The area of Castro Marim, in Vila Real de Santo Antonio, Portugal, is probably best known for its large populations of waterbirds, notably Flamingos, waders, and ducks, and also for holding a resident population of the rare Lesser Short-toed Lark. However, for the visiting birdwatcher or ornithologist, this region has much more to offer.
The coastal areas attract a number of interesting species. Audouin's and Slender-billed Gulls area easier to find here than anywhere else in the country. Stone Curlew and Caspian Tern are also easier to see here than in other parts of the Algarve. Purple Swamphen is resident and Great Spotted Cuckoo is regular. Other interesting birds that can be found along the coastal strip include Black-shouldered Kite, Kentish Plover, Mediterranean Gull, Red-necked Nightjar, Pallid Swift, Iberian Green Woodpecker, Crested Tit, and Southern Grey Shrike. Away from the coast, there are mainly dry hills and deep river valleys. Typical birds in these areas include Short-toed and Bonelli's Eagles, White-rumped Swift, Woodlark, Thekla's Lark, Black-eared Wheatear, Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin, Blue Rock Thrush, Golden Oriole and Rock Bunting.
This is the second volume is the series Birding Hotspots in the Algarve. In this volume, which covers the easternmost part of the region, the author presents several hotspots around Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo António.