiceps cristatus)

We saw this elegant species at a reservoir early on the trip and later found a few more in the lake near Herdade do Esporão.

Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)

ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia)

Seen pretty much on every day of the tour.

COMMON WOOD-PIGEON (Columba palumbus)

Another abundant species that was seen almost every day on the tour.

EUROPEAN TURTLE-DOVE (Streptopelia turtur)

This species is declining rapidly across Europe but we managed to see them a few times.

EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decaocto)

A common species that was seen every day on our tour.

Pteroclidae (Sandgrouse)

BLACK-BELLIED SANDGROUSE (Pterocles orientalis)

It was hard to find these unique pigeon-like birds in the Castro Verde area, but after having a frustrating experience of hearing the birds and not seeing them we managed to locate the birds for a good view on a different day.

Otididae (Bustards)

GREAT BUSTARD (Otis tarda)

Always impressive to see these massive beasts walking around the flowering fields. This is the heaviest flying bird in Europe and there is a very important project to maintain their populations in the areas we visited.

LITTLE BUSTARD (Tetrax tetrax)

Not nearly as visible in the grass as the Great Bustard but we had pretty good scope views and later saw them really well in flight.

Cuculidae (Cuckoos)

GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO (Clamator glandarius)

We had great scope views of a bird perched on a fence post.

COMMON CUCKOO (Cuculus canorus)

Multiple encounters with this species. It was particularly nice to see an Iberian Grey Shrike chasing one out of its territory.

Apodidae (Swifts)

ALPINE SWIFT (Apus melba)

Very distinctive with its white belly. We saw them well at the Douro International Park.

COMMON SWIFT (Apus apus)

Common indeed and seen on several days of the tour.

PALLID SWIFT (Apus pallidus)

Much less abundant than the Common Swift but we saw them (and heard their distinctive calls) on several days of the tour. Some birds nest in Mertola and we had great opportunities to see compare them with the Common Swifts right outside our hotel.


This was a bit of an unexpected surprise during our visit to the Guadiana Valley. This species usually arrives in the area a bit later so we were lucky to connect with it.

Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)

EURASIAN MOORHEN (Gallinula chloropus)

This species was recently split from the American form that is now called American Moorhen.

EURASIAN COOT (Fulica atra)

Common around the wetlands that we visited in the last part of our tour. They were particularly numerous at the EVOA Reserve.

WESTERN SWAMPHEN (Porphyrio porphyrio)

Also seen at the EVOA Reserver but far less abundant.

Burhinidae (Thick-knees)

EURASIAN THICK-KNEE (Burhinus oedicnemus)

Also known as Stone Curlew. We found them on a few days around the town of Castro Verde and Mertola.

Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)

BLACK-WINGED STILT (Himantopus himantopus)

Common on the second half of our tour.

PIED AVOCET (Recurvirostra avosetta)

Great views at the salt pans around Alcochete and at the EVOA Reserve.

Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)

BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola)

Seen on the last day of the tour as we visited the Tagus estuary near the town of Alcochete.

KENTISH PLOVER (KENTISH) (Charadrius alexandrinus alexandrinus)

We had great looks at them on the day we visited the salt pans near Alcochete.

COMMON RINGED PLOVER (Charadrius hiaticula)

Also seen at the salt pans and later on at the Tagus Estuary.

LITTLE RINGED PLOVER (Charadrius dubius)

A single bird seen near a lake on the day that we visited Castro Verde.

Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)

WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus)

One of the many shorebirds we connected with on the last day of the tour at the Tagus Estuary.

BAR-TAILED GODWIT (Limosa lapponica)

Seen at the Tagus Estuary on the last day, allowing us to compare it to the more abundant Black-tailed Godwit.


We had repeated views on the last few days of the tour.

RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres)

Seen in large numbers at the salt pans near Alcochete.

RED KNOT (Calidris canutus)

João scoped a bird for us amongst other waders at the Tagus Estuary on the last day of the tour.

CURLEW SANDPIPER (Calidris ferruginea)

There were many of them resting at the salt pans near Alcochete.

SANDERLING (Calidris alba)

Seen at the salt pans near Alcochete.

DUNLIN (Calidris alpina)

Multiple sightings towards the end of the tour.

LITTLE STINT (Calidris minuta)

Also seen at the salt pans near Alcochete.

COMMON SNIPE (Gallinago gallinago)

We managed to get one in the scope at one of the blinds at the EVOA reserve.

COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos)

Seen early on at the Douro Estuary and later on around Alcochete. This species closely resembles the Spotted Sandpiper and displays a similar behavior of bobbing its tail.

COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia)

A couple of sightings around the Tagus Estuary.

COMMON REDSHANK (Tringa totanus)

Multiple individuals seen both at the Douro estuary and at the Tagus Estuary.

Glareolidae (Pratincoles and Coursers)

COLLARED PRATINCOLE (Glareola pratincola)

These sharp looking birds winter in Africa and return to Europe in April. The EVOA reserve is an important place for their conservation.

Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)

BLACK-HEADED GULL (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)

Seen multiple times around the Douro Estuary and the Tagus Estuary.

MEDITERRANEAN GULL (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus)

Present in good numbers at the Douro Estuary.

AUDOUIN'S GULL (Ichthyaetus audouinii)

A single bird seen among other gulls at the Douro Estuary on the first day of the tour.

YELLOW-LEGGED GULL (Larus michahellis)

The most common gull on our tour route.


Another species that was by itself at the Douro Estuary. Joao got it in the scope for us and pointed out the field marks.

LITTLE TERN (Sternula albifrons)

Seen at the salt pans and at the Tagus Estuary.

GULL-BILLED TERN (Gelochelidon nilotica)

This species favors marshy habitats and is usually not found right on the coast. We saw them at Herdade do Esporão and later on near Castro Verde.

SANDWICH TERN (Thalasseus sandvicensis)

Common in coastal areas and we saw them at the Douro Estuary as well as on the Tagus Estuary.

Ciconiidae (Storks)

WHITE STORK (Ciconia ciconia)

One of the most Iconic birds of the tour and their nests are everywhere in Southern Portugal. Always fun to see them circumvent the many contraptions created to deter them from nesting on the Electricity towers.

Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)

GREAT CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax carbo)

Seen on many days of the tour both near the ocean and at dams lakes and rivers.

Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)

LITTLE BITTERN (Ixobrychus minutus)

We found a single bird hidden in the reeds at Quinta do Atalaya. We put it in the scope and it climbed up on the reeds for some great views of this shy species.

GRAY HERON (Ardea cinerea)

A close relative of the Great Blue Heron from North America.

PURPLE HERON (Ardea purpurea)

This species is less conspicuous, more colorful and slimmer than the Gray Heron and we saw several individuals around the Tagus Estuary.

GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)

Not nearly as common as it is in the Americas but we saw a few individuals on several different days.

LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta)

Very similar to the Snowy Egret found in the Americas.

CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)

Several sightings and we had particularly nice view at a nesting colony at Herdade da Apariça near Alcochete.

Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)

GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus)

A few individuals seen at Quinta da Atalaya near Alcochete.

EURASIAN SPOONBILL (Platalea leucorodia)

Multiple sightings towards the end of the tour.

Pandionidae (Osprey)

OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)

We had scope views of a bird perched on a post near the mouth of the Douro River on the first day of the tour.

Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)

BLACK-WINGED KITE (Elanus caeruleus)

A close relative of the White-tailed Kite from the Americas.

EGYPTIAN VULTURE (Neophron percnopterus)

This unique species is declining rapidly across much of its range. There are some conservation efforts underway in the Douro International area and we saw them well while we were having our picnic at the Penedo Durao outlook.


Very common in the Douro International area and we had multiple looks at birds flying and perched on the cliffs along the Douro River.

SHORT-TOED SNAKE-EAGLE (Circaetus gallicus)

This species is highly specialized in eating snakes and they have a particularly "large-headed" look to them, as this is a common feature of snake eating birds. The large head is actually a defensive mechanism as they have a large cushion of feathers on their head to act as a defense from bites of while they are feeding.

BOOTED EAGLE (Hieraaetus pennatus)

This was the most common eagle on the tour and we saw them on several different days.

SPANISH EAGLE (Aquila adalberti)

This is one of the rarest birds we saw on the tour and although it was a bit far, it is always a privilege to see this endangered species that breeds only in Portugal and Spain.

GOLDEN EAGLE (Aquila chrysaetos)

We had distant but nice scope views of a bird on a nest at the Guadiana Valley.

BONELLI'S EAGLE (Aquila fasciata)

This was a nice save as we usually see this species around Mertola but a bird turned up at the EVOA reseve towards the end of the tour and we had great looks at it.

