Monday, 20 January 2014

Stork

Walking around Portimão, we were surprised to see several White Storks nesting on the tops of tall chimneys and public buildings.  According to all the wildlife books, these elegant birds are supposed to spend the winter in Sub-Saharan Africa, not returning to Europe until April. So, why were these birds so evidently over-wintering here?
It seems that White Storks have been over-wintering in Europe for some years now.  In fact, the numbers which choose not to migrate to Africa have been increasing greatly in recent years.  In Portugal alone, they numbered about 1,180 birds in 1995 to more than 10,000 in 2008 and numbers continue to grow.  Scientific research indicates that at least one reason for this is the proliferation of landfill sites, providing a vast food source for non-migrating birds.
While in Portimão, we strolled around the town centre and the attractive Praça da República, overlooked by the local government building, the Junta de Freguesia de Portimão.
Close by, the tower of the Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Conceição looked over the scene.
Back towards the water front and another public square dominated the view, with a shallow pool and fountains playing in the sun - popular with gulls which took great delight in showering in the spray.
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