The Kingfishers & Their Friend Weasel

Ok, I very much doubt a Weasel would be a Kingfisher friend but it makes a nice children’s story book title…….

I was counting on a sleepy morning today but the dogs had other ideas, waking me up before sunrise. Therefore, I took the opportunity to spend some time at the new Kingfisher perch I placed in the river a few days ago.

It still needs some work on positioning but it’s great to see once again there are many Kingfishers present. The local pair seem to be busy feeding a 2nd brood and although not intentional, I have spotted their nest in the riverbank where they are busy delivering food. There’s plenty wrong with the Kingfisher image below, but it’s a great start to my new season of Kingfisher photos!

Whilst I sat there patiently waiting a Weasel showed up running around like crazy. I fired the camera shutter which grabbed it’s attention and then fired off the shot below with him looking directly at the camera before continuing on its hunt for breakfast.

(Click to view in Lightbox)


I looked for my lost mojo….and found it.

The current state of the world with Covid-19 is still causing so much hardship and pain and has affected many people differently. For me, I can’t complain as my commercial photography (FotoSul) has thrived due to people taking the opportunity of the lack of tourists to update their property portfolios. This however has had a knock-on effect with my passion (but still a job), my nature photography.

For those that have followed me for a while will know that I plan, watch, plan, shoot and probably shoot again with all the projects that I set myself. If I’m honest, the hardship of Covid-19, mainly not being able to see family left me with a real “just can’t be bothered” approach to my nature photography. Not good…..

So I got in touch with bird guru and friend Frank McClintock who owns and runs the fantastic “Paradise in Portugal”. Officially known as Quinta Do Barranco Da Estrada it has amazing lodging on the banks of the Barragem de Santa Clara. If you are looking for that something special to get away in nature, not a lot comes close to this special location which has been carefully ecologically crafted to create a real nature-lovers must visit. As I mentioned, Frank is a guru when it comes to bird watching and offers amazing guiding trips. Take a look at the website at https://www.paradise-in-portugal.com.

I just wanted to get out in nature and find my mojo, Frank suggested not only a session in the Golden Oriole hide but also his riverside hide close to the nearby village of Santa Clara-a-Velha which he is more than happy for people to use, but if you do, take a visit to the lodge, you won’t be disappointed.

The morning worked! Now, I have the enthusiasm to get planning to get close up and personal with the fantastic wildlife we have here. There are some projects that I will be doing over the next couple of months to start attracting wildlife to the quinta, mainly a wildlife pond with a sunken hide which I did actually start quite a while back.

So, here are some of the snaps I got today.

Firstly some of the many Golden Orioles. First up, a shot of a male in flight with his breakfast and an onlooking juvenile who clearly wants to be fed.


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Young Hedgehog Foraging In The Garden

There are quite a few Hedgehogs around the quinta and last night I spotted a very young one foraging. It was very small, so suspect this is a baby from this year already off on it’s own adventure.

Just to confirm, I did not use a flash for this photo, I’m not a fan of firing a flash at wildlife where possible. This was lit with a low powered LED and I have shot at a high (2000) ISO.

(Click to view in Lightbox)


Male Common Linnet Taking A Bath

It was one of those days today, a high risk of failure to get the photos I planned. I was hoping to write my next Algarve Resident article about the Nightingales and they incredibly difficult to photograph as they always keep themselves in thick cover. After sitting and waiting by 4 separate Nightingales, all within a few meters of me, I gave up after 2 hours and headed back. Whilst walking along the river bank I spotted a small flock of Linnets splashing around in the shallow water. All but one male flew for cover and he was happy for me to sit and photograph him whilst he took a long bath a relief for my dissapointment earlier.

(Click to view in Lightbox)


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Nightingales Singing At Midnight (Recording)

I posted earlier that I had spotted a Nightingale making a rare appearance out of thick cover (Read more…). Tonight the air was totally still, not even a gentle breeze so I setup my phone camera to record the amazing chorus we have around the Quinta. There was also a Fox calling in the distance, but unfortunately, you can’t really make it out.

Turn your volume up and enjoy!

{Remember to watch in HD if possible}


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