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Nature Being Nature Is Tough Sometimes

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A few days ago we found a very young European Bee-Eater, when I say very young, it was still a nestling. The new feathers still had their “straw” coverings.

This was confusing as European Bee-Eaters nest in deep tunnels and the young shouldn’t be out of the nest.

The bird is now in the care of the guys at RIAS in Olhão (RIAS website) and if all goes well, we can visit to see the release.

However, the confusion has been resolved.

Unfortunately, one of the nests has been dug open. I don’t really know what has done this, possibly a Fox, Marten, Weasel or Polecat.


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A Male Glow Worm/Firefly Lit Up

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Last year I wrote a post about a female Glow Worm, rather than re-write all the information, you can read it HERE.

In the post I wrote that only the females light up. I was clearly wrong.

Last night a male landed on me (only males have wings) and when I removed him I noticed he was glowing. He hasn’t the output that the females have but still glowing. I took these snaps on my phone before returning him to the garden where he continued to glow.


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A Spanish Terrapin Just Peed On Me!

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I was down at the river modifying and moving my Kingfisher perch and on the way back Wally spotted something in the long grass.

It was a Spanish Terrapin (often referred to as a Spanish Turtle). It was fairly large with its shell about 25cm long. As it was heading towards the road I decided to relocate it back to the river bank.

I picked it up and it let its bladder go, all over me and I know smell like rotten fish. I released it back at the river bank and it hurried into the water.

(Shot and edited using Lightroom on my Samsung Galaxy S9+)


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I’ll Have To Wait Until Next Year….Oh Well!

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As you may know, I’ve been monitoring a Barn Swallow Nest inside a local Well (See More…) and was planning on setting up inside the disused Pump House to take some shots of the parents feeding the young.

Well, good news and bad news! The good news is, it seemed that all 6 have fledged, I visited to check on the light levels in the afternoon and the nest is empty. I didn’t think they were ready, but they have all left. The nest is empty and I checked the water below and none were in there. The bad news? It means I have to wait until next year to photograph them!

Morning Dog Walk: Swallow Nest, Bee Eaters & My Tarantula Is Possibly Dead!

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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.

The area was covered in thick mist this morning but I still decided to take the camera along and I took a stop at an old Well to check if the Barn Swallows had started to use the nest.

IMPORTANT! – It’s never a good idea to approach a nesting bird but in this instance I used the camera’s Live-View with the screen tilted so that I didn’t actually look over the edge of the well!

I pointed the camera like a periscope over the edge of the well and captured this shot of a Swallow already sitting on the nest. It’s both genius and dangerous for them to build this nest here. Of course, no predator can get to the nest, but if the nest falls off it will drop into the water or if a baby falls, it’s going to drown. Of course, when the young fledge, it will be a difficult flight too. This is the 2nd year, they have nested here, so maybe they know what they are doing.

{Click image for a higher resolution}

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I Didn’t Have To Look Yesterday!

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For those that don’t know anything about Rugby might not know that Saturday was a huge celebration as I watched my home nation of Wales win the 6 Nations Grand Slam (means they beat all the other 5 nations!). In Wales, this is a big deal, so to cut a long story short, Sunday wasn’t a day for me being out and about with a camera.

However, first up was a False Smooth Snake on our patio enjoying the heat of the afternoon sun (yes, I didn’t see the morning!). It couldn’t stay there as either the Dog or one of the Cats would probably see it as a new toy.

The False Smooth Snake is small, this one no longer than about 20cm. It is a venomous snake, however, due to its small size it poses no threat to a human, even if it does manage to sink its teeth in. I helped him on his way to an area outside of the garden and it did take a strike but missed!


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