Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers Pairing (Video)

We are lucky to have a large number of Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers in our area here in the Algarve Hills and right now spring has certainly began as they are calling and drumming (and so are the Greater Spotted Woodpeckers too).

Both Lesser and Greater Spotted Woodpeckers drum to attract the opposite sex (females and males do this), the louder the drum, the better the chance of attraction. They have worked out that man-made objects make more noise than trees and therefore you often see them drumming on anything that makes a loud noise.

This morning, I watched a male drumming on a street light and grabbed my mobile to film him, apologies for the footage as I also had to use the digital zoom which has caused quality issues. However, it is worth sharing because as you will see, shortly after I start, a female comes along, you can hear her calling just before she flies in. The male seems to flee, but he lands in a nearby tree and after a quick nibble on the insects on the post, the female joins him. It’s great to have witnessed this pairing up!

The orientation may not be right with the embedded video, so mobile viewers will be better watching directly on YouTube at https://youtu.be/gnaXDgxACYo

{Remember to watch in HD if possible}


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It’s That Time Of Year To Start Thinking Of Preventative Measures……

It’s been a very wet and cold winter for Algarve standards and the last thing on people’s minds is the hot and dry summer which gives risk to wildfires. If you have never witnessed a wildfire close up, then you may still not appreciate the devastation and huge danger these cause.

We had a close shave last year with the São Marcos da Serra wildfire starting very close to the quinta. Remember, that the March 15th deadline is approaching where rural land requires clearing around the house (Information Here…).

Just as a reminder of the devastation caused by the wildfires below are the two short films I made after 2 of the fires.

The first one is last year’s fire close to the house

{Remember to watch in HD if possible}


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Our Resident Prickly Hog

We’ve had a Hedgehog resident around the quinta for sometime and I noticed it tonight foraging around the some catcus. It saw me and hid in the undergrowth, but I knew there was only one way out.

So I grabbed an LED light and placed it high in a tree pointing downwards, I don’t like the idea of using flash at night on animals so the idea was to have a fairly dim light and shoot with a high ISO.

I set the camera (Nikon D850 with 80-400mm) on a Bean Bag (available in the shop) and lay on the ground silently waiting……..and waiting……it took an hour before it came out the way I was hoping and I grabbed this shot below. Considering the high ISO and quite shallow depth of field, it’s a stunner!

(Click to view in Lightbox)


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One Of The New Neighbours

I posted last week about a pair of Little Owls that have moved into a dead Cork Oak near the Quinta.

This morning, I managed to grab a nice side-lit shot of one of them. I am still without my “big gun” after it suffering damage (good news is, it is being repaired, more on this soon), so I was armed with what I call my walkabout lens, the fab Nikon 80-400mm VR.

I’m looking forward to getting some great shots of these two and I am working out an angle so that I can hide and shoot, but until my 500mm lens has been repaired it is all in vain.

(Click to view in Lightbox)


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Adobe Lightroom Classic Bird Specific Brush Presets

If you use Adobe Lightroom Classic and are looking to improve your processing of your Bird Photography, then I am pleased to announce that I am now sharing the Local Adjustment Brush Presets that I have been using for many years.

This “Bird Pack” has many useful brushes which I have created to really bring your photographs to life. The pack is currently at a launch discount rate of just €9 (half price!) and is available for immediate download if paying by PayPal (Bank Transfer will activate the downloads once received).

These brushes are intended to be used as starting point for processing with the intention of slight alterations to your own preferences and photograph requirements.

More information on these Brush Presets can be found in the Adobe Lightroom Classic Brush Presets : Bird Pack Product Page.

Here is a video all about them and how I use them.

{Remember to watch in HD if possible}


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Online Adobe Lightroom Classic Workshops Now Available

There’s no hiding away from the fact that I’m missing my workshops, if you have attended one of my workshops you’ll know that there is a passion for delivering my knowledge of photography to all.

Whilst behind the scenes I am busy simmering away organising something bigger and better here in the Algarve for when life after Covid-19 arrives, I have decided to put together a workshop that I can deliver online using the power of the Zoom Video Conference Platform.

So I have great pleasure in announcing my Adobe Lightroom Classic Workshop in a 1 to 1 format (multiple people from the same household are invited at no extra cost). A great way to learn the next step of photography whilst we remain in lockdown, I’m taking bookings now and the workshops start from 25th February.


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