Splendid male Montagues Harrier!!
Awesome views were had!!!
Gorgeous plummage of the adult male..
He was so close to us!
Searching for small mammals and insects....
Another species that inhabits the Alentejo plains are the Montagues Harrier.During Spring time they return from their wintering grounds to breed amongst the lush crop fields that dominate the area!Once over, their nests would have been trashed by the machinery used to gather the crops,but times have now changed and farmers have been made aware of the importance of these birds to the area.My guide `Simon Waites` has been instrmental in the upkeep of the Harriers and now works closely with the landowners and farmers.,who are more than happy to help out!
At this time of year the youngsters have fledged the nest and are getting ready with the adults, to migrate South to Africa.There were at least seven birds present in the area and it was these that kept me and Simon intrigued for a good hour or so,they would regularly come to within 20 metres of the car affording me great photo opportunities.The males were absolutely stunning with their black and grey plummage shimmering in the sun.We could have spent all morning observing the birds but Simon pointed into the distance towards a small range of mountains about 15 miles away,`thats our next destination`he excitedly exclaimed,..`Vultures and hopefully Eagles come through there and the conditions are just perfect for them`, so with that in mind we left the lowlands of the Alentejo and headed for a spot of lunch at a small village restaurant Simon regularly uses,and that is another tale in itself which I`ll discuss in my next blog!!!!!!