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Scavenger bird counts of October 2011
17 October 2011

On the 10th and 11th of October 2011 took place another scavenger bird count within the scope of the project. This count had the participation of 3 volunteers, Cláudio Ferreira, Ricardo Ceia and Vera Arsénio, whom we would like to thank for their help in the field. The project technicians Alfonso Godino, David Delgado, Nuno Curado and Pedro Lourenço also participated in this count.

On the first day we counted birds in the Vale do Guadiana SPA and in the second we counted birds in the Mourão/Moura/Barrancos SPA, and during the count we noted not only scavenger birds, but also other raptors, large soaring birds and steppeland birds. During the two days of field work we counted 8-11 black vultures Aegypius monachus, most of which (6-8) in the Mourão/Moura/Barrancos SPA. Overall, we detected 12 raptor species, the most abundant being the gryphon vulture Gyps fulvus (470-530 individuals), followed by the common buzzard Buteo buteo (12-15 inds.), the red kite Milvus milvus (8-10 inds.) and the common kestrel Falco tinnunculus (6-7 inds.). Among the other species we noted the presence of 4 golden eagles Aquila chrysaetus and 6 Bonelli’s eagles Aquila fasciata.
We also counted 1 black stork Ciconia nigra and 6-7 ravens Corvus corax.
Comparing these results with the count that took place in October 2010 the numbers of most species remained very similar. The main differences were the lower numbers of golden eagles (2010: 4-6; 2011: 1) and common buzzards (2010: 9-12; 2011: 4-5) on the Mourão/Moura/Barrancos SPA, and the overall lower numbers of common kestrels (2010: 12-16; 2011: 6-7).

The next counts will take place in November, and we would very much welcome any volunteers who would be willing to help! If you are interested please contact the project technician Pedro Lourenço through the following email: