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Kingfisher Project Is Back On, Plus A Few Other Birds

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For those that Follow Me On Facebook will know that I have continued my Kingfisher Project due to the location of the autumn morning sun lighting a river pool. Whilst walking the dogs, we watched an adult female perched in amazing light on a tree branch, so can’t waste an opportunity like this. I positioned a perch and setup my popup hide yesterday and was at the river this morning. It didn’t quite go as planned as the Kingfisher didn’t use the perch. It seems as now the water level is so low, she prefers to perch higher up to be able to watch a larger area of water. I have now installed a high perch and will return tomorrow morning.

However, all was not lost, I was able to sit and watch this adult female diving and catching fish many times and on one occasion she came up with a Crayfish. I snapped these images. Notice the wet marks on the branch, this is where she was hitting the Crayfish to kill it before eating. I suspect this is “Princessa” that I photographed when she was a juvenile but as I can’t confirm this I am calling this girl Tufty due to her feathers on the back of her head sticking up. Not sure these are permanently like this or just because she was wet.


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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 >>

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