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A Little Closer To The Blue Rock Thrushes

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Yesterday afternoon I dressed up in my Army clothing, took my camo-bag and tried to sneak close to the ruin that the pair of Blue Rock Thrushes are nesting in. It didn’t go well, the male was sitting at the location I was trying to get to and even though he moved away I think he was watching me and seemed uncomfortable so I abandoned the idea. Back at the house it got me thinking, earlier in the day he was less worried when I walked through with the dog in normal clothing. So this morning, I tried something different, I put a 1.4x teleconverter on my 500mm lens (which gives me a 700mm with minimal quality loss on such a great lens) and took it out using a Monopod rather than a Tripod for ease of carrying.

I walked my usual route and the female was sitting on a nearby telephone pole and I could see the male on the roof of the ruin. I positioned myself near to the ruin in full visibility of the birds. They seemed far more relaxed with my presence, the male even more so as he came to the roof top. Although not the perfection I’m looking for I did come away with some nice photos.

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Male Blue Rock Thrush - Melro-azul - Monticola solitarius
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Prints Of My Work Are Now Available To Purchase Directly From My New Online Shop

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It has been a longtime in the making with a lot of work behind the scenes but I can now officially state that my New Shop is now open!

Inside the shop you will find the new way of booking on my Digital Photography Fundamentals Workshop (and other events) and also Gift Vouchers, but more importantly you can now purchase prints of my work!


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Mediterranean Tree Frog On The Front Terrace

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Tonight it is warm enough to have the door leading to our front terrace open and I was enjoying a nice game of Golf Clash on my phone when I was interrupted by the call of a Male Mediterranean Tree Frog (also known as the Stripeless Tree Frog) just a couple of meters away from me.

You may remember me getting this shot and video last year where they breed in a disused water cistern, however, this year there hasn’t been enough rain (yet) for them to breed in there. We’ve never had one this close to the house before (it is not uncommon for them to come inside houses!). There isn’t really water for them to breed here (apart from my Reflection Pool, not ideal) at the Quinta so tomorrow I will make a small pond in hope it will attract them to breed. Hopefully more to come…….

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Mediterranean Tree Frog
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Morning Dog Walk: Plenty Of Birds Big And Small

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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 another beautiful and cloudless morning that started off cold before warming up very quickly. On this morning’s Wally Walk, we circled a nearby Barragem (Portuguese for Dam) that is used as a Fire Fighting collection point. There are currently 3 Cormorants resident and also a Grey Heron that sits in the top of large tree.

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Barragem for the Firefigters

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

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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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Wally Out For His Morning Walk

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I opened the door this morning to take Wally for a walk and I could hear Bee Eaters, so I grabbed my camera and took it with me in case I spotted any. I didn’t see any so I thought I’d snap a few photos of Wally doing what he does best, looking great in photos!

Dog Walking Photos is something I am considering offering in the Algarve, if you fancy some prints of your own Dog out in nature then please Get In Touch.

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"Wally" Portrait
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Photography Workshops For All Abilities...!
Are you looking to move away from your camera's Auto setting and be more creative with your photography?
Why not attend one of my Digital Photography Fundamentals Workshop. Full day easy-to-understand Workshop with both theory and practical sessions for only €45!
If you don't currently own a suitable camera and want to learn the fundamentals first? There is a limited availablility of Nikon Bridge Cameras available at no extra cost!
Private sessions including 1-to-1 and 1-to-2 also available! Read more...

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