Oops! It appears that you have disabled your Javascript. In order for you to see this page as it is meant to appear, we ask that you please re-enable your Javascript!

Update On The Local European Bee-Eaters

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

You may think that I’ve gone a bit quiet on the local Bee-Eater colony, but I am still keeping an eye on them, however, I’m leaving them in peace to finish off their nesting tunnels before I spend more time amongst them.

This afternoon I was working on something new at “A Rocha”, an area on top of a large rocky lump that I leave to the wildlife. I have spotted some Rock Buntings and I’m planning some shots so was setting a nice scene around a small water pond I built some time ago. The Bee-Eaters were all around hunting and I wondered why they didn’t seem too bothered about my presence. I moved a little closer to a spot where I can over look a tree they usually rest on and they didn’t seem bothered at all that I was there. I was standing in direct view and they happily carried on with their activities. This is a great afternoon spot for watching and photographing them, so will plan a session here in the near future. I think they have almost finished their tunnels now and will soon be moving in and I’m looking forward to getting close up to them.

Although I was close, I was only armed with my 80-400mm so was a little short on reach, but at least I got these shots to show how great an angle it is!


Continue reading >>

This Year’s First Session With the Golden Orioles

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

The Eurasian Golden Oriole (often refered to as just Golden Oriole) is a difficult bird to photograph. Even though the male is incredibly bright yellow with contrasting black wings and a bright red beak, they are very shy and seem to be able to camouflage themselves easily with the tree canopy.

Last year, I struggled to get the shot I was looking for and so am determined this year. So this morning I was out early in a wooded area next to the Quinta and waited. Soon enough they arrived and started to make their flute-like whistle song. As usual, I just couldn’t get a clear shot of them and at times although I could clearly see where the song was coming from, I couldn’t even spot them.

Normally with my first sessions, particularly ones locally, I use the time to study any patterns of behaviour and favorite places to perch and I have established a pattern that will help me on my next session with them.

The highlight of the morning wasn’t actually the birds. I was sat camouflaged out of sight when I heard a rustle in a nearby bush. Out came an Egyptian Mongoose, it didn’t see me and came within about 1 meter. It was impossible to turn the camera so I tried to silently grab my phone for a quick snap, but it spotted me and fled. Funnily enough, these are joint top of the list for this year! So I will be looking to use the track it used to photograph these too!

I did manage to get one shot of a male Golden Oriole which is not great, but a shot nonetheless.

{Click image for a higher resolution}


Continue reading >>

I’ve Found Another Pair Of Blue Rock Thrushes…..Oh And A Quick Shot Of My Local Little Owl Too!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

My parents are over visiting and I always take my Mum out on the Quad Bike for a nature ride. This afternoon we went off exploring the hills and were enjoying the scenery when I spotted a bird fly from its perch on an electricity cable to hide on top of a pole. I stopped abruptly, forgetting for a moment that Mum was on the back and ran down the track to verify what I thought, a Female Rock Thrush. Pictures are terrible due to the distance but thought I’d take some just as a record shot for you.


Continue reading >>

Morning Dog Walk: A Small Flock Of Waxbills

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

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.

The Common Waxbill (Portuguese: Bico-de-lacre, Latin: Estrilda astrild) thrives in the Algarve region and actually originates from being “introduced” in the late 1960s, I have read references citing escaped caged birds but also scientific studies carried out, so unsure if “introduced” relates to accidental or release. These are usually very shy of humans (in my experience) but this morning a small flock of around 5 (I have seen them 50 strong!) were happy to continue rummaging through the long wild flowers. These ground nesting birds are usually spotted around a water source. I think they look like a vibrant Zorro! This year I have not seen the numbers I usually witness, hopefully that’s just bad luck on my account.

As you can see below, the look amazing in amongst the vibrant wild flowers.

{Click image(s) to view on Flickr - opens in new tab}

Common Waxbill - Bico-de-lacre - Estrilda astrild
Continue reading >>

Bee-Eaters Visit The Quinta Along With Cirl Buntings

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

I was sitting enjoying the end of the hot sunny day when a large group of European Bee-Eaters came to hunt in an area next to the Quinta. I grabbed the camera and hid behind a bush, I wasn’t as close as I needed to be, but with a bright purple T-shirt on, it wouldn’t have been a good idea. I did manage to get a male coming into land next to his female partner. The early evening setting sun lit up his wings beautifully.

{Click image for a higher resolution}


Continue reading >>

Morning Dog Walk: Busy Great Tit Parents

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

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.

This time of year, if you stop and watch for a few minutes you soon realise how busy life is around you. This morning, I stopped because I could hear 4 or 5 Golden Orioles singing and calling unfortunately they were at a section of the river that I can’t get to when I’m with Wally. The Bee-Eaters were busy building their nest holes and I watched a pair of Great Tits busy feeding their young inside a rotten tree trunk. Incredibly this Pear (I think) Tree is still alive and has some blossom.

The rain clouds are taking a while to clear today, it is forecast to start clearing up now! It was terrible light so although I had to shoot at very high ISOs and the shots are not great, I couldn’t resist such an easy target. I will be revisiting in a few days to take some shots in better light.

As you can see in the photos, not only were the parents bringing food, but they were also removing the Fecal (or Faecal) sacks. These are a membrane sack that most baby birds excrete almost immediately after being fed which ensures the parent will then take it away.

{Click image for a higher resolution}


Continue reading >>


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...

0