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A Very Relaxed Brown Rat

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I wandered down to the river this afternoon to collect some Bamboo for our garden and I spotted a Brown Rat just minding its own business on the side of the track. I walked right up to it and it wasn’t at all bothered. I could have actually picked it up, but of course, Rat bites are not pleasant!

On my way back with Bamboo, I noticed it was still in the same place. Was it injured, or ill? Didn’t seem to be as it sat there nibbling on a grass seed. Once back at the house I grabbed the camera and returned and it was still wandering around eating the grass seed so I got these 2 shots of it. After a while it wandered off into the thick bushes. Everyday, the local wildlife continue to surprise me! Now a few of you may mention that do I want this near the house? It’s near the river and of course river banks have Rats, it is also about 500m away from the house, so no real concern, also I think our Cats may have the final say on that one!

Whether you like the thought of Rats or not, you cannot argue that this isn’t cute!

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Brown Rat - Ratazana-castanha - Rattus norvegicus
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Morning Dog Walk: Usually Abundant But This Year A Rare Sight

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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.

It was great to spot a Woodchat Shrike this morning perched on an electricity cable. Normally, the area is abundant with them, but this year its the first I’ve spotted since the beginning of Spring when they returned. It could just be that I’ve been in the wrong place at the wrong time and I guess they are happily all around me, but certainly great to spot one.


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Morning Dog Walk: Lupi Is Settling In

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It’s been just over a week now and Lupi is starting to settle in. He just about realises that he isn’t going back to the Kennels and that this is his new home. We are having a few trust issues still and he’s found that he likes to chase Cats, but this is something we continue to work on.

Just in case you are wondering, in this photo he is on the lead, but I removed it in Photoshop. He’s not ready to be off the lead yet because we have no way of recall. So he walks on the lead until we are completely satisfied with his trust in us and of course, his hearing issues make it even more difficult.

Please also remember, I offer Dogs-In-Nature Photo Shoots for you and your greatest companions. Dogs-In-Nature Gift Vouchers are also available should you wish to give something different as a present!

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Lupi On His Morning Walk
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Minimalistic Moon Rise

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A last minute plan of a Full Moon Rise went as I suspected…….badly. I had a feeling that what I had planned wasn’t going to work and I was right, but it was still worth the drive to the dam of the Barragem de Odelouca. I arrived just after sunset and could hear what I thought was Barn Owls at the actual dam, then looking overhead I saw the shape of Red-necked Nightjar which was soon confirmed when it landed and started it’s “raygun” sounding call.

Realising the shot was not to be, I decided to go for a Plan B shot and went to a totally minimalistic silhouette shot of it rising behind the distant tree line.


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Hiding In The Shadows

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As I continue to shoot more “artmospheric” shots I noticed a huge family of Eurasian Jays in a thick area of Eucalyptus this morning. It included many youngsters shouting to be fed by the parents.

They were mainly in the shade, but the morning sun was breaking through gaps in the branch. Here is one of the Eurasian Jays I just had to shoot with just it’s head in the light.

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Hiding In The Shadows : Eurasian Jay - Gaio-comum - Garrulus glandarius
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Purposely Underexposing A Shot

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I’m a fan of underexposing shots for many different reasons and this was one of them.

You may remember my post from Friday with a Kingfisher watching me whilst I was scouting the river (Read Post). Well once I took the shot, I dialled in -3EV, yes, underexposed the shot by 3 stops.

It was to see if I could hide the messy background and also just expose the areas where late sun was reaching. Then a little bit of work in Lightroom to bring out those lighter spots and the resulting photo is a much nicer atmospheric shot.

Just to clarify, this is a technique I only use when I want to create something a little different. Normally, getting the exposure right to start with is a good plan, although I usually underexposed slightly to avoid highlight clipping.


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