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The Serins Are Singing, A Sign Of The Algarve Spring

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Yes, it may only be mid-January, however, this is the time everything starts coming to life in the Algarve, particularly here in the hills.

The first sign of spring is the European Serins singing and a large flock (at least 50) have arrived here at the Quinta.

I took a wander around the garden this afternoon to grab some reference shots of both the female and male. They are very similar except the male has much more yellow on his breast and head.

As you may have noticed, there has been a lack of wildlife shots and posts recently as I have been busy with other projects, however, I will be making some time to get out an about in the next week. Firstly, I will be working out a way to get up close and personal with these tiny birds, but for now, here’s two shots showing the difference between the sexes.

Here is the female….

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An Aggressive Mantis

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Yesterday morning I was cleaning one of the terraces here at the Quinta and noticed a female Preying Mantis under the lip one of the steps. It was a warm December day and assumed she was laying an egg sack, called an Ootheca. She actually wasn’t so as I needed to hose down the area I decided to move her. I have relocated many Mantises by picking them up and they usually stand their ground but this lady was having none of it. She immediately went I to full defence mode and started to grab my fingers with her Raptorial Legs. As you can see in the photos she even opened her wings to make her look scary but actually I think made her look more pretty!

All photos were shot and edited using Lightroom on my Samsung Galaxy S9+ Smartphone.

{Click image for a higher resolution}


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The Dampness At Night Has Started The Beeps

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Now that autumn is starting, although the days are still warm, even hot, the evenings are starting to cool down and dew is settling. This has started the almost electronic sounding beeps of the autumn mating calls of the Iberian Midwife Toads.

We have one in our vegetable patch tonight, clever toad as its very damp in there and plenty of bugs to eat. It was calling this evening so I found it and took this photo with my smartphone. These toads are small, this one smaller than 4cm in length.

I will try and get some video of it calling over the next few nights, but of course if I approach, it stops.


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Start Of Something New

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A lot of you will have noticed a lack of content recently and that is due to juggling my other photography ventures, mainly my Real Estate work (FotoSul).

However, today I have started to push myself to concentrate more on bringing you more of the nature and particulary the local wildlife.

Theses photos are the start of something new and exciting and is just one thing on the list of new beginnings at the Quinta.

More news soon!


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Bee-Eaters In The Garden

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So, I’m in my processing studio trying to work on some photos from a huge FotoSul shoot a few days ago and all I can hear is Bee-Eaters outside.

It’s a terrible day for photography today with some thunderstorms in the area taking all the light away with thick clouds but I couldn’t resist to have a look and find 3 Bee-Eaters sitting on an electricity cable. They seem to be having an argument which was making me laugh.

It looks like the 2 on the left of the photo are males and the one on the right (shouting!) is a female. The argument seemed to be going on between the male on the left and the female.

{Click image for a higher resolution}


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Algerian Mouse Gave Me A Shock Today

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I was clearing leaves on the patio today when this tiny Algerian Mouse jumped from the pile of leaves and started running around the patio. After a few words of encouragement, hinting that our garden is not the best place to be, it went off into the vegetation outside of the garden area.

It is the Algerian Mouse, also known as the Western Mediterranean mouse, rather than the closely related House Mouse due to the short length of its tail. I was only armed with my mobile and got these shots.

{Click image for a higher resolution}


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