EURASIAN MARSH-HARRIER (Circus aeruginosus)

Seen a few times on our tour.

MONTAGU'S HARRIER (Circus pygargus)

Less common than the Marsh-Harrier and but we had good views, especially at the EVOA Reserve.


Seen in flight at Graham's Wine Lodge and at the São Mamede mountains outside of Portalegre.

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (Accipiter gentilis)

A bird flew by us while we were birding near Carneiros on our way to the Pacheca Winery.

RED KITE (Milvus milvus)

A single bird seen in flight as we made our way to the Douro International Park area.

BLACK KITE (Milvus migrans)

Far more common than the Red Kite and we saw it on most days of the tour.

COMMON BUZZARD (Buteo buteo)

Every bit as common as its name suggests and we saw them on every day of the tour.

Tytonidae (Barn-Owls)

BARN OWL (Tyto alba)

A few of us who were walking back to the hotel after dinner in Portalegre saw a bird flying over the town. A fun memory for sure.

Strigidae (Owls)


João had a staked out bird that was nesting on a quarry. It was amazing to see how well it blended into the background in the rocks.

LITTLE OWL (Athene noctua)

Seen a couple of times but our go to spot resulted in great views once again. This species is in the same genus as the Burrowing Owl and is quite similar to it.

Upupidae (Hoopoes)


We saw it several times on the tour but the one Simon spotted for us was definitely the best sighting of the tour.

Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)


Surprisingly we only had one good but brief look at this species from the bridge in Mertola.

Meropidae (Bee-eaters)

EUROPEAN BEE-EATER (Merops apiaster)

One of the most colorful and charismatic species on the tour. We saw them on several days of the tour.

Coraciidae (Rollers)

EUROPEAN ROLLER (Coracias garrulus)

We visited a private property where these incredible birds breed and got great looks at them. Some of us even got to see the birds doing their rolling flight display that the bird is named after.

Picidae (Woodpeckers)

EURASIAN WRYNECK (Jynx torquilla)

This aberrant woodpecker is a fascinating bird and we had great looks at some of them at Minas de Sao Domingos near the Spanish border.


Seen a few times on the tour but the one that was feeding on Loquat at Minas de Sao Domingos is by far the most memorable sighting of the tour.


This is always a hard species to connect with on this tour but we had a great look at one in the Serra de Arrabida Natural Park.


A recent split from the Eurasian Green Woodpecker. We saw one well in the forest patch we birded near Portalegre.

Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)

LESSER KESTREL (Falco naumanni)

We had good looks around Mertola where some individuals nest in town.

EURASIAN KESTREL (Falco tinnunculus)

Seen on multiple days on our tour.

Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)


We had multiple sightings on the tour and several people saw them across the river from our hotel in Mertola but the best view we had as a group was at Minas de Sao Domingos.

Laniidae (Shrikes)

IBERIAN GRAY SHRIKE (Lanius meridionalis)

Several sightings but seeing one chasing a Cuckoo out of its territory was the most memorable for me.

WOODCHAT SHRIKE (Lanius senator)

Multiple sightings on the first part of the tour as we birded northern Portugal.

Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)

EURASIAN JAY (Garrulus glandarius)

Multiple sightings of these colorful birds throughout the tour.

IBERIAN MAGPIE (Cyanopica cooki)

Common throughout the tour, including some birds that visited feeding trays at our lodge in Castelo Rodrigo.


This handsome bird is really common and we even saw them on sitting on the posts of vineyards along our tour route.

EURASIAN JACKDAW (Corvus monedula)

Great views in Mertola right outside our hotel.

CARRION CROW (Corvus corone)

Common throughout the tour.

COMMON RAVEN (Corvus corax)

Not as numerous as the other corvids seen on our tour but we saw them on multiple days.

Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)

COAL TIT (Periparus ater) [*]

CRESTED TIT (Lophophanes cristatus)

Excellent views of this distinctive tit at Serra de Sao Mamede just outside of Portalegre. This is the only species of tit that has a crest in this area.

EURASIAN BLUE TIT (Cyanistes caeruleus)

This was the most common species of tit on our tour.

GREAT TIT (Parus major)

Another very common species, seen (and heard!) on several days. Its loudly musical "teacher teacher" call was a regular part of the tour soundtrack.

Alaudidae (Larks)

GREATER SHORT-TOED LARK (Calandrella brachydactyla)

The most common species of lark on our tour and one that was particularly common around the Guadiana Valley in the fields around Mertola.

