Friday finally saw my 500mm f/4 Lens go off for it’s tripod mount collar repair and even though I’m going to miss the beginning of the spring/summer season whilst it is on its trip to Barcelona, I am still preparing for its return.
Today, I went on a scouting mission to find where the local European Bee-eaters are starting to nest build and it if you know what you are looking for, it didn’t take too long. Although there was no real evidence of new nest building at this location, I sat under a nearby Oak tree and waited. 20 minutes later a pair arrived. I was sat in full view of them, but they didn’t seem too bothered. I did have my “walkabout” lens (the trusty Nikon 80-400mm) so did manage to shoot a few photos before I left them to their colony building.
My view of their flight wasn’t great as it was into the sun, but did shoot this back-lit shot with the sun’s rays shining through the wings.
Both the Esteva (Gum Rock Rose) and French Lavender locally in the hills has been flowering for sometime, but the overnight rain has seemed to have given it a real kick start. This morning the hills are covered in white and purple carpets. You can imagine what the damp air smells like, it’s amazing!
Whilst I still wait for the travel restrictions to ease so that I can take my “big lens” to Lisbon to be repaired (Read more about the disaster!), I have been going through some past sessions of Bee-Eaters. Here is a photo of a male (a lot of brown colouring on the wing is the giveaway) that I photographed in 2018. I will be investigating this location soon as I’m not sure that the colony is still nesting at this location.
Hopefully, the lens will be fixed soon and I’ll be back with more sessions like this!
Early this morning we had a thick fog and as it started to clear the warmth of the sun was good enough for me to wander around the garden eating my breakfast cereal. In the distance I could hear European Bee-Eaters and before I could blink a large group of between 25 and 30 of them appeared out of the fog. Almost dropping my bowl as I ran to the house to grab the camera, I was lucky that they decided to perch on a nearby electricity cable and stop to hunt for their breakfast. Photos aren’t my usual close-ups (see some past photos at the end) as I was still some distance away and of course the clearing fog didn’t help.
If you live in the Algarve and didn’t stay in bed all day then you will have witnessed the sand and dust cloud blown over from the African deserts today. For those that are not in the Algarve and haven’t witnessed these, it’s not pleasant, everything gets covered in sand and if you have a respiratory issue, it’s very uncomfortable. The only thing worse is a sandstorm and I’ve witnessed one of those in Qatar, they hurt, a lot!
Anyway, the cloud and dust seems to be clearing now, but there was still enough in the sky at sunset to create a real diffusion of the suns rays and it almost looked like it was the moon rather than the sun.
If you have travelled to the Middle East, these sunsets are very common due to the dust in the sky.
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