I had a late summer holiday with a week at an all inclusive resort in Albufeira on the Algarve coast. The hotel was situated a 15 minute walk from the coast and was surrounded by a mix of developments. I was fortunate to have a small valley running past which to the north was undeveloped and to the south included a small reservoir besides natural vegetation. I spent a few early mornings birding within 500m of the hotel. Everywhere was dry and there was a huge mix of vegetation complete with fly tipping. Most days I saw the same species especially large numbers of Sardinian Warblers and Willow Warblers however there were a couple of highlights. The first was by the hotel wall where I spied a very small bird with a streaky back and head. It was much smaller than the Whitethroat next to it but it only hopped about and did not fly. This was my first Fan-tailed Warbler. On the last day I also managed to find a Subalpine Warbler, another first. Actually it found me and I could not miss it as it foraged with a number of Willow Warblers and the male stood out so well. I had the wrong guide for immature birds so I was unable to confirm what looked like a young Pied Flycatcher but there were a few Spotted Flycatchers to make up for it. What was surprising was a covey of 8 Red-legged Partridges that I disturbed one day and a small pack of dogs did the next day. Also unexpected was the number of Collared Doves. In total my list was:
Heron, Cattle Egret, Red-legged Partridge, Coot, Herring Gull, Little Owl, Swallow, House Martin, Hoopoe, Grey Wagtail, Blackbird, Collared Dove, Spotted Flycatcher, Whitethroat, Sardinian Warbler, Willow Warbler, Fan-tailed Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Great Tit, House Sparrow, Linnet, Serin, Greenfinch, Common Waxbill (2 x presumed escapees).