Morning Dog Walk : First Otter Spraint In A While

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This morning I spotted the first Otter Spraint that I’ve noticed in a long time along our section of the River Odelouca. I often wonder what happens to the Otters when the river dries, I suspect their food source is in the farmer’s and firefighter’s barragems (man-made lakes).

You’ll notice that the Spraint is dark brown instead of the usually red colouring. This is due to the current lack of Louisiana Crayfish in the river.


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Violet Carpenter Bees Are Out Of Hibernation

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This is a real sign that the thermometers are rising, it has been well over 20 degree Celsius for the last few days during the daytime and this has awoken the Violet Carpenter Bees.

These gentle giants are flying around feeding and also mating. You may think that these are dangerous due to their size, but are really docile and yes like all bees the female has a stinger, but rarely uses it. Many people think these are black, but if you look closely, you will notice the violet reflecting in the sunlight. In some countries Carpenter Bees are a pest as they damage wooden structures, however, Violet Carpenter Bees only seek out dead wood. If you have a garden or some land, leave out a rotting tree trunk or large branch which will become a nest and hibernation home for them. They are solitary bees, but this time of year you may see them mating.

Here are a few shots I snapped in the garden this morning


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Sunset at Farol de Alfanzina

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This shoot was probably my most challenging sunset yet. I wanted to shoot the Farol de Alfanzina (Alfanzina Lighthouse) but also be able to capture the rays of beam. I spent around 3 hours on the cliff to the east of the Lighthouse yesterday afternoon as I prepared the shoot (more information about the shot below).

Should you wish to purchase a print, it is already available in the shop!

{Click image to view in the shop}


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The “Well” Swallows Are Back!

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This morning as I walked the dogs I recognised a familiar bird call followed by a silhouette against the white canvas of the morning hill mist. A pair of Barn Swallows, these are always the first pair to arrive in this area (even though in the Algarve, Barn Swallows can be seen in December) and they are the “Well” Swallows, named because they have their nest down inside a water well.

I was able to hide inside the Well’s pump house to get some great close up shots. I say this everytime, but please don’t approach live bird nests when the young are there, I’m lucky that I can hide away in the pump house completely hidden.

These are the shots I got last year, but I was struggling with light deep down in the well with overhanging trees.


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