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Rain Has (almost) Started The River Odelouca

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The River Odelouca is important for both wildlife, farming and human life in the Algarve. It runs dry in the heat of the summer and usually starts running in November. Last year, of course, we had no rain in the autumn and it wasn’t until March that the river started. It is critical to local wildlife, but also fills the Barragem de Odelouca which provides a large portion of drinking water to the Algarve region.

We’ve had a fair amount of rain over the last few weeks which has been filling the dry river bed pools and this morning it has started to trickle. I wouldn’t class it as running yet as there are still some breaks in the flow, but it has started to trickle. I think we are a few heavy showers away from the river running.

Trickling River

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Morning Dog Walk: Viperine Snake Sunbathing

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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.

This morning I sat on the river bank letting Wally run around in the water when I spotted a Viperine in one of the river pools (the river is now dry with just pools remaining). I watched it swim to the opposite bank and it eventually climbed out to sunbathe on the rocks.

It was really tough to photograph as there was a lot of contrast between the bright sunlight and the dark rocks.

The Viperine (Natrix maura) is a small snake that spends a lot of time in the water catching fish and although you may think by the name, it is not a Viper. It’s name comes from being similar in appearance to a Viper. It is non-venomous and although when threatened it can act like a Viper and strike, it will not bite. It is Diurnal which meaning it is active during daylight only. In adult-life, they can grow to 85cm long, this particular one was no larger than about 40cm.

{Click image for a higher resolution}
Viperine Snake (Natrix maura)

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