Hundreds will spy on birds in Sagres from today until Sunday

With 26 activities already sold out in the second Bird Watching Festival in Sagres, expectations in relation to the number […]

With 26 activities already sold out in the second Bird Watching Festival in Sagres, expectations regarding the number of visitors are high. The organization hopes to beat the 2010 edition and take over a thousand participants to the municipality of Vila do Bispo, between this Friday and Sunday.

Although many initiatives do not have vacancies available, this does not mean that there are not others that are still waiting for their participants. This is the case of the ringing of birds, the return of birds to nature by the Rias (Wild Animal Recovery Center), the «Quiz Wings of Wisdom» or the «De Olho nas Marinhas» initiative.

The novelties of the second birdwatching festival are three free activities that entitle its participants to prizes: «Bird Race: The birds of Vila do Bispo», on October 1st, «Geocaching in Sagres» (Treasure Hunt), in on the 2nd, and a photography contest, which runs throughout the festival.

For the mayor of Vila do Bispo Adelino Soares, “this is a unique opportunity that should not be missed, as it allows everyone who visits the municipality to get to know the unique biodiversity of this area up close”.

And according to the organization, this edition of the festival has the ideal conditions to attract visitors and unveil a surprising heritage. It was for this reason that the second edition began to be prepared several months in advance and hundreds of visitors are expected to boost the local economy.

The organization announced at the press conference, in April of this year, that it managed to publish «articles in three major specialist magazines in England, Germany and Spain» and to participate «in August at the British Bird Fair, in England», where there are approximately than four million birdwatchers. However, the festival had already been advertised at fairs in Paris and Holland, as well as at the stand in Vila do Bispo on the Lisbon Tourism Exchange, at the end of February.

Thus, from this Friday it will be possible to see if the advance planning has paid off, with the certainty that a set of activities is planned that will provide contact with nature in that unique area for bird watching in the country, both on land as at sea.

Sagres has special characteristics for birdwatching and, in autumn, it is one of the main migratory corridors for birds that move from Europe to Africa, in an expression that is not comparable with other parts of Portugal.

“Last year, in three days, around one hundred species of birds were identified and there were more than 600 participants, both local population and national and foreign tourists,” said Adelino Soares. This year, the bet will be stronger for the local economy to be more dynamic at a time of year when, despite less sun and beach tourism, Sagres has excellent conditions for birdwatching.

Starting today, the organization hopes to break the record for the number of species sighted in three days, since during the autumn migration it is common to observe more than 190 species in this area.

This is the case of birds such as the imperial eagle, the black vulture, the black stork, the queen's falcon, the Bonelli's eagle, the pardela-de-barrete, the thin-billed phalarope, the plover-carambola.

Adelino Soares also revealed that, after the success of last year's festival, in 2011 the objective is to consolidate the initiative, transforming it into a new tourist investment for the county capable of attracting tourists, especially in low season, to the entire county.

The intention is that this festival will also become a date to mark the calendar of birdwatchers every year. The success of the initiative's debut in Sagres was high, which led to the same entities coming together again to promote bird watching and nature tourism in the Sagres Peninsula.

Thus, the City Council is the promoting entity, SPEA (Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds) and the Almargem Association are the organizers, Sagres beer, ecoinside and Ubiwhere are the sponsors.

The festival also has the PO Algarve 21 for co-financing, and with the support of the Institute for Nature Conservation and Biodiversity, Turismo de Portugal, Algarve Tourism, Parish Councils of Sagres and Vila do Bispo, Strix, Pousadas de Portugal, Hotel and Resort o Martinhal, Memmo Baleeira Hotel, Aparthotel Navigator, Tourist Apartments 4 Ventos, Sagres Time Apartments, Hotel Mira Sagres, Unlimited sea, Cape cruises and Walkin' Sagres.

More information or consultation of the complete program at