Morning Dog Walk: Busy Great Tit Parents

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I take a camera along on my Dog Walks to bring you some of the sightings that I see on my morning walks, these photos are rarely going to be great quality as its hard enough keeping an energetic Dog entertained and get close enough to anything. They also help me identify where species are so that I can plan to return.

This time of year, if you stop and watch for a few minutes you soon realise how busy life is around you. This morning, I stopped because I could hear 4 or 5 Golden Orioles singing and calling unfortunately they were at a section of the river that I can’t get to when I’m with Wally. The Bee-Eaters were busy building their nest holes and I watched a pair of Great Tits busy feeding their young inside a rotten tree trunk. Incredibly this Pear (I think) Tree is still alive and has some blossom.

The rain clouds are taking a while to clear today, it is forecast to start clearing up now! It was terrible light so although I had to shoot at very high ISOs and the shots are not great, I couldn’t resist such an easy target. I will be revisiting in a few days to take some shots in better light.

As you can see in the photos, not only were the parents bringing food, but they were also removing the Fecal (or Faecal) sacks. These are a membrane sack that most baby birds excrete almost immediately after being fed which ensures the parent will then take it away.

{Click image for a higher resolution}





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2 Comments

  1. Thank you for your delightful Algarve Resident column, which gladdens the heart of this, near 80yr-young, washed-up former sailor!
    I was wondering if you will be including the ultra-early arrival of the swifts – a pair of which first appeared in Feb in ‘my’ boat-yard in VRSA.
    100% with you on magical bee-eaters, which my late skipper and I were privileged to ‘monitor’ while at anchor up the Guadiana River, many years ago now.
    Am also graced with the occasional presence, on-board the neighbouring (abandoned) sailing vessel, of a hoopoe, calling or silent. Is there a variety whose call has a bell-like tinkle to it? I have only once heard such a call, recently, in the neighbouring pine-woods.
    I have been intrigued that, having watched a group of 9 spoonbills on the Spanish side of the rio, I have never seen them on this riverside, although a friend did spot some further up-river on a Portuguese bank.
    Having finally seen your ‘address’ footnote, I am enrolling for your newsletter.
    Kind regards.

    1. Wow, what an amazing comment and thanks for the great feedback. The Swifts are certainly a great bird to see flying around and of course we have 4 variety of Swifts (Common, Palid, Alpine and White Rumped). I wrote an article last year which also includes Swallows and Martins. It can be read on the Resident website at https://www.portugalresident.com/2018/08/02/swallows-martins-and-swifts/

      Spoonbills can be found in the Algarve at many freshwater lagoons along the South Coast. There are many at Ludo (near Faro Airport) for example.

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