Morning Dog Walk: Egyptian Grasshopper

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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.

Now that the temperatures are returning to normal (30+ degrees), the Egyptian Grasshoppers are becoming a common sight. The Anacridium aegyptium (scientific name) is very common here in the hills as it has the perfect climate and habitat.

It is a large Grasshopper (one of Europe’s largest), the females can grow up to 70mm long with the males considerably smaller at around 55mm. Although they eat leaves they are not really a pest as they are solitary rather than swarm, but of course, they may feast on your home-grown vegetable plot.

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Egyptian Grasshopper - Anacridium aegyptium
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Male Iberian Green Woodpecker (with Video)

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This morning I got into position to photograph Golden Orioles, however, they decided not to show up. Whilst I was waiting, a male Iberian Green Woodpecker showed up. I think this is a young bird due to the mottled colouring on its neck and back. The male has a red moustache that is absent on the female. Portuguese for Woodpecker is Pica-pau and the Iberian Green is known as the Pica-pau-verde (verde meaning green).

Although similar, the Iberian species has been split from the European Green Woodpecker. The main difference is the lack of the black mask on the face. The habitat and voice are very similar. The Picus sharpei (scientific name) can be found in Spain, Portugal and the bordering areas in South-West France. They prefer dry open-woodland which is why we have large numbers of them in our local area. It’s favourite food is Ants in which they certainly have a large selection to choose from here!

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Male Iberian (Green) Woodpecker - Pica-pau-verde - Picus sharpei
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Morning Dog Walk: A Few Small Birds

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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.

There are plenty of small birds in amongst the Cork and Holm Oaks, this morning I grabbed a few shots as I walked through with Wally;

First I spotted a small flock of Greenfinch, as you can see from the photo, they are still building nests to breed. Everything seems a little late this year due to the spring rain.

Greenfinch

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My Next Challenge – Golden Oriole

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Whilst I was sitting at the riverbank this morning, photographing the Kingfisher I spotted a Male Golden Oriole with breakfast perched in a tree.

It was a long way away, but close enough for a “record” shot. There are a lot of breeding Golden Orioles in my local area, but so far they have eluded me. This morning, I could hear them singing away in a nearby Eucalyptus grove. I have a ledge that I can hide on which puts me almost level with the tops of the trees, but no joy as yet.

Male Golden Oriole

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