Smartphone photography is a little restrictive which actually makes it fun. Trying to get a shot that shouldn’t work is a real challenge. This morning I was down at the river and the sun was beaming down onto the bridge/ford and the rising steam made it look amazing. The sun is a little blown out, but again, that’s the restriction on a smartphone as its dynamic range (the difference between the darks and lights) it can capture is quite small.
As the saying goes, the best camera is the one you have with you, so I wasn’t going to miss an opportunity to capture this. Once the world returns to some sort of normal, keep an eye out for my Smartphone Workshops!
We’ve had a lot of rain over the past few days which is great as the River Odelouca has gone from dry to full overnight. Due to the the warm temperatures this morning we had a thick mist here in the hills.
Whilst out with the dogs I snapped a few photos on my mobile of some of the amazing cobwebs reflecting water droplets in the early morning sun as the mist was clearing.
There has been a Starling mimicking a Golden Oriole all winter but last week I heard not only a song but a call and knew there was at least one Golden Oriole back.
This morning I heard a song near the river and it was far too good to be a Starling, soon after I heard the call. Even though the males are bright yellow, they blend in with green leaves very well. However, his continued song and call gave his location away and I managed to grab a quick record shot of him. There was two and I suspect the other was a female which is much more greener and even more difficult to spot.
Whilst walking the dogs, I spotted this Viperine partially submerged where the water runs through the tubes on the bridge/ford near the house.
The Viperine is a harmless semi-aquatic snake that takes it’s name from the fact that it’s head is shaped like a Viper. I think this was quite young, it was only around 25-30cms in length, they can grow up to 85cm.
I watched it for a while and it was being very clever. Due to the recent rain, the river is flowing well and it was catching small fish as they get sucked through the tube.
Photos aren’t great as they are from my smartphone which struggles to see through reflections in water.
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.
Last year you may remember I was watching and photographing a pair of Blue Rock Thrushes that were constantly defending a nesting spot in a ruin from very persistent Sparrows who wanted the same spot (although the Sparrows were there first!).
Once breeding time came, the pair disappeared as if the Sparrows got the upper hand.
This morning I spotted Bluey, the male Blue Rock Thrush (only the male is blue, the female is brown). Of course, it could be a different Bluey from last year. I was camera-less this morning but will be grabbing some shots soon. I didn’t see the female but suspect she will be there somewhere.
Here are 2 shots from last year of both the male and female.
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