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Wally Was In Such A Playful Mood This Morning…….

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……so I shot him! With a camera of course!

It’s always great practice using Wally, not just for my Dogs-In-Nature Photo Shoots but for other wildlife too.

First we were at the river and he was splashing around like a maniac so I was on hand to capture his craziness, throwing the odd stone to attract his attention.

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Wally Splashing In The River
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I’ve Found Another Pair Of Blue Rock Thrushes…..Oh And A Quick Shot Of My Local Little Owl Too!

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My parents are over visiting and I always take my Mum out on the Quad Bike for a nature ride. This afternoon we went off exploring the hills and were enjoying the scenery when I spotted a bird fly from its perch on an electricity cable to hide on top of a pole. I stopped abruptly, forgetting for a moment that Mum was on the back and ran down the track to verify what I thought, a Female Rock Thrush. Pictures are terrible due to the distance but thought I’d take some just as a record shot for you.


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Morning Dog Walk: A Ladder Snake Basking In The Morning Sun (With Video)

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I take a camera along on my Dog Walks to bring you some of the sightings that I see on my morning walks, these photos are rarely going to be great quality as its hard enough keeping an energetic Dog entertained and get close enough to anything. They also help me identify where species are so that I can plan to return.

Walking in one of my favourite areas with Wally this morning and we spotted a Ladder Snake basking in the sun. I think it had also recently eaten a meal which is maybe why it was in no rush to move away.

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Ladder Snake - Cobra-de-escada - Zamenis scalaris
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Red-Rumped Swallows

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To be honest, they have been back a while and it seems that all around the Algarve they appeared much earlier than their usually late Spring arrival.

We’ve been lucky locally as while a lot of the Algarve is having rain, we’ve had a patch of clear blue sky above the Quinta most of the day. The Red-Rumped Swallows are of course out hunting on the wing and I took a break from gardening duties to capture some with the camera.

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Red-Rumped Swallow - Andorinha-dáurica - Cecropis daurica

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Space Is Getting Tight In The Well Nest

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Originally, I thought there were just 3 Barn Swallow Hatchlings in the Well Nest (See Blog Post), and then I counted 5.

This morning, I took a look to see how things are going and there’s 6 of them in there! As you can imagine, light is a bit rubbish down inside the Well which makes it difficult to photograph the parents feeding them. However, the construction of the Well and the pump house makes a perfect hide. I am able to sit lower down in the pump house and use a small window to look directly at the nest without being seen or disturb them. The Well is owned by my neighbour and I will be asking him for the key to the pump house to try to bring you some shots of them being fed!

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The Nesting Site Of The Local European Bee-Eaters

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This morning I awoke to thick hill mist but knew as soon as the sun peaked above the ridges it would burn off quickly. I didn’t really have a plan with so much going on around the Quinta. I knew the Bee-Eaters wouldn’t be around until the mist completely cleared so headed briefly down to the Kingfisher perch. I stayed for an hour but none appeared and soon enough I heard the Bee-Eaters waking up.

I headed to the location where they have started to build their nest tunnels and set myself up inside a large bush camouflaged out of sight. These long tunnels keep the eggs (can be up to 8!) safe from predators. It’ll take them a while to dig the tunnel in preparation for laying at the beginning of June.
I tried something new this morning as not to scare them away. I used the Nikon D850 in live view mode with silent shooting. The D850 actually is totally silent in this mode. I’m not a big fan of the D850’s live view autofocus and rarely trust it, but it seemed to do the job OK, albeit not as pin sharp as it should be.

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Male European Bee Eater - Abelharuco (macho) - Merops apiaster
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Are you looking to move away from your camera's Auto setting and be more creative with your photography?
Why not attend one of my Digital Photography Fundamentals Workshop. Full day easy-to-understand Workshop with both theory and practical sessions for only €45!
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