On this trip, we mostly enjoyed culture and history of the cities in the two beautiful countries we visited. As such, I did not get too many wildlife pictures. In particular, I did not get too many new birds (only 18 in total, less than 1 per day on average). This is also because I had been to Europe and Eurasia before, mostly notably a trip to Spain in 2013, on the same Iberia Peninsula, so many birds were no longer new to me on this trip. Regardless, I did get some decent nature shots (wildlife and plants), and I decided to list these on a separate page.

(Click on each image to see the high-resolution version)

One of the birds I photographed in Lisbon, just outside the Carmo Convent, is the Eurasian Jay, a bird I saw and photographed in Spain on my last trip.

Eurasian Jay

In Lisbon we also saw many gulls. This one is interesting (it was taken at the bank of the Tagus River) because it is banded; later I would find out its identity, with some help on the internet, based on the banding code to be Lesser Black-backed Gull.

Update (Oct. 26, 2017): today I received the official report (it was reported by a friendly British birder on my behalf) confirming this sighting that the bird is a Lesser Black-backed Gull, banded in Ile D’Yeu, an island south of Saint-Nazaire in Brittany, France. See a snippet of the report here.

Lesser Black-backed Gull

This gull was taken on the roof of Jerónimos Monastery, I think it is an immature Yellow-footed Gull.

Yellow-footed Gull

I got most of my wildlife (and plant) pictures in Lagos, and this is where I got most of my new birds as well. But I also saw some old friends, such as this Asure-winged Magpie, a bird I first saw and photographed in Beijing 3 years earlier.

Azure-winged Magpie

The Sardinian Warbler is a much welcome new bird taken at Ponta da Piedade.

Sardinian Warbler

In the fields near Ponta da Piedade, I got most of my nature pictures. Here are two European finch species.

European Goldfinch

European Greenfinch

Also here, I would see and photograph my only raptor of this trip: the Common Kestrel (also a new bird to me).

Common Kestrel

The Jackdaw is a bird I had seen in Spain too.


Another of my new bird -- one which I saw on the bus from Lisbon to Lagos, but would get much better pictures in a town square in Lagos -- is the magnificent White Stork.

White Stork

I also photographed some other non-bird wildlife, such as this crab on the rocks in Ponta da Piedade. Expert opinion is that it is some kind of Marbled Crab, maybe of sepcies Grapsus adscensionis or Pachygrapsus transversus or Pachygrapsus marmoratus (most likely).


In the fields near Ponta da Piedade, there were also many Swallowtail Butterflies feeding on the nectar of the blooming flowers there.

Swallowtail Butterfly

These pink or lavender colored flowers were most abundant in the field, and favored by the butterflies. I am not really sure what they are.




Another succulent plant with large and beautiful flowers is also very conspicuos, they seem to be some kind of Ice Plant, similar to the one we saw on the Northern California Coast.

Ice Plant

One of the houses there had clusters of cactus near its fence that were blooming. Their yellow flowers are magnificent. They are not native though (cacti are native to the Americas).

Cactus Flower

Cactus Flower

Cactus Flower

In Sintra, my most interesting encounter is a rodent.


In Cascais, my most interesting encounters are some fish swimming in the harbor. These are big, meaty fishes, but apparently nobody bothered to catch them.



In Porto, I saw and photographed many gulls, such as this one on the bank of the Douro River. I think it is an immature Yellow-footed Gull, but not sure.


On the roof of a house, a gull family was nesting there. These I am sure are Yellow-footed.

Yellow-footed Gull

Yellow-footed Gull Chick

One of the last bird I photographed in Porto is the Serin, which landed right in front of me and posed for me on the stonewall of a house.


In Guimarães, I had my only reptilian encounter of the trip -- this was a pretty lizard among the rocks on Serra da Penha.


Outside the Guimaraes Castle, I photographed a couple of thrushes. The first of which, Song Thrush, was a new bird for me; the second one, Eurasian Blackbird, is one I had seen in many part of Eurasia.

Song Thrush

Eurasian Blackbird

In Dublin, on the campus of Trinity College, I would get a new bird, rather similar to the Song Thrush -- this is a Mistel Thrush.

Mistle Thrush

Mistle Thrush

Also a Wood Pigeon (one I had seen in Spain) posed nicely for me.

Wood Pigeon

In Howth, along the Howth Cliff Path Loop, I saw a fledgling in a tree. I believe this would be a Dunnock, a new bird for me.

Dunnock Fledgling

I would also get another new bird, a Blue Tit, some time later.

Blue Tit

One nice thing about travelling in a different part of the world, as I found out time and again before, is that even some of the common, even nuisance, birds can be new. Such were the case in the European Herring Gull and Hooded Crow that I saw near the harbor.

European Herring Gull

Hooded Crow

Click the image below to return to the index page of 2017 Portugal and Ireland:

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