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Grey Heron and a Flock of Iberian Magpies taking a bath (Video)

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It’s been quiet on the River Cam the last few days, maybe something related to the rain (yippee!) we’ve been having here in the Algarve.

However, quiet it might be, I still have 2 videos to share.

First up, a Grey Heron decided to visit looking for some aquatic life to feast on. These shallow river pools that are created by the river being dry makes perfect wading areas, however, I suspect the amount of food for the large waders is starting to run out now and the river needs to start running again soon.

[UPDATE] Since writing this post I learnt about the Azure-winged Magpies being the incorrect name for the species found in Europe, it is called the Iberian Magpie, more details can be seen in this post.

{Remember to watch in HD if possible}


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No Otters Yet, Another Fisherman Arrived Though! (Video)

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I have placed my Bushnell Camera on a different River Pool after finding a nearby (maybe) Otter’s Holt, however, for the last 2 nights the camera has only managed to capture a Mouse.

Yesterday morning at 10:40am I was recorded leaving the site after swapping out the memory card, just 15 minutes later the following was captured. Yes, a Kingfisher catching it’s breakfast. It’s not great footage as the camera is pointing directly into the sun at this time of day. However, the shape of the Kingfisher is unmistakable.

I’m not really surprised to have captured the Kingfisher, however, I am surprised to see the Kingfisher here at this time of year. Normally, when the rivers dry up the Kingfishers head towards to coast where the rivers still have water, maybe it’s been here all year and these pools have enough fish to sustain the Kingfisher’s diet or maybe it’s just returned. Hopefully, in 4 to 6 weeks we’ll have enough rain to get the river in full life again.

Right at the start of the clip, watch in the centre for the shadow of it hovering. The timing on this clip is unedited and the hovering and 2 dives are in realtime as it happened. I can’t quite make out what the 2 birds having a bath are, but it’s comical to see them hop out of the way of this superfast diver!

It must be sitting in a Tree up on the riverbank and launching itself from there, later today I will make a lower down perch from Bamboo to see if it uses this instead then hopefully get some better footage. Of course, I would love to be there taking photos, but I’m still awaiting news on my 500mm repair and don’t want to get too close with my 300mm.

It just keeps getting better the amount of local wildlife that is surrounding this amazing place we live.

{Remember to watch in HD if possible}


Possible Otter’s Holt (Den) Found

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After briefly capturing video footage of an Otter a few nights ago (see here) I went on a scout of the dry riverbed to try to locate a Holt. Holt is the name for an Otter’s Den.

To my surprise, I found one fairly easily and even more surprising that it’s been almost under my nose all this time. Obviously, I’m not going to share its location, but I will set up the Bushnell in a more permanent location to confirm that there is Otter using this Holt. Otters are mainly nocturnal, however, as this location is very quiet, they may be active during daylight too. I will monitor their activity for a while and hope to establish a pattern of activity, if there is regular activity during daylight hours then I’ll plan to hide with the camera. The location is pretty good for photography. 

A big giveaway is the presence of Otter Scat, known as spraints, on the dry riverbed. If you look closely at the photos, you can see small bones and shells which look like remains of Crayfish.

{Click image for a higher resolution}
Otter Spraints

Otter Spraints

A Sounder of Javali (Wild Boar) Visited the River Pool

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Javali

I relocated the Bushnell Camera yesterday to try and get a better view of the wildlife visiting the River Pool and captured a Sounder of Javali visiting. Sounder being the collective term for a group of Wild Boar.

This group seems to be made up of young Boars as they are not that large in size. The male can grow to 1.80m in length and 1.10m tall and can weigh up to 200kg, the females slightly smaller at 200kg.

Although shy of humans, they can (and will) attack if startled. I’m speaking from experience as Wally (the Dog) and I found out when our paths crossed a few evenings ago. We startled each other as our paths crossed. It made a lot of grunting noises and ran straight at us. Although not the official method, I grabbed Wally and we ran to the house!

{Remember to watch in HD if possible}

Cotton Dell in Autumn…..but no Dippers

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I went to Cotton Dell (near Alton Towers) in Staffordshire this morning to see if I could find any Dippers in the stream as they are known to be there.

They eluded me, however, being prepared for a disappointment I took along my 14-24 f/2.8 to get some photos of autumn in full swing. It was great to be shooting with an ISO of just 64 as it meant I didn’t need to use any ND filters to extend the shutter speed to get the water silky smooth.

{Click image for a higher resolution, click Flickr Link in caption to view photo on Flickr}
Cotton Dell in Autumn
Cotton Dell in Autumn – D810, AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 14mm, f/11, ISO64, 1sec – {Flickr Link}

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