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Morning Dog Walk: Males Singing and Drumming For Females…..And, Of Course, Bluey!

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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.

This morning’s walk was full of a few surprises, first, I narrowly missed an opportunity to photograph an Egyptian Mongoose as it scurried away for cover. This is the 2nd time I’ve seen them in the same location in the morning, so I will have to do a stake-out soon.

The Woodpeckers are drumming like crazy today, it is like a building site with all the knocking. I noticed a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker tapping a metal strip on an electricity pole, it was a fair distance away, but took a snap anyway. Notice his red cap, this is how you tell the males and females apart as the females don’t have one. Of course, the females will not be drumming either as the males perform this to attract a mate.

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House Sparrows Are Busy Building Their New Breeding Nests

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It’s that time of year again where many birds are preparing to lay eggs. We have a large population of House Sparrows at the Quinta and they are busy building new nests to lay. Both the male and female are working hard collecting material.

A few pairs build nests inside the porch of our front door and this morning there was a mating pair busy early. They were backlit by the rising sun so I grabbed a shot of both the male and female with material.

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Male House Sparrow
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Morning Dog Walk: I Finally Found The (Or Another) Blue Rock Thrush!

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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.

On the last Nature Walk we spotted a Blue Rock Thrush (Read more) and I have been looking for it almost every morning since without luck.

Well today, I spotted it, or maybe of course another one. In a straight line it was about 400 meters from where we spotted it, so likely the same one. Only the male is blue, the female is brown and is similar to a female Blackbird, but with a longer beak. I actually thought I spotted a female this morning nearby too, so hopefully a breeding pair.

This male wasn’t too bothered by my (and Wally’s) presence and would allow me to get quite close before moving perch. I noticed that it would fly to various perches before coming to ground to feed. The whole time it would circle around a ruined house. They are known to nest in ruins, so I will be keeping an eye on this location and will head back with my long lens and camouflage in the hope of some closeup shots.

For now, here are some I snapped as I watched it this morning.

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Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius)
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Algerian Mouse Gave Me A Shock Today

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I was clearing leaves on the patio today when this tiny Algerian Mouse jumped from the pile of leaves and started running around the patio. After a few words of encouragement, hinting that our garden is not the best place to be, it went off into the vegetation outside of the garden area.

It is the Algerian Mouse, also known as the Western Mediterranean mouse, rather than the closely related House Mouse due to the short length of its tail. I was only armed with my mobile and got these shots.

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Glossy Ibis In The Late Afternoon Sun

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Yesterday I was at Ludo to photograph the Ospreys that hunt there regularly (more on this in a later post). I was using the fact that I had to pick Emma up from the airport, so made a full day of it. Once the tide came in, the Osprey moved away so I decided to visit the São Lourenço Lake in Quinta do Lago to waste a little more time.

There was a (juvenile) Glossy Ibis sat in the warm afternoon sun and its colourful plumage was reflecting in spectacular fashion. The reason I know this is a juvenile is due to the white streaks on its head and neck. He wasn’t so happy when a Spanish Terrapin decided to share the sun spot.

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Glossy Ibis - Íbis-preta - Plegadis falcinellus
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Morning Dog Walk: A Trip To Ludo

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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.

This mornings Wally walk was different, Emma (my better half) is visiting the UK, so after dropping her at the airport we headed to Ludo right at the western end of the runway for a walk.

We saw many species of bird life as you’d expect from being inside the Ria Formosa park. The biggest joy was watching an Osprey searching for food. It was around an hour before it finally swooped down and caught a large fish, unfortunately, well out of reach of the camera.

I did manage to grab this shot of her, I think it’s a female due to the large size of the body.

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