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New Location At The River

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Yesterday I installed yet another perch for the Kingfishers to use. The river pools are getting smaller by what seems like every minute and although it results in the Kingfishers being more concentrated on certain areas, it means I have less good angles to shoot with.

This mornings task was to photograph a Kingfisher just coming into land on the perch with outstretched wings. Everything was going to plan until I broke my number one rule of “Focus on what you are trying to get and don’t be distracted!”.

The camera was setup, pointed at the perch, I had pre-focused, AF settings and fast shutter speed all dialled in. All I had to do was wait for a Kingfisher to fly to the perch. Although there were many visits to the perch all of them approached from in front rather than behind, then one of the young females landed high in a branch of a tree behind the perch. She dived into the water and retreated to another branch directly behind the perch. I wanted to look to see if she had caught a fish and moved the camera and focused on her, she flew right at the perch and I didn’t get the camera moved back in time. Yes, I am kicking myself! This was the last time I saw her this morning as she had already caught two large Louisiana Crayfish.

I did get some portrait shots of her on the perch earlier.

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Common Kingfisher (Juvenile Female) - Guarda-rios (juvenil femea) - Alcedo atthis
📷 Nikon D850, AF-S 500mm f/4 @ 1/800sec, f/11, ISO640
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Morning Dog Walk: Kingfisher On My New Perch (Video)

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The weather is a little unseasonable currently, it’s a little cooler than it should, although it does reach low 30s in the afternoon, the mornings and nights are, lets say fresh. Unfortunately, it comes with my biggest frustration, total cloud cover.

I have a new Kingfisher perch that I hoped to spend a session at this morning, but no, total cloud cover this morning. It didn’t last long, there’s not a cloud in the sky now but of course, the best light of the day has gone. In the next couple of days, normal weather is due to return and hopefully, I can get out at sunrise again.

Anyway, although no session today, I decided to take a look whilst out with the dogs and, as usual, could hear the high-pitched whistle of the Kingfishers. I sat on the river bank about 10 meters away from the perch and within about a minute a juvenile came and sat on the perch in full view of myself, Wally and Lupi. Juveniles are a little more braver than the adults and this guy really didn’t care, as you can see on the video, it is even bobbing its head which is used to gauge the distance to its prey. We sat and watched for about 5 minutes before it decided not to dive and fly to a nearby tree.

Sorry for the quality, but this was shot on my Samsung Galaxy S9+ smartphone and I used the digital zoom. I am looking forward to some cloud-free mornings where I can bring you some shots. This perch has been designed that I can hopefully get some flight shots too.

{Remember to watch in HD if possible}


Another Shot From The “Dark Perch”

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Just another shot of the juvenile male Common Kingfisher from a few days ago at my “Dark Perch“. This time he’s got his back facing me showing off his typical “go-faster stripe.”

I have a new location ready to go, clouds depending, I’ll be there in the morning, not sure how they’ll react to this one as I have to use my pop-up hide and not sure if they will be happy around it.

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Common Kingfisher (Juvenile Male) - Guarda-rios (juvenil macho) - Alcedo atthis
📷 Nikon D850, AF-S 500mm f/4 @ 1/640sec, f/11, ISO450Continue reading >>

Tiddlers….!

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Whenever I have placed a perch in the river to attract a Kingfisher it has worked amazingly well. However, my recent attempts have been in unsuccesful. While I’ve waited paitently hidden on the river bank I have seen them just fly straight past up and down stream. It then occured why…..

NO FISH! The river seemed to be completely empty of any “Tiddler” sized fish, the food of the Kingfisher. I don’t understand the life-cycle of seasonal rivers but it was enough for me to be slightly concerned. Others have suggested that the warmer weather will bring them out and they were right!

Yesterday was the first real (almost) hot day in the Algarve with temperatures not only exceeding mid-20s, but also the sun’s angle is now high enough to make it very strong. So, I wandered down to the river this morning and it has LOTS of tiddlers, what happened next was an amazing surprise!


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Proper Algarve January Weather

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It doesn’t rain in the Algarve very often, but in January, due to its close proximity to the Atlantic we can have some real heavy rain.

The last 2 days have been no exception and it’s not uncommon to see heavy showers at this time of year. Yesterday we saw some incredible heavy, often thundery showers roll in from the West coast. Of course, this is great news for a country that can live on the edge of drought. This is not only good for our local area’s wildlife and human demands, but of course, the Odelouca flows into the Barragem de Odelouca which provides the majority of drinking water to the Algarve.

The River Odelouca that runs through our land is just about in flood and the road bridge is now a ford which is not uncommon this time of year. Of course, it baffles hikers who are following one of the Algarve Walking Trails that crosses here!

Bridge Now a Ford
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Steam Fog On The River

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Winter has hit the Algarve and whilst temperatures are still hitting 20+ during the days, the nights are cold.

Last night my sensor reached exactly 0.0 Celsius on my back terrace which meant that other areas locally dropped below freezing. There was a widespread frost that was stunning but my attention was directed at the Steam Fog Rising from the river.

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Morning Steam Fog

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