Algarve Luxury Villa Holidays
Algarve Luxury Villa Holidays

View over Tavira


The Ria Formosa is the most important birding site in the Algarve. It covers 60km of coast from Tavira in the east to Ancao in the west and comprises large areas of dunes and lagoons, channels and islands, saltpans, pools, and river mouths. The Ria Formosa is of great importance for a wide range of breeding, passage, and wintering birds.

Rarer species recorded in the Ria Formosa area include Bean Goose, Blue-winged Teal, Long-tailed Duck, White-headed and Ruddy Ducks, Marbled Duck, and Crested Coot.

The greatest diversity of species occurs during passage periods with spring seeing the arrival of Great Spotted Cuckoo and passerines including Redstart, Whinchat, Black-eared Wheatear, and warblers such as Spectacled and Sub alpine. A wider range of passerine migrants occurs in autumn when Tawny Pipit, Blue throat, Pied Flycatcher and various warblers can be seen. Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Ruff and Spotted Redshank are among the many species of wader to be seen here in autumn. Black Tern is a regular and raptors such as Red Kite, Short-toed, and Booted Eagle pass through.

Driving north from Tavira you will find one of the best birding areas of southern Portugal. The southern part of the Alentejo is a large area of plains with scattered limestone outcrops, cork-oak woods and olive groves. Towards the Spanish border in the east there are river-gorges with rocky cliffs. The area is important for steppe-dwelling birds such as bustards and there are high numbers of breeding raptors. The area is easy to reach from Casa Na Colina.

Another great birding trip is found just to the Northeast of Casa Na Colina. Drive almost to the Spanish border (about a 25 minute drive) then follow the N-122 north through the stunning scenery running parallel to the Rio Guadiana and you will encounter an amazing diversity of bird species.

The following link gives some useful reports on other people’s bird-watching holidays in the area:

If you've been bird-watching yourself in the eastern Algarve and would like to post your own report here, please email us (address is at the bottom of the screen). Likewise, if you have any good photos you've taken of birds in the area, we'd love to add them to the site.


Station Cottage, Trent Lane, Weston-on-Trent, Derby DE72 2BT
Contact: Norman or Tanya Clare, tel: 01332 705552,
All images are copyright Tanya Clare and may not be used or reproduced without permission.
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