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The Algarve will once again be the perfect destination for bird watchers from around the world with the return of the Sagres Bird Watching Festival.

From October 10 to 13 the birds become the stars in the most south-westerly region of Europe with fans flocking to Sagres to take part in activities, workshops and meet with like-minded “twitchers”.

In October, thousands of birds migrate over the Algarve on their way to their wintering territories in Africa. To celebrate these winged visitors and make the most of this incredible spectacle, the festival runs over four days filled with activities for all tastes.

The event, which is taking place for the tenth time, is organised by Vila do Bispo council, in partnership with the Almargem Association and the Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds (SPEA).

With bird-watching sessions to nightly moth-watching sessions, the festival offers a range of opportunities for nature lovers to discover that the Algarve is so much more than just a beach destination. There is also plenty of choice for families and friends of birdwatchers to participate, from whale watching and dolphin watching to a fossil hunt at Beliche Fort.

The first Guide of Birds of the Municipality of Vila do Bispo will also be available to buy and is a great tool for all who want to start their Algarve bird-watching journey.

Many seabirds pass offshore to Sagres in epic voyages stretching from pole to pole. From bald eagles and coarse eagles to griffons and storks, many birds pass by on their passage to Africa also. Trees, shrubs and herbs are populated by small birds that pass through the peninsula on their journey south.

This year the festival has new branding and the headliner is the European storm petrel (Hydrobates pelagicus), a small seabird whose flight resembles that of a bat. Storm petrels spend their lives at sea, coming to land only to reproduce. In the autumn they can be seen off Sagres, swaying above the waves as they wait for the right wind.

New to this year’s festival are the wide range of art activities including photography sessions and illustration workshops.

For more information visit the festival’s website.

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