04/23/2014 - 04/23/2014 64 °F
We were escorting different tours again today. Mine was a birding expedition into the Tagus River Estuary. Our first stop was at the mud flats to see wader birds before the tide rose.
We were provided with great binoculars, scopes and an ornithologist!
The skies were clearing as we looked back towards Lisbon.
We made numerous stops in different habitats and saw over 70 varieties of birds – most of which I could not capture with the camera. You’ll just have to believe me. Here we were near the salt flats.
This is my prize picture – but I can’t remember the name of the bird! He is perched on racks that had been used for drying cod in former days.
Flowers and flamingoes
We drove into a farm for further exploration of bird habitats.
This is a cork tree! The cork is harvested only once every 15 years – the date (example: 8) of the last harvest is marked on each trunk, so the cork from these trees was harvested in 2008.
Our last stop – our guide knew that Bee Eaters nest around this house and we watched them with our binoculars. They are colorful and fast.
They look like this!
Ed’s trip this morning was to Sintra (see our pictures from April 15th) by jeep (6 jeeps, 29 guests). Not fun in the rain, but the weather cleared dramatically. It included many off road experiences!
The seaside resort town of Cascais, first stop. The statue is of King Carlos I.
Back out through the beautiful countryside
Remember Cabo da Roca? Amazing to be there just once – but twice in 10 days? Wow!
Ed at the farthest western point in mainland Europe
Only Crystal – picnic lunch in the Sintra National Forest – served by make-believe monks, topped off with Licor De Ginja (Cherry flavored)
On to Sintra with its narrow lanes
…and steep steps
Back into the city for a quick look at some of the sites of Lisbon – here the beautiful Tower of Belém (Bethlehem) erected between 1515 and 1520.
Sailing away from Lisbon the evening sun made the city shine. This is the famous Monument to the Discoveries where Portuguese explorers embarked on their journeys to chart the areas unknown to the Western world.