Visiting and experiencing wildlife at the Algarve – snakes and bird watching

Horseshoe whip snake, ©gailhampshire/Flickr

Horseshoe whip snake, ©gailhampshire/Flickr

If you like bird watching, exploring nature and the wilderness we recommend you to visit the Algarve region where all these activities are available. The Algarve gives home to several kinds of birds and other animal species. Find them at the natural reservation of Ria Formosa or Costa Vicentina where they live in peace and protection. Visit during the migration season and watch the storks and other migratory birds. As the region is close to the sea it is also home to different kinds of gulls and flamingos as well. Together with the mentioned birds you might run across a few snake species to but do not worry for they are not dangerous.

Bird watching

If you are an expert on birds or at least know most of them you will find this activity quite enjoyable. Take your binoculars and camouflaje outfit and set out for bird watching.

Bird watching, ©USFWS Mountain Prairie/Flickr

Bird watching, ©USFWS Mountain Prairie/Flickr

You will be able to see nightingales, cranes, blackbirds and white storks. The stork nests are especially well looked after and not only by the birds themselves but locals keep them neat on the rooftops and chimneys as well. Closer to the shores you will meet many types of gulls such as yellow legged gulls. In the lagoons of the Algarve there is a high possibility that you’ll see flamingo flocks and spoonbills hanging around.

Flamingos, ©Rui Ornelas/Flickr

Flamingos, ©Rui Ornelas/Flickr

Set your eyes towards the cliffs and check out the hoopoes and kestrels or wander around the woods and hills looking for birds of prey.

Sneaky snakes

As it was previously mentioned the Algarve gives home to a few snake species as well. They do not represent any danger to humans for the ones which are venomous can’t deal with a larger sized animal than a mouse or lizard. You might run into one or two Montpellier snakes which can grow as long as 2 meters. The lataste’s viper is much shorter in size and can be recognized from its zigzag pattern on its back and triangular head. You might also meet some of the fangless kinds such as green or brown colored grass snakes, viperine snakes similar to grass snakes except they have a zigzag mark on their back.

Horseshoe whip snake, ©gailhampshire/Flickr

Horseshoe whip snake, ©gailhampshire/Flickr

Among the more recognizable kinds you will find the horseshoe whip snake with a dark mark in form of a horseshoe on its back and the ladder snake which has a black ladder on its back. Snakes might seem scary at first but basically they are more scared of you than you are of them, which means, that they will try and disappear as fast as they can. So keep your eyes open and discover the beauties of nature.

Leave a Reply