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Morning Dog Walk: A Ladder Snake Basking In The Morning Sun (With Video)

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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.

Walking in one of my favourite areas with Wally this morning and we spotted a Ladder Snake basking in the sun. I think it had also recently eaten a meal which is maybe why it was in no rush to move away.

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

Ladder Snake - Cobra-de-escada - Zamenis scalaris
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Morning Dog Walk: Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Drumming (Video)

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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.

You may remember a post (excuse the pun) a while back about the damage Woodpeckers have do to our Telephone pole. Yesterday’s walk (there wasn’t one this morning as I was recovering from Wales winning the Grand Slam and 6 Nations Rugby!) I spotted a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker on the very same pole.

Sorry for the not so steady video, but videoing hand held at 400mm isn’t easy. The jangling you can hear is Wally’s collar and the chirping is from a large family of House Sparrows.

Woodpeckers drum at this time of year to attract females and you can often hear them drumming on metal and concrete poles as they are much louder than wood. He who drums the loudest will attract the females. As you’d expect, the drumming is a lot quieter than the Great Spotted Woodpecker but still carries a long distance.

{Remember to watch in HD if possible}

My Drone Footage To Be Used In A New Portuguese Documentary

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You may remember a film I created back in the summer called “Consequência – Depois dos incêndios” showing the destruction caused by the Monchique Wildfires.

Last week I was contacted by a film company who is making a new documentary titled “Tudo é Paisagem” (“Everything is Landscape”) about the History of Landscape Architecture in Portugal. This has been commissioned by the Associação Portuguesa dos Arquitectos Paisagistas (Portuguese Association of Landscape Architects).

Yesterday we agreed terms and I have supplied various shots for inclusion in their documentary. As you can imagine, I’m pretty excited about this collaboration.

I will share more information at a later date, but for now if you haven’t watched my film from back in August you can view it below;

{Remember to watch in HD or 4K if possible}


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Millipede Wandering Around After Rainfall (Video)

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Rain often brings Millipedes out and whilst out walking the dog yesterday morning I stumbled across a large Millipede. I’m unsure of the species as I can’t quite match the colouring to anything, however, it was around 10cm long. Certainly no giant, but still quite large.

People often think Millipede means a Million legs, but the name comes from the latin word ‘mil’ which means a thousand. However, they also don’t have a thousand legs either, most have less than a hundred, but all have less than a thousand. Evidence from fossils suggest that Millipedes were one of the first to ever leave water to land and breathe air.

As you can see, this one is carrying an injury, but doesn’t seem to be affected by it. It coiled itself up (a defensive move) when I found it, so left my phone running to capture it un-coil and continue.

{Remember to watch in HD if possible}


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The Tarantula Wolf Spider With Her Babies (Video)

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Whilst walking Wally (the dog) this morning, our local Tarantula Wolf Spider (Lycosa tarantula) was out of her nest either feeding on the many flies and ants the rain has brought out or she was making home improvements to her burrow opening.

As soon as she saw me she darted into the nest so I set my mobile (Samsung Galaxy S8+) up outside her burrow and left it there while I wandered along to the river. About 10 minutes later I returned to witness her dart into the burrow again.

This is the video the phone captured. You can clearly see the babies moving around on her back. They are getting quite large now and some have even started to wander around the outside of the burrow and even leave on their own life adventures. Who knows, maybe she’s outside trying to get them to pluck up the courage to leave. You’ll notice she has quite a nice garden and lawn growing now due to the recent rain.

{Remember to watch in HD if possible}


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Flying Ant Day – Nuptial Flight (Video)

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One day every year, when the conditions are right, Winged Ants take to the air in order to create new colonies. Today, here all around the Quinta the skies became full of large flying Ants. There are many Ant species in Portugal, which these are I’m not certain (please get in touch if you know!).

Deep inside the Ant colonies, Winged species are breed and wait until its time for the Nuptial flight. Both Males and Virgin Queens take to the skies. The Queens release pheromones to entice males. Successful males mate with multiple Queens before dying, yep, their life is complete! The Queens, which now have their Spermatheca organ full of sperm, land back on the ground. They contain enough sperm to fertilise eggs for their entire lifetime, which I have read can be up to 20 years! On the ground, the (no longer) Virgin Queen has to find a new location to build her new colony and constantly lay eggs. They no longer have a use for the wings, so they tear them off and discard them. Fascinated by this I grabbed my Mobile Phone and recorded a few clips.

Here is the edit I put together to show this amazing transformation.

{Remember to watch in HD if possible}


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