CALANDRA LARK (Melanocorypha calandra)

Another common species that was seen multiple times on our tour.

WOOD LARK (Lullula arborea)

Seen several times but we had particularly good views at the Serra de Sao Mamede near Portalegre.

THEKLA'S LARK (Galerida theklae)

This species is very similar to the more common Crested Lark, but is more likely to perch on bushes and has a shorter and stubbier bill.

CRESTED LARK (Galerida cristata)

More common and widespread than the similar Thekla's Lark. We had multiple views on the tour.

Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)

ZITTING CISTICOLA (Cisticola juncidis)

Cisticolas are famous for being difficult to identify. Luckily for us, this is the only one that occurs on our tour route.

Acrocephalidae (Reed Warblers and Allies)

MELODIOUS WARBLER (Hippolais polyglotta)

We found this species at the Faia Brava reserve where we learned more about the Rewilding Europe project.

EURASIAN REED WARBLER (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)

A common sound at the EVOA reserve but seeing one is always a challenge. Fortunately we managed to spot them among the reeds.

GREAT REED WARBLER (Acrocephalus arundinaceus)

Less common than the Eurasian Reed Warbler but after hearing a couple of birds we laid eyes on a pair of birds near Alcochete.

Hirundinidae (Swallows)

BANK SWALLOW (Riparia riparia)

Seen on the first day and the last day of the tour.

EURASIAN CRAG-MARTIN (Ptyonoprogne rupestris)

Common, abundant and very conspicuous, and therefore a species that we could get well acquainted with.

BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)

Common throughout, typically zooming low over fields and lakes. The subspecies found in Europe -- rustica -- looks a bit odd to our eyes, as it lacks the rusty belly of Barn Swallows in the Americas.

RED-RUMPED SWALLOW (Cecropis daurica)

This species resembles the more common Barn Swallow but it favors areas with cliffs for them to nest on and we saw them at the Douro Internacional and later around Mertola.

COMMON HOUSE-MARTIN (Delichon urbicum)

Another very common species -- which is nice to see, as it's declining over much of its range. Particularly fun were the ones peering from their mud nests plastered to the eaves of some houses.

Phylloscopidae (Leaf Warblers)

WESTERN BONELLI'S WARBLER (Phylloscopus bonelli)

An excellent look at a rather drab looking bird in the vegetation around the edge of a lake in the Douro International.

IBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF (Phylloscopus ibericus)

Another drab looking species that we found in some woodland near our lodge at Serra de Arrabida.

Scotocercidae (Bush Warblers and Allies)

CETTI'S WARBLER (Cettia cetti)

After hearing their loud song we finally located one for viewing on the last day of the tour.

Aegithalidae (Long-tailed Tits)

LONG-TAILED TIT (Aegithalos caudatus)

Despite being called tits, these birds are in an entirely different family from the other tits we saw on tour.

Sylviidae (Sylviid Warblers, Parrotbills, and Allies)

EURASIAN BLACKCAP (Sylvia atricapilla)

Heard and seen on several days of the tour.

GARDEN WARBLER (Sylvia borin)

This is probably the plainest of Europe's famously plain warblers, best identified by its almost complete lack of field marks.

SARDINIAN WARBLER (Curruca melanocephala)

One of the prettiest and most common warblers we saw on the tour.


Even more striking than the Sardinian Warbler and far less numerous.

GREATER WHITETHROAT (Curruca communis)

The stop we made near Carneiros as we drove to the Pacheca winery got us our only look at this large and distinctive warbler.

DARTFORD WARBLER (Curruca undata)

We had a single sighting of this species as we birded near Mertola on the day that we transferred to Casa Palmela.

Regulidae (Kinglets)

COMMON FIRECREST (Regulus ignicapilla)

A fired-up male showed us where it gets its name from.

Sittidae (Nuthatches)

EURASIAN NUTHATCH (Sitta europaea)

After struggling with this species for a bit it was a nice surprise to see them on a picnic table in the Serra de Arrabida park.

Certhiidae (Treecreepers)

SHORT-TOED TREECREEPER (Certhia brachydactyla)

Seen and heard several times on the tour but like many other species our best looks were in the Serra de Arrabida where we had great looks at one adult feeding a young bird.

Troglodytidae (Wrens)

EURASIAN WREN (Troglodytes troglodytes)

This vocal species was heard a few times on the tour but we had incredible looks at Quinta do Atalaya near the town of Alcochetes.

Sturnidae (Starlings)

SPOTLESS STARLING (Sturnus unicolor)

Seen on most days of the tour.

CRESTED MYNA (Acridotheres cristatellus) [I]

This handsome species was introduced to Portugal and has established a population near Lisbon. We found the birds in town on the outskirts of Alcochete.

Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)

MISTLE THRUSH (Turdus viscivorus)

Excellent views of a bird foraging near our lodge in Castelo Rodrigo.


Seen every day on our tour. This species is not related to blackbirds as it is a species of thrush.

Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)

RUFOUS-TAILED SCRUB-ROBIN (Cercotrichas galactotes) [*]

EUROPEAN ROBIN (Erithacus rubecula)

Another species name that is confusing to North American birders, as it is not closely related to the American Robin.

COMMON NIGHTINGALE (Luscinia megarhynchos)

This amazing songster was made famous by Shakespeare's books and we heard it several times on the tour and saw it on a couple of occasions.

BLACK REDSTART (Phoenicurus ochruros)

It was fun to watch a nesting bird at Quinta da Pacheca.

BLUE ROCK-THRUSH (Monticola solitarius)

Multiple views of this lovely species with particularly good views in the Douro Internacional area.

EUROPEAN STONECHAT (Saxicola rubicola rubicola)

This is a very common species but I have to confess that it is a personal favorite of mine. I love seeing the males looking very spiffy with their white collars as if they are wearing a dress shirt.


Another elegant looking bird.

Ploceidae (Weavers and Allies)

YELLOW-CROWNED BISHOP (Euplectes afer) [I]

We saw hundreds of these introduced birds flying around the irrigation ditches on the way to EVOA reserve.

Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)

COMMON WAXBILL (Estrilda astrild) [I]

Prunellidae (Accentors)

DUNNOCK (Prunella modularis)

Though their plumage is strongly reminiscent of a New World sparrow, these are actually accentors -- a family of insectivorous birds that does not occur in the New World.

Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)

HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus)

Seen every day on our tour.

SPANISH SPARROW (Passer hispaniolensis)

This species is much scarcer than the House Sparrow and we managed to connect with them at Quinta Do Apariça near Castro Verde.


We were lucky to find some nesting birds on a tree on the grounds of Quinta da Pacheca.

Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)


Seen really well at the Douro Estuary and later on at the EVOA Reserve.

WHITE WAGTAIL (Motacilla alba)

Common throughout our tour route.

Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)

COMMON CHAFFINCH (Fringilla coelebs)

Common indeed.


Common and abundant throughout.

EURASIAN LINNET (Linaria cannabina)

This is one of those common species that seems very drab until you get a good look at one breeding male. What a showstopper!

EUROPEAN GOLDFINCH (Carduelis carduelis)


EUROPEAN SERIN (Serinus serinus)

Another common species, and their tinkly "grating glass" song was a regular part of the tour soundtrack. We had particularly nice views of a male in a tree right outside Casa de Palmela.

Emberizidae (Old World Buntings)

CORN BUNTING (Emberiza calandra)

This species is quite conspicuous as it sits on top of bushes singing away for long periods of time during mating season, so we had no problems seeing them multiple times on our tour.

ROCK BUNTING (Emberiza cia)

Multiple sightings in the Douro International area.

CIRL BUNTING (Emberiza cirlus)

Nice views of a male in breeding plumage on the side of the road early on our tour.


OLD WORLD RABBIT (Oryctolagus cuniculus)

CAPE HARE (Lepus capensis)


We went owling behind our hotel at Casa de Palmela and spotlighted this handsome species. This was a lifer for JT who has been birding and working with field research in Portugal for many years.

