Portugal Wildlife

A look through the Seasons (2019) on a Wildlife Reserve in Baixo Alentejo

Gallery of some seasonal highlights on the wildlife reserve. All the photographs are taken on the reserve.

January

New Year's Day: Two Common Snipe feeding at Windmill Pond.

Two Common Snipe Displaying: Quite unusual behaviour.

Two Common Snipe Displaying: I have not read about this behaviour.

Two Common Snipe Displaying: Normally displaying occurs much later in Spring and more usually at the breeding grounds.

 

Iberian Badger foraging during a cold and misty winter's night.

Iberian Mongoose.

White Wagtails are year-round residents on the reserve, like this Male in Winter plumage - with white chin and forehead.

One of the few plants flowering in January, Jersey Cudweed.

 

A Painted Lady basking in the January sunshine.

Female Common Kestrel hunting from perch on electricity cable. It is hoped this female will pair with the male seen at the kestrel nest box this Spring.

Eurasian Buzzard.

A Green Sandpiper enjoying the feeding opportunities in Windmill Pond which still retains some water this Winter.

 

Common Snipe showing how flexible its mandibles are.

The first rains in January brought out a new species: A Spiny Toad, Europe's largest Toad which can be up to 18cm long.

Seven Iberian Pond Turtles basking in the January sunshine at Windmill Pond.

One of the resident pair of Eurasian Buzzards circling in the January bright sunlight.

 

Corn Buntings are already starting to sing.

 

 

 

February

Male European Serin.

Spiny Toads in amplexus (mating). Note that the male, on top, is much smaller than the female. Photographed in daytime at Windmill Pond.

Male Small Copper enjoying the February sunshine.

Spiny Toad spawn. These toad eggs were laid in a number of strings in a temporary rain puddle.

 

6th February: One of our Little Grebes is back on Windmill Pond.

A Common Barn Owl bathing in a Winterbourne Stream.

Blackshouldered Kite attacking Carrion Crow.

Crocus-leaved Romulea.

 

A most exciting discovery. A new mammal species: European Wildcat (Gato bravo).

Yellow Anemone.

Two Juvenile Eurasian Spoonbills (with black wing tips) flying off from Windmill Pond.

An Iberian False Smooth Snake taking in the late afternoon February sunshine. This species is mostly nocturnal or crespuscular.

 

A beautiful group of Hoop-Petticoat Narcissus flowers

Iberian Pond Turtle.

A Clouded Yellow feeding on Dusky Dogfennel flowers.

A Natterjack Toad at night.

 

24th February: Yaay ! A pair of Common Barn Owls have chosen to nest in our Barn Owl Nest Box that was erected on the side of our Windmill Ruin. Already the Barn Owls have laid three eggs. Clutches can vary from between 3 and 11 eggs.

A male Common Linnet singing atop an Iberian Holm Oak.

Moorish Gecko already active in February.

Western Dappled White.

 

A male Iberian Green Woodpecker.

White Stork at Windmill Pond.

Eurasian Spoonbill at Windmill Pond.

Small Heath.

March

Male Common Linnet at Windmill Pond.

Female Spanish Festoon on Brassica sp. flower.

Natterjack or Spiny Toad Tadpoles.

One of a pair of Short-toed Snake-Eagles recently arrived.

 

A Green Hairstreak.

Iberian Water Frog calling.

Mating Common Winter Damsels.

Our partly white-faced Iberian Badger. An easy individual to recognise. And regular visitor.

 

Our first Vulture sighting of the year, a Black Vulture.

Grey Heron.

Common Asphodel.

 

Common

Cattle Egret showing breeding plumage.

 

First sighting of a Bonelli's Eagle on the reserve this year.

Woodchat Shrikes are back home in Alentejo for the Summer.

Horseshoe Whip Snake.

Small Burnet.

April

A new species of flower: A Hemp Broomrape. This a plant without any chlorophyll that lives by parasitising other plants to obtain all its food.

Male Spanish Sparrow.

 

Corn Bunting singing.

Shrubby Pimpernel.

 

 

Sageleaved Willow.

Lesser Gorse.

Compressed Bird's-Foot

Angled Pea

 

Griffon Vulture.

 

Cut-leaved Crane's-Bill.

 

Glossy Ibis.

April 24th: Mallards with small ducklings.

May

European Wildcat.

 

Courtship behaviour: The Iberian Badger on the left (sleek, narrow head) is a female. And the badger in front is a male with its fur fluffed up and tail raised to signify that it is sexually excited.

Little Owl chick stood next to nest hole in Iberian Holm Oak (on left).

Female Bee Fly Bombylius cruciatus feeding on nectar of Sweet Scabious.

 

Male Spanish Marbled White.

Meadow Brown feeding on Sweet Scabious.

Blackshouldered Kite hunting while hovering.

Male Common Blue butterfly.

June

Common Quail.

Little Ringed Plover enjoying the last wet mud at Windmill Pond before it dries up completely for the Summer.

A species of Checkered Beetle (Trichodes octopunctatus).

A species of Potter Wasp (Eumenes subpomiformis).

 

Hummingbird Hawk-moth feeding on Sweet Scabious nectar.

Fiery Clearwing moth.

Red Shieldbug.

Fourstriped Digger Bee.

 

Crested Lark.

Tree grayling.

Female Mammoth Wasp.

Male Large Yellowheaded Scoliid Wasp.

 

Extremely rare - A melanistic Common Genet.

Beech Marten.

Eurasian Hoopoe.

Iberian Water Frog at new Bulrush Pond.

 

Our three rescued Barn Owl chicks came back to our Reserve where they were released.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Previous Years:

Seasons 2018

 

Links to detailed webpages:

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Seasons 2019

Breeding Season 2019

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Dragonflies

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Catalonia Wildlife

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Barn Owls 2019

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