Scratches On A Pine Tree

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This morning I noticed some scratches on a Pine Tree next to the river.

It could be cats but the claw marks seem to wide.

I think it deserves a trail cam to be pointed at and I’ll let you know. I’m guessing it could be Badgers.

Whilst sitting here on the river bank writing this I have 3 Kingfishers flying around me. There seems to be a pair and they are not happy there is a 3rd here.


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Who Remembers The 110 Compact Film Cameras?

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Today (or actually yesterday because I’ve noticed it’s actually now after midnight) I gave my first Photography lesson at the fantastic new Algarve International School near Vale do Lobo. They have a great concept of teaching in which the students are given the opportunity to learn creative subjects. I am honoured to be part of this new exciting school and will be teaching one afternoon a week.

As part of the introduction to cameras I shared my memories of the first photos I took that had a purpose other than holidays snaps. It was 1990 and I was in exam year of my GCSEs. I chose to write my Geography Coursework on River Errosion. I required photographs of bends in the local Rhymney River to include in my project. Remember this was 1990, no digital cameras and not even a PC to type it on. My school had one PC and even the IT Teacher didn’t know how to use it. He didn’t know how to turn off Jingle Bells playing everytime it was turned on either, I never did get found out for doing that, in May!

Anyway, my camera of choice was a Boots Tele 110, yes I had a fancy one that was a huge £3 more expensive than the Mini 110. It had a mechanical switch to change from the normal lens to a telephoto lens.


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Blue Rock Thrush In The Garden!

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This morning, I could hear a call that was familiar, but couldn’t quite place it. On taking a look, it all came back to me, there was a male Blue Rock Thrush calling in the garden. I grabbed the binoculars and waited. I wanted to see where it was going. Near to the house there are 2 ruins and I suspected it would head to the larger of the 2. I wasn’t wrong!

I didn’t want to get close as it’s obviously choosing a new nest site and didn’t want to destroy any chances of it being so close. Today is a terrible day for bird photography with heavy grey wet skies.

I did manage to get a a couple of shots of him from a distance. I didn’t spot the female, but in this terrible light, she would be quite difficult to spot as she is much more like a female Blackbird in appearance so would blend in with the trees and bushes. I really hope that they will remain here, the perfect nest site for them and I will bring you some amazing shots of them.


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All of the content displayed on this website (unless otherwise stated) remains the copyright of Craig Rogers. It is illegal to download, copy (including copy by reference) or distribute any content without prior permission and/or licensing. Please read my Copyright Statement.

New Field Trip Available – Day Trip To Castro Verde – 13th May 2020

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I’ve been planning this trip for a while (since last year) and today I can finally announce a date and bookings are already available. Only 8 spaces are available so will probably sell out quite quickly.

Here is a date for your diary, Wednesday 13th May 2020. This is a guided trip to the amazing Castro Verde area in the Lower Alentejo with transport included.

Come and join me for a day where you’ll be picked up in either Albufeira, São Bartolomeu de Messines or São Marcos da Serra in a Air Conditioned 9-seater Minibus and driven into the Steppe terrain around Castro Verde. You will visit the fantastic LPN centre nearby where you will have a presentation followed by staff available for any questions. For those that are feeling the need to explore, we will take a gentle 3.5km walk around the site to view the many species of bird life present in this area. If we are lucky we will see the beautiful European Roller that breed at the centre.

After a lunch stop (not included) you’ll be driven around the local Castro Verde area on the hunt for some of the larger species of raptors that frequent the area, including various Vultures, Eagles and Harriers. Of course, we may even get to spot the Little and Great Bustards that the LPN have helped survive in the area.

More details and bookings can be made on the Photography Field Trip: A Day Trip To Castro Verde, Alentejo shop page.

Montagu’s Harriers Displaying

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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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All of the content displayed on this website (unless otherwise stated) remains the copyright of Craig Rogers. It is illegal to download, copy (including copy by reference) or distribute any content without prior permission and/or licensing. Please read my Copyright Statement.

Common Linnets Feeding In The Garden (including Competition Winner!)

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A few days ago I was photographing the Serins that have flocked around the Quinta and a surprising couple turned up. I say surprising as I’ve never seen them this close to the house before. There are certainly not a rare bird and often see them along the river banks.

The female arrived first and it wasn’t until the male followed soon after that it was obviously a pair of Common Linnets. The male has a pinkish-red breast that really makes him stand out. This will further become saturated as the breeding season starts. They are ground feeders which is why they are currently mixed in with the Serins, this is common behaviour to see mixed Finches in flocks during the winter.

With the scientific name of Linaria cannabina, the Linnet has 6 sub-species, the one found locally in the Iberia, Mediterranean and North West Africa is the Linaria cannabina mediterranea. Like most finches, they are a small bird at around 14cm in length and their diet consists of mainly seeds and buds.

Here is the impressive male….


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All images are protected by international copyright!
All of the content displayed on this website (unless otherwise stated) remains the copyright of Craig Rogers. It is illegal to download, copy (including copy by reference) or distribute any content without prior permission and/or licensing. Please read my Copyright Statement.