The Algarve is one of the country's most interesting regions for birdwatching. The Ria Formosa was elected one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal and it is classified as one of the most important wetlands for aquatic birds in Portugal.
Photograph by kind permission of Kilvar Kessler from Estonia 2014
The Park covers an area of 18,400 hectares of dunes, saltpans, little isles, sand banks and swamps between Cacela Velha and Ancao. The beaches of the islands of Faro, Armona, Culatra, Barreta and Tavira form a natural barrier to the ocean. The areas between the isles and the mainland are of particular importance as a wintering area for up to 20,000 birds from northern Europe and as a resting place and a feeding station for birds migrating between Africa and Europe.
Photograph taken by Kilvar Kessler from Estonia, May 2013.
Tavira is an ideal base to explore the whole area and the saltpans in Tavira itself provide great opportunities to see many different birds.Common sights during the year are birds such as the Greater Flamingo,Spoonbill, Black Winged Stilt, Avocet, Whimbrel, Curlew and Kentish Plover. During winter regular visitors include The Black Shouldered Kite, the Sandwich and Caspian Terns. The Stone Curlew, the Bee-eater and the Little Tern can be seen during the breeding season.
Photograph taken by Kilvar Kessler from Estonia. May 2013
There are several experienced companies in and around Tavira who will take you on guided tours of the Saltpans and the Ria Formosa so you can maximise your birdwatching oppotunities.
One such company,Algarve Birders run by June Taylor and Peter Dedicoat offer top quality birdwatching and wildlife photography tours from their base in Tavira. More information can be found on their website-see the link below
Photograph taken by Kilvar Kessler from Estoina, May 2013
A recent renter of our apartment was award winning Estonian photographer Kilvar Kessler who has kindly allowed us to put his fabulous photographs on this page to inspire you to come to Tavira for some quality birdwatching.
Photograph taken by Kilvar Kessler from Estonia in May 2013
These hoopoe birds take up residence in the complex over the winter and you can watch them from the patio in the morning.
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