Making its first appearance in Portugal in 11 years, this Snow Bunting puts Aljezur in the Portuguese birders agenda.
It was late in the even when Thijs called me to say that a Snow Bunting had been photographed in in my patch, Aljezur stream, before Amoreira beach. I rushed for it, but the light was already too low when I got there. Frustration.
February 1st. In the morning I went straight there again, and found the re-sighted the bird after some minutes of suspense. It was magnificent. Very active, feeding a lot on seeds scattered in the ground.
Two cars came. One of them drove all night some 500 km to get there. Out came some very familiar tired but happy faces.
I heard several remarks of how beautiful and full of potential the area was, and how unfairly forgotten it is in the Portuguese birding community.
In an insane (for me) symbolic frame, the bird posed for several photographers on top of an old “Sudoeste Alentejano and Costa Vicentina Natural Park” plate. Wath a sight! And to think it usually doesn´t go lower then 1500m even in the winter, and I was looking at one, and hearing the waves in the beach with the sun in my face.
I watched the bird for another hour or so, and left with a smiling heart and soul. Aljezur had made an explosive climb out of birding oblivion. Thank you Snowfinch, and thank you Nuno dos Santos, who found it first.