FALLOW DEER (Dama dama)


These are the Wines we sampled on our tour:

Winery, Wine, Wine Region (Sub-region), Vintage/Age, Kind of Wine

Quinta da Carolina, Carolina, Douro, 2019, White Wine

Symington, Pombal do Vesuvio, Douro, 2019, Red Wine

Graham’s, Tawny Port, 10 Years. Porto, Port

Graham’s, Six Grapes. Reserve Ruby, Port

Graham’s Late Bottled Vintage, 2014, Porto, Port

Calem, Tawny, 10 Years, Porto. Port

Calem, Fine White, No Vintage. Porto, Port

Coop. Agricola de Tavora, Terras do Demo, 2019, Tavora-Varosa, Sparkling Wine

Ramos Pinto, Duas Quintas Reserva, Douro, 2019, White Wine

Burmester, Tawny, Porto, Port

Pacheca, Superior, Douro, 2020, Douro. White Wine

Pacheca, Superior, Douro, 2020, Douro. Red Wine

Pacheca, Tawny Port, 20 Years, Porto. Port

Pacheca, Grande Reserva, 2020, Douro, White Wine

Pacheca, Grande Reserva Touriga Nacional, 2019, Douro. Red Wine

Pacheca, White Port, No Vintage, Porto. Port

Pacheca, Tawny Port, 30 Years, Porto. Port

Quinta da Mos, Reserva, 2018, Douro, Red Wine

Coop. Regional de Muralhas de Monção, 2021, Vinho Verde, White Wine

Anselmo Mendes, Curtimenta, 2013, Vinho Verde (Moncao e Melgaco), White Wine

CARM, Vinha da Uize, 2020, Douro, White Wine

Casa Agricola, Manuel Joaquim Caldeira, Fronteira, 2017, Douro, Red Wine

Dourum, Vintage Port, 2008, Porto, Port

Symington, Altano Rewuilding Edition, Douro, 2019. Red Wine (organic)

Cabecas do Reguengo, Respiro Altitude, 2008, (Portalegre). White Wine

Cabecas do Reguengo, Quartzo, 2018. Alentejo (Portalegre). White Wine

Cabecas do Reguengo, Equinocio, 2020. Alentejo (Portalegre). White Wine

Cabecas do Reguengo. Solsticio, 2018, Alentejo (Portalegre). Red Wine

Terra D’Alter, Reserva Branco, 2019, Alentejo (Portalegre). White Wine

Tapada do Chaves, Tapada do Chaves, 2015, Alentejo (Portalegre), Red Wine

Blandy’s, Secial Madeira Dry, 5 years, Madeira, Fortified Wine

Quinta do Ameal, Ameal, 2020, Vinho Verde, White Wine

Esporao, Esporao Reserva, 2019. Alentejo.,Red Wine

Esporao, Quinta dos Murcas, 10 Years Port, Porto. Port

Esporao, Defesa do Esporao, 2020, Alentejo. Red Wine

Esporao, Defesa do Esporao, 2021, Alentejo. White Wine

Bombeira do Guadiana, Flor do Guadiana, 2019, Alentejo. White Wine

Coop. De Vidigueira, Ato IV (a inspiração), 2020, Alentejo, White Wine

Bombeira do Guadiana, Mario Grande Escolha, 2017, Alentejo. Red Wine

Sociedade Agric. Do Guadiana, Discordia, 2020, Alentejo, White Wine

Herdade da Malhadinha Nova, Monte da Peceguina, 2019, Alentejo. Red Wine

Herdade da Malhadinha Nova, Monte da Peceguina, 2020, Alentejo. White Wine

Herdade da Malhadinha Nova, Malhadinha, 2015, Alentejo. Red Wine

Bombeira do Guadiana, Herdade da Bombeira, 2019, Alentejo. Red Wine

Bombeira do Guadiana, Herdade da Bombeira, 2020, Alentejo. Rose Wine

Henrique Uva, Mingorra, 2020, Alentejo, Rose Wine

Monte do Trevo, Herdade dos Grous, 2019, Alentejo, Red Wine

José Maria Da Fonseca, Pasmados, 2017, Alentejo, Red Wine

José Maria Da Fonseca, BSE, 2021, Alentejo, White Wine

Companhia das Lezirias, Tyto Alba, 2019, Alentejo White Wine

Pêra-Grave Sociedade Agricola, Pêra-Grave, 2020, Alentejo, White Wine

José Maria Da Fonseca, Alambre, 40 Years, Moscatel de Setubal, Fortified Fine

Quinta de Ventozelo, Viosinho, 2020, Douro, White Wine

Penafiel, Quinta D’Aguieira, 2013, Bairrada, Sparkling Wine

Aveleda, Parcelo do Roseiral, 2019, Minho, White Wine

Villa Alvor, Negra Mole, 2020, Algarve, Red Wine

Quinta do Piloto, Moscatel de Setubal, 10 years, Fortified Wine

Totals for the tour: 164 bird taxa and 4 mammal taxa