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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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Steam Fog On The River

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Winter has hit the Algarve and whilst temperatures are still hitting 20+ during the days, the nights are cold.

Last night my sensor reached exactly 0.0 Celsius on my back terrace which meant that other areas locally dropped below freezing. There was a widespread frost that was stunning but my attention was directed at the Steam Fog Rising from the river.

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Morning Steam Fog

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Morning Dog Walk: Pipits Everywhere And Fresh Otter Evidence!

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On this morning’s Dog Walk we ventured through large field that has been ploughed. It is an old Olive Farm that is abandoned and therefore the area was very overgrown. I assume it has been cleared both for the fire risk and for grass to regrown for the local Sheep.

At first I thought it was going to hurt the local birds as I often saw flocks of Goldfinch feasting on the seeds. However, although these have now moved on, the area has become full of Wagtails and what I thought was either Water Pipits or Meadow Pipits. As I was with Wally, I struggled to get close enough to ID, so took this following photo and asked some Portuguese Birders for advice

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Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis) - maybe...
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No Wide Angle Lens? No Problem!

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As you may have seen from my previous post of Wally Backlit, this morning was amazing. There was a lit hazy mist in the valleys but otherwise almost cloud free skies, of course, this is the Algarve!

When I got to the top of Eagle Ridge, the view was stunning, but I only had my AF-S 80-400mm lens. So, I took 23 separate images with the camera oriented in vertical and then merged them all together in Photoshop.

The resulting image was huge! Give or take, due to images being overlapped in the merge process, it would be around 1000 Megapixels! The output TIFF file from Photoshop back to Lightroom is over 2.5gb! The final JPEG export was over 200mb, so I had to resize it a little for upload to Flickr. This image on Flickr is 20000 x 3333 pixels! The great thing is, Pano-stitching in Photoshop is so powerful that all 23 shots where taken handheld and it still merges them perfectly.

My local village of São Marcos da Serra is just visible above the right on the far right of the image.

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Morning Winter Mist In The Algarve Hills
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Morning Dog Walk: Wally Splashing Around

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Now that the river is flowing normally, Wally is loving splashing around on his daily visit. Of course, I can’t refuse snapping a few pics. Even though he’ll be 2 years old in March, he often still looks like a Puppy!

I love the way the sun was lighting him side-on and especially like how the sun lit all the water droplets different colours.

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Wally Splashing Around In The River
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