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The Algarve

03rd February 2012
In January we caught a ferry over the Channel to Dieppe. Four days later and on less than £300 in fuel we arrive at a Caravan and Camping club rally in the Algarve.
We are actually near Luz, which is in the western Algarve, just along from Lagos. It is far enough away from the mock Greek concrete villas to make it feel like real Portugal, and near enough to small Portuguese villages to make cycling on the tandem enjoyable.
Add to that we are staying on a very posh campsite at winter rates, with good security and lots of games / activities ...all's well.
The odd time that I've been birding, have been mixed. Very few waders in the estuaries, but excellent for smaller scrubland and cliff top birds. Got a great image of Hoopoe here in the trees on the campsite, and also finally got a decent shot of Azure Winged Magpie.
Away from the towns there is plenty to see, with decent pics of Stonechat, Whinchat, Black Redstart, and a Blue Rock Thrush (a new bird to me). Also trying to get good pics of the Lesser Kestrel, Serin, whatever eagles are around and the storks.
The 365 is of course complete, and have now joined a Flikr 366 group which is limited to 100 members. It has several different camera club members and so the content and feedback is interesting. Besides this there is a photo a day on my facebook page, along with a small 366 (max's facebook 366) group.
I had some "happy camper" reservations about joining a rally, some of which were well founded, but hey, we have extended our stay here, and the winter sun is just excellent.
Marion keeps in touch with her new grand-daughter by skype, and I even got my mum onto doing the skype thing.
Need to update exhibitions on the website, as have booked a few more dates, starting with the Oxmarket in Chichester for the last 2 weeks in April. Then off to Martin Mere for spring birdfair.
Meantime we will continue to soak up all the winter sun we can find...