This morning as I walked the dogs I recognised a familiar bird call followed by a silhouette against the white canvas of the morning hill mist. A pair of Barn Swallows, these are always the first pair to arrive in this area (even though in the Algarve, Barn Swallows can be seen in December) and they are the “Well” Swallows, named because they have their nest down inside a water well.
I was able to hide inside the Well’s pump house to get some great close up shots. I say this everytime, but please don’t approach live bird nests when the young are there, I’m lucky that I can hide away in the pump house completely hidden.
These are the shots I got last year, but I was struggling with light deep down in the well with overhanging trees.
A few days ago I was photographing the Serins that have flocked around the Quinta and a surprising couple turned up. I say surprising as I’ve never seen them this close to the house before. There are certainly not a rare bird and often see them along the river banks.
The female arrived first and it wasn’t until the male followed soon after that it was obviously a pair of Common Linnets. The male has a pinkish-red breast that really makes him stand out. This will further become saturated as the breeding season starts. They are ground feeders which is why they are currently mixed in with the Serins, this is common behaviour to see mixed Finches in flocks during the winter.
With the scientific name of Linaria cannabina, the Linnet has 6 sub-species, the one found locally in the Iberia, Mediterranean and North West Africa is the Linaria cannabina mediterranea. Like most finches, they are a small bird at around 14cm in length and their diet consists of mainly seeds and buds.
This week’s featured print is a shot from February 2018 of a White Stork coming into to attack another already on a nest. It was trying to battle for the rights of this nest, it failed!
For me, it has become an icon of these amazing birds and really shows that they are not always the gentle giants they look. Take a look at the Blog Post from this encounter as it also has many other fighting photographs from this day.
Can you spot the difference in the 2 snapshots of the right-hand bar of the website?
Yes, I’ve removed the Flickr link. I have been using Flickr’s services since around 2007 as they have a fantastic platform to host full resolution images and also a great way to build albums and portfolios. However, in recent years they have been through many owners and troubled times. In 2018 Smugmug bought Flickr and already they seem to be in trouble. Last year they increased the “Pro subscribers” account from a very reasonable $25 to (a just about acceptable) $50 and drastically reduced the amount of photos non-subscribers could have in their platform. This was to try and push people to subscribe to their Pro account. Last month they announced that they required more people to pay for a Pro account to survive and mentioned a “small price” increase for the service. Yesterday this “small price” increase was announced, if you think and extra €15 (when converted) is a “small price” then fair enough, but I think this is ridiculous.
Flickr hasn’t really changed apart from 3rd party extras (printing service for example) and they still haven’t even fixed the issue many people have with the Android App where notifications don’t work. Therefore, this is the final straw for me and I will not be renewing my subscription in April. Continue reading >>
As we are starting to head towards Springtime here in the Algarve, the angle of the sun is getting higher in the sky which of course will bring the hot climate we all enjoy here. However, this means the amazing light that the low angle of the autumn and winter sun will soon be leaving us behind.
This morning I had a quick photo session with Millie, the craziest of our 3 dogs, although she is still a youngster. If you are interested in your very own “Dogs-In-Nature” Photo Shoot, then please find more information HERE.