Birdwatching at Herdade dos Grous and cultural tours in Alentejo
One of the latest activities to take place at Herdade dos Grous is the birdwatching, and there's no doubt that the estate's 730 hectares form a privileged destination that offers various possibilities to enjoy a great biodiversity of flora and fauna.
This is a true opportunity to get reacquainted with nature at its best.The birdwatching tours are led by Luís Salvador, a young biologist from the Alentejo with a degree from the University of the Algarve, who took me through meadows and crops, vineyards and lagoons, to unravel the secrets of the beautiful animal world. Join me as we admire native and migrating birds, as well as wild boar and deer, and even enjoy a luxury picnic on the Alentejo plains.
Luís Salvador is one of those special people who captivates us with his stories and his extensive knowledge of ornithology. At the tender age of 24, he has the notable skill of instantly being able to identify a passing bird and tell us its story and its characteristics.
The birdwatching experiences at Herdade dos Grous take place along a 9km walk, which can also be done by bicycle or even on horseback, along the water's edge. This is where most of the indigenous and migratory birds can be found, and the lagoons' marshes are home to several wading birds.
We also wandered through vineyards and meadows, and even through an area where a family of a dozen red deer (Cervus Elaphus) live happily. It's impossible not to admire the males' imposing antlers, intertwined like branches, and the poetic gentleness of the small foals. On our walk, we also came across evidence of the presence of wild boars (Sus scrofa) – traces of disturbed earth which they dig up with their snouts, scraped trees and footprints along the pathways.
Around 200 species of birds can be spotted here. During the birdwatching experience, I got the opportunity to see various bird species, but there were many others that I didn't get to see. A total of 128 different species have been identified at the Herdade, including some species of great ornithological interest.