Green Heron, An American Refugee

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A few weeks ago news started spreading about a Green Heron being spotted at Quinta do Lago. The Green Heron is commonly seen in wetlands of North and Central America but is not a species found in Europe except for very rare vagrants. It is believed to have been brought here during the storms, particularly Hurricane Leslie, a few months ago. More photos below.

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Green Heron - Garçote-verde - Butorides virescens
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Another Kettle Of Migrating Griffon Vultures

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I was enjoying a late breakfast (ok it had gone 12pm, but it was a late night!!) in the garden when I looked up and a Kettle (collective name in flight) of Griffon Vultures were directly overhead and fairly low at that. There wasn’t as many birds as the Kettle a few weeks ago, there were around 50 birds. An amazing sight to watch them soaring with no effort.

Although these birds are en route to Africa, this Kettle came from the South and headed off in a North-Easterly direction.

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A Kettle of Migrating Griffon Vultures
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Osprey: Right Place, Right Time, Wrong Moment…

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I was near the large lake at Quinta do Lago a few days ago when I decided to re-position myself. I collapsed the tripod, but the lens cover over the end of my 500mm and lifted over my shoulder to walk. I looked to the distance and saw a huge bird approaching. At first, I thought it was a large Gull but it swooped down quickly and I soon realised it was an Osprey coming in for a fish.

I had no time to get the camera ready as I watched it hit the water, just 10 metres away, with a loud thud before lifting away with a large fish. It flew across my path towards the late afternoon sun which had began to set.

I quickly grabbed the camera, set it down and managed to fire off a shot of it silhouetted against the sunset.

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Osprey With Catch Silhouetted At Sunset
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Millipede Wandering Around After Rainfall (Video)

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Rain often brings Millipedes out and whilst out walking the dog yesterday morning I stumbled across a large Millipede. I’m unsure of the species as I can’t quite match the colouring to anything, however, it was around 10cm long. Certainly no giant, but still quite large.

People often think Millipede means a Million legs, but the name comes from the latin word ‘mil’ which means a thousand. However, they also don’t have a thousand legs either, most have less than a hundred, but all have less than a thousand. Evidence from fossils suggest that Millipedes were one of the first to ever leave water to land and breathe air.

As you can see, this one is carrying an injury, but doesn’t seem to be affected by it. It coiled itself up (a defensive move) when I found it, so left my phone running to capture it un-coil and continue.

{Remember to watch in HD if possible}


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