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Audouin's Gull - Icthyaetus audouinii

Audouin's Gull1

Audouin's Gull - 3rd summer very similar to adult but lacks white primary tips. Salinas de Tavira

Twenty-five years ago it was a real treat to find an Audouin’s Gull in the Algarve. Then, around the turn of the century, a few pairs bred on the dividing bunds of the salt pans at Castro Marim nature reserve and did so for several years without a great deal of success. Feral dogs were a problem for the nesting gulls and they abandoned the site in favour of the Salinas de Santa Luzia where they were similarly unsuccessful. In the meantime, the post breeding passage of Audouin’s Gulls at the latter site was becoming a feature of late summer with 500 and more gathering to loaf away the day. Then a small colony was found on one of the islands close to Faro in the Ria Formosa reserve and its remarkably rapid growth has resulted in a more than 3,000 pairs now breeding there and that number continues to grow.

Audouin's Gull 2

Audouin's Gull - juvenile. Salinas de Tavira

Outside the breeding season Audouin’s Gulls may be found at any of the salt pans east of Faro, at Lagoa de São Lourenço where birds come to bathe, the Quinta do Lago lagoon and the Alvor estuary.

 

Audouin's Gull 3

Audouin's Gull - adult summer. Faro.

 

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Wild Orchids of the AlgarveAlgarve Wildlife, the natural year, Second Edition