The Alentejo is probably the least known birding region of Europe, but perhaps the best and most beautiful. Here you will find the steppes, rivers, lakes but also the lagoons along the coast.
Monte Horizonte has Dutch owners and is a small ecological holiday resort with 6 self catering holiday houses spread over an estate of 20 hectares and partly located in an environmentally protected area. It is possible to spot here more than 80 different species during the year. Monte Horizonte is easy to reach from the airports of Faro or Lisbon.
The Short-toed Eagle is regularly present at Monte Horizonte, but also the Bee-eater, Red-legged Partridge, Azure-winged Magpie, Red-rumped Swallow, Hoppoe, Cirl Bunting, Corn Bunting, Sardinian Warbler, Wryneck, Spanish Sparrow and even the Long-legged Buzzard and Golden Eagle are seen. It is a perfect base to several nature reserves nearby. During your holiday two birding tours are included in the price. You go with a bird guide half a day to the lagoon of Santo André and full day tour to the steppes in the interior of the Alentejo. The rest of your time you can use the detailed directions, GPS data and descriptions to visit the best observing sites and seek out the more than 350 different birds that the Alentejo has to offer.
The Alentejo is also called the new Tuscany or “the best kept secret of Portugal”. Its location on the west coast between Lisbon and the Algarve is throughout the year a great birding area. It is located on the route of many migratory birds and since the end of August the first migratory birds from the north can be seen as the Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew Sandpiper, Red Knot, Ruff, Ringed Plover and Silver – and Golden Plover.
In less than an hour away are the steppes where the Great Bustard, Little Bustard, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Golden Eagle, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Griffon Vulture and Red Kite throughout the year present. During the spring we can find the Roller, Lesser Kestrel, Montagu’s Harrier, Thekla Lark, Egyptian Vulture and Black Kite among others.
The lagoon of Santo André is nearby and has birds like the Purple Swamphen, Glossy Ibis, Flamingo, Blue-winged Teal, Pochard, Osprey, Waxbil, Blue Rock Thrush and Booted Eagle.
In Ria de Moinhos near Sines you can find the Hen Harriers, Cetti’s Warblers, Sandwich Terns and Black-necked Grebes.
The cliffs at Sines are particularly suited to see the Gannet, the Yellow-legged Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Turnstone and sometimes the Balearic Shearwater of which there are less than 2,000 pair left.