The Sagres Birdwatching Festival, the biggest event in Portugal dedicated to nature, will run this year between September 30th and October 5th. It is timed to celebrate birds migration over the southwestern fishing village of Sagres in the Algarve. Hundreds of birders and nature lovers from different countries will flock to the southwest-most cape of Portugal (and Europe) looking for vultures, black-storks, Egyptian vultures and Booted eagles in the sky above Sagres. The festival happens in October because is the peak of the fall migration, when migratory birds leave the country for African hot lands.
With a new website, the vast program of events of the 2016 registration is now open.
But this festival is more than birds. The landscapes are unique, and culture and cuisine become the perfect complement for a short term visits to this Algarve paradise.
Last year the festival welcomed more than 1,000 participants. They came from all over to Sagres for the same purpose. This year the program has more than 300 activities, which is a new record for the event.That includes bird watching field trips, birds ringing, release to nature wild birds that were being recover, boat trips to watch dolphins and marine birds, usually are the most successful. The youngest guests are not forgotten, as they will have special workshops and can also participate with the adults in most of the planned field trips.
The event is promoted by the Town of Vila do Bispo, and has the Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds and the Almargem Association as co-promoters.
Sagres Peninsula in Vila do Bispo is integrated in the Natural Park of Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina and is one of the most important hotspot in Algarve and even in the country to the birds and Nature. This region is the home of some unique species and is the host to a natural phenomenon that in Portugal is unique - the autumn migration of birds. But the festival is not only soaring birds (especially birds of prey and storks). The region is also visited to watch marine birds, steppe birds (birds that live in the agricultural fields) and passerines.
Not only its landscape are amazing, but its biological heritage is unique in Europe. Here we can find a great diversity of habitats: impressive cliffs, coastal maquis, farmland, forests, dunes and the sea, which provide a home to hundreds of species of fauna and flora. It’s also a highlight the diversity of endemic plants that exists in this region and the possibility to watch whales and dolphins.
Between August to November, this region becomes an important migratory corridor of the country to storks, eagles, vultures, hawks and falcons, where you can see almost all species of these birds that occur regularly in Portugal. You will also see some rarities.
Sagres is definitely a great place to watch birds of prey and storks, seabirds, steppe species and passerines. Among the species of seabirds include the passage of thousands of gannets, hundreds of petrels, Cory’s shearwaters, Balearic shearwaters and skuas