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A Morning Session With The Bee Eaters (and few others)


Yesterday whilst on a Community Walk as part of the local Village’s Celebration Day I noticed a colony of Bee Eaters all sitting on a dead tree on the river bank at the other side of the village to the Quinta. The weather forecast promised a clear sunrise so I packed the camera, tripod, chair and pop-up hide last night and set my alarm for 6:15am.

The idea was to get to the river bank and erect my pop-up hide before the Bee Eaters awoke. I was awake before the alarm and after a quick Coffee I headed down to the river bank by just after 6:30am. It was already light, but the sun was still below the horizon, the only birds I could hear were the Nightingales. I set up the hide and waited patiently.

First up a small flock of Common Waxbills arrived with 2 of them sitting on the dead tree, unfortunately, I couldn’t quite get a clean background and this would take a fair bit of Photoshop work to remove.

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Common Waxbill - Bico-de-lacre-comum - Estrilda astrild
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Yay! The Bee Eaters Are Back!


Yesterday I heard my first Nightingale, but today I’ve heard the first Bee Eater of the year. They are late, they always appear on the 1st April in this area, but they are 4 days late, probably due to the weather and of course the wind that we’ve had!

Last year, they even nested on our land, so I’ll bee-keeping (see what I did there!) a keen eye on them and expect many photos.

Here are a few from last year and below a video of them attempting to build nests before deciding this was not a suitable location.

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European Bee Eater - Abelharuco
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The Bee Eaters have started to make a nest, but not so sure they are staying


Early this afternoon, the Bee Eaters (Abelharucos in Portuguese) were absent from around the house so I decided to take a quick look at their handy work and also quickly erect a pop-up hide.

I sat in the hide for a short while and a breeding pair turned up. They seemed a little nervous around the area, possibly with the hide there, but did visit a few times.

Only once did the male (I think it’s the male) go to the hole that they have started but then the pair flew away. It takes up to 20 days to build the nest so hopefully they will return to complete it. I have also left the hide in place for them to get used to it being there.

You can just about work out the start of the hole on the live view on the camera;

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In the hide

I did manage to get this shot of one sitting in a nearby tree.

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