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The Local European Bee-Eater Colony Is Now Huge!

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Almost every evening (and early morning) the local European Bee-Eater colony come to feed in and around the Quinta.

This evening I sat on the side of a nearby banking, amongst the overgrowth but certainly not hidden and was given a spectacular display of acrobatics.

If I was to guess how many are now in this colony, I would say at least 50 if not more, it seems to have been a successful breeding year for them!

I love the colours on this back-lit shot with one changing direction to catch a Bee.

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📷 Nikon D850, AF-S 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR @ 400mm, 1/3200sec, f/8, ISO320

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Greater Flamingos At Ludo

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After a great week visiting, I dropped my sister and niece at Faro airport very early yesterday morning so used the opportunity to visit Ludo at sunrise to back-light the Greater Flamingos.

Rather than re-write information about these magnificent birds, you can read an article I wrote for the Algarve Resident last year (Read here…).

Currently there are a huge number of Greater Flamingos gathered at Ludo and after short wait a small group started to argue which gave the perfect scene directly into the sun.

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Face-off At Sunrise (Greater Flamingos)
📷 Nikon D850, AF-S 500mm f/4 @ 1/800sec, f/8, ISO560Continue reading >>

A Morning With A Young Female……….

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…….Common Kingfisher!

Finally, I wake at sunrise and the skies are clear! It’s been a strange summer so far with very cloudy mornings. I grab a coffee and head down to the river. As soon as I step inside the hide, it clouds over………. AGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

I wait it out and it improved slightly but not enough to have a fast enough shutter speed with a low enough ISO for flight shots, so I settled for some portraits of the beautiful juvenile female.

A female Common Kingfisher has a red lower beak which gradually turns red (the male stays black), this girl is half way there. Her feet are still a little dark, they also start black and turn red, as do the male.

You’ll notice that she doesn’t appear to “glow” in this picture. The blue/green feathers on a Common Kingfisher contain no pigment and are not actually green or blue. They are transparent and the colour you see is the light rays passing through the transparent feathers. Therefore, when the light isn’t too great, nor are the colours.

I have many more shots from this session which will come over the next couple of days, and of course, I’ll be back for some flight shots too. Incidentally, the clouds cleared too soon after! It’s amazing to have so many Kingfishers so close to the house and it was great to sit and watch this girl diving from various spots along the river bank. Sometimes, failed, sometimes successful. I even saw her catch a fish and then drop it back in the water when she tried to eat it.

This photo along with my other recent photos will be available to purchase in print soon.

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Common Kingfisher (Juvenile Female) - Guarda-rios (juvenil femea) - Alcedo atthis
📷 Nikon D850, AF-S 500mm f/4 @ 1/500sec, f/8, ISO900Continue reading >>

Another Shot From The “Dark Perch”

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Just another shot of the juvenile male Common Kingfisher from a few days ago at my “Dark Perch“. This time he’s got his back facing me showing off his typical “go-faster stripe.”

I have a new location ready to go, clouds depending, I’ll be there in the morning, not sure how they’ll react to this one as I have to use my pop-up hide and not sure if they will be happy around it.

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Common Kingfisher (Juvenile Male) - Guarda-rios (juvenil macho) - Alcedo atthis
📷 Nikon D850, AF-S 500mm f/4 @ 1/640sec, f/11, ISO450Continue reading >>

A Local Bee-Eater Nest Is Now Very Active

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After the disappointment of finding a destroyed Bee-Eater nest (see HERE) and of course, one dead and one rescued nestling, I took a look at another location where there are nests and watched a pair actively returning to the nest over and over with food for the young inside. Whilst the birds are digging their nests and mating, I (mostly) leave them alone as not to cause them to flee and abandon, but now they young to feed I will watch and shoot from a safe distance.

The great news is that it has a very natural hide for me courtesy of the river bank. I look forward over the next few days capturing some shots, although the very unseasonable cool and cloudy weather may put a stop to it!

Here is a shot I got of one of the parents leaving the nest.


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Hiding In The Shadows

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As I continue to shoot more “artmospheric” shots I noticed a huge family of Eurasian Jays in a thick area of Eucalyptus this morning. It included many youngsters shouting to be fed by the parents.

They were mainly in the shade, but the morning sun was breaking through gaps in the branch. Here is one of the Eurasian Jays I just had to shoot with just it’s head in the light.

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Hiding In The Shadows : Eurasian Jay - Gaio-comum - Garrulus glandarius
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