Another Migratory Passerine…..Garden Warbler

As an addition to my last post regarding Flycatchers During Migration, another small bird to keep a watch for during the autumn migration in Portugal is the Garden Warbler. It’s not a resident and can only be spotted as it passes through during migration. The Garden Warbler has no real features to identify it, therefore, if you spot an “LBJ” (Little Brown Job, the term given to many small birds difficult to ID) during the migration period then it maybe a Garden Warbler. They are quite shy and like to keep in the cover of branches so spotting them is quite difficult.

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Flycatchers During Migration

Although a lot of the attention is to the skies for the large flocks passing through, keep an eye out for the smaller birds you may see passing through.

Both the Pied and Spotted Flycatchers will be making their way through the Algarve on their way to the southern African regions.

The Spotted isn’t seen very often and the Pied is not resident, however, during the autumn migration both can be seen fairly easily as the pass through.

The male Pied flycatcher moults his breeding colours of Black and White and therefore will look similar to the female.


The Spotted Flycatcher is a little more brave than the Pied and can be seen perched out in the open.


Perseid Meteor Shower 2021

I have a great amphitheatre for the annual Perseid Meteor Shower, a nice open terrace with a panoramic view North to East. It’s not the best location to photograph them, however, I set the camera up to capture 15 second exposures constantly for 3 hours whilst I lay on a sunbed in the warm night air with a beer or two and watched the skies. I occasionally moved the camera so that it would take into account of the movement of the constellation Perseus which is where most of the streaks are coming from and where the name Perseids is taken from.

Here is a composite photograph with the the first image used as the base photo and then any streak captured overlaid because of course, the stars move. The very bright streak in the bottom left looks more like an Iridium Flare from a satellite rather than a meteor. This is when the sunlight reflects off a satellite surface causing a bright flash that can last a few seconds.

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Backlit Bee-Eater On The Chase

I have quite a few shots from a session of shooting into the sunset yesterday evening and I’ll post a new blog entry soon, but this photo deserves it’s own post!

As a photographer, you can put yourself in the right place at the right time by careful planning, but sometimes that extra bit of luck can make all the difference.

Here is a backlit shot of a European Bee-Eater swopping in to catch a Honey Bee. In case you are wondering, it easily caught it and took it to feed a juvenile perched waiting on a nearby electricity cable.

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Bee-Eater Wake-Up Call

I’ve mentioned on many occasions about the colony of European Bee-Eaters that use to establish every year around the quinta but for unknown reasons have been absent for 2 summers. However, over the last few mornings as daylight starts to break a flock of them arrive outside the bedroom window and every day the numbers are increasing. I suspect it is groups from various colonies that have finished breeding joining together. A quick guestimate is that the group is between 50, maybe 60 birds.

Tonight they even came for an evening communal hunt and whilst we eat alfresco we were surrounded by them swooping just a few meters away. If this happens again tomorrow I will be ready with a camera for some sunset backlit shots. Photographs in the early mornings have been hindered by some hill fog (that clears very quickly once the sun rises) so morning shots have been difficult. However, here are some from yesterday morning.

First up, 2 adults and a juvenile (on the left)


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