So Lucky To Have 3 Of My Favourite Bird Species Nearby (Plus A Rare Flyby!)

This morning, I was sat on the terrace drinking a Coffee and a pair (male and female) of Golden Orioles came into plain view in a Eucalyptus tree about 50 meters away. I wasn’t quick enough to grab the camera and get the female, but I got the male. This isn’t the same location as the nearby “Oriole Terrace” this is so much closer. They actually woke me at 6am with their stunning song, I suspect they are going to nest in this tree which is fantastic news. They also have the choice of many Fig trees nearby so is the perfect location, their Portuguese name is actually Papa-figo as Figs are their food of choice. All of the photos below are shot on my D850 and then transferred with SnapBridge to my smartphone and edited in Lightroom.

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Here is a quick shot of the male.

Then if that wasn’t good enough, a pair of European Bee-eaters came flying past too. We are still very low on numbers locally of these birds, it’s difficult to understand why the large colony of last year (40+ birds) have not arrived back here. Hopefully, they are nearby but out of earshot.

In complete coincidence, my article in this months Algarve Resident is all about these 2 bird species it is on sale and the online version will follow in the next few days.

Just to add one more amazing bird to this list, the male Blue Rock Thrush is busy singing from high vantage points, here he is on top of an electricity post. I’m still yet to see a female so it’s possible he’s still on the search for a mate. If it’s the same one as last year, then what happened to his female?

Finally, a few days ago, we had a very rare flyby of a single Griffon Vulture, it was clearly on the move northwards so on migration. He was a fair distance by the time I grabbed the camera, hence the fuzzy photo.

To think that all of these birds have been spotted from sitting on my terrace is amazing!!!!!! I am so lucky.

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  1. Hiya Craig

    Sorry not seen your site before so I am a newcomer to it.
    Brilliant shots of the birds you have taken & also the other shots of life in Portugal.
    Not heard or seen any Orials as yet but still looking. During the lockdown we have found it amazing the “local” birds on the doorstep so to say.
    Found a new nesting site of Bee eaters, Little owl & a Green woodpeckers nest all within a 5 minute walk of the house. Also red leg Partridge by the dozen, we know we have them ,but not so many.
    Great shot of the Vulture you got passing by, was only saying yesterday, we seem a little devoid of the “Big Birds” so far. Just managed 3 short toed 2 weeks ago over the house.
    As you rightly say is it because of the weather we have been experiencing over the last few months, that its slowed things down a little.
    Saw an interesting one the other day, a Woodchat shrike that seemed to be black all over, thought it was a flycatcher at first, but too early. Maybe a juve or something, I dont know. Watched it for a few minutes, certainly a shrike but smaller than Normal & as I say All black. ?? haven’t seen it again to get a shot of it.
    Thanks for the great Pictures

    1. Thanks for the great feedback and also the amazing story about your local bird life. Interesting that you mention the shrike, are you sure it wasn’t the Iberian Grey Shrike, that has a lot of black? With regards to “big birds”, getting up into the plains of the Lower Alentejo is amazing, every time I go there something new amazes me.

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