Oops! It appears that you have disabled your Javascript. In order for you to see this page as it is meant to appear, we ask that you please re-enable your Javascript!

Morning Dog Walk: I Finally Found The (Or Another) Blue Rock Thrush!


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.

On the last Nature Walk we spotted a Blue Rock Thrush (Read more) and I have been looking for it almost every morning since without luck.

Well today, I spotted it, or maybe of course another one. In a straight line it was about 400 meters from where we spotted it, so likely the same one. Only the male is blue, the female is brown and is similar to a female Blackbird, but with a longer beak. I actually thought I spotted a female this morning nearby too, so hopefully a breeding pair.

This male wasn’t too bothered by my (and Wally’s) presence and would allow me to get quite close before moving perch. I noticed that it would fly to various perches before coming to ground to feed. The whole time it would circle around a ruined house. They are known to nest in ruins, so I will be keeping an eye on this location and will head back with my long lens and camouflage in the hope of some closeup shots.

For now, here are some I snapped as I watched it this morning.

{Click image(s) to view on Flickr - opens in new tab}

Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius)
Continue reading >>

The Mystery Bird From Yesterday’s Nature Walk Identified


First all, a big thanks to everyone that turned up yesterday for the first Free Nature Walk of 2019.

What an amazing morning out in the hills, the weather was almost hot, but certainly very warm and there were plenty of things to see. The one thing that got us excited was a dark black/blue bird that appeared a little too far away to ID. At first I thought it was a Starling, but then it stood upright like a Thrush. It disappeared before we managed to get a good view or shot of it and continued our walk. A few names were branded about and I mentioned the possibility of a Blue Rock Thrush. I have never seen one let alone locally to the house.

We continued our walk and the route brought us back past the same location on our return. I spotted it again, this time in full view albeit a long way, it was also now a view directly into the sun.

I snapped a photo but couldn’t tell from the image on the camera. This morning, I have cleaned the image up a little and gives a perfect view, I can now confirm it is indeed a Male Blue Rock Thrush. I visited the same location this morning, but couldn’t spot it but as these birds are resident in Portugal, I will keep an eye out for it and maybe stake out. It is possible that it will nest in this barn that it was spotted at.

{Click image for a higher resolution}

Continue reading >>