It’s very common during the courting period that male European Bee-Eaters will catch and offer larger insects to his female, very romantic you may say. However, yesterday evening I witnessed something even more romantic and I’ve never seen it before……
The male arrived with a large Butterfly or Moth and when it was offered to his lady, they spend about 30 seconds tugging it, breaking it into two so that they both had an piece. It was no accident, it was obvious from the pulling that they wanted to share it. These stunning birds continue to amaze me! The photos aren’t great as the angle was a bit odd to the light.
I have quite a few shots from a session of shooting into the sunset yesterday evening and I’ll post a new blog entry soon, but this photo deserves it’s own post!
As a photographer, you can put yourself in the right place at the right time by careful planning, but sometimes that extra bit of luck can make all the difference.
Here is a backlit shot of a European Bee-Eater swopping in to catch a Honey Bee. In case you are wondering, it easily caught it and took it to feed a juvenile perched waiting on a nearby electricity cable.
I’ve mentioned on many occasions about the colony of European Bee-Eaters that use to establish every year around the quinta but for unknown reasons have been absent for 2 summers. However, over the last few mornings as daylight starts to break a flock of them arrive outside the bedroom window and every day the numbers are increasing. I suspect it is groups from various colonies that have finished breeding joining together. A quick guestimate is that the group is between 50, maybe 60 birds.
Tonight they even came for an evening communal hunt and whilst we eat alfresco we were surrounded by them swooping just a few meters away. If this happens again tomorrow I will be ready with a camera for some sunset backlit shots. Photographs in the early mornings have been hindered by some hill fog (that clears very quickly once the sun rises) so morning shots have been difficult. However, here are some from yesterday morning.
Friday finally saw my 500mm f/4 Lens go off for it’s tripod mount collar repair and even though I’m going to miss the beginning of the spring/summer season whilst it is on its trip to Barcelona, I am still preparing for its return.
Today, I went on a scouting mission to find where the local European Bee-eaters are starting to nest build and it if you know what you are looking for, it didn’t take too long. Although there was no real evidence of new nest building at this location, I sat under a nearby Oak tree and waited. 20 minutes later a pair arrived. I was sat in full view of them, but they didn’t seem too bothered. I did have my “walkabout” lens (the trusty Nikon 80-400mm) so did manage to shoot a few photos before I left them to their colony building.
My view of their flight wasn’t great as it was into the sun, but did shoot this back-lit shot with the sun’s rays shining through the wings.
Whilst I still wait for the travel restrictions to ease so that I can take my “big lens” to Lisbon to be repaired (Read more about the disaster!), I have been going through some past sessions of Bee-Eaters. Here is a photo of a male (a lot of brown colouring on the wing is the giveaway) that I photographed in 2018. I will be investigating this location soon as I’m not sure that the colony is still nesting at this location.
Hopefully, the lens will be fixed soon and I’ll be back with more sessions like this!
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