The Acorn Harvesters Are Busy

There are lots and I mean lots of Jays locally collecting food from the rich source of Acorns available.

Although you can only see one Acorn, this Jay probably has a few inside its gullet too. Ever wondered why an Oak tree starts to grown in a strange place where there are no Oak trees close by? It probably came from a “cached” Acorn that was forgotten about.

The Dampness At Night Has Started The Beeps

Now that autumn is starting, although the days are still warm, even hot, the evenings are starting to cool down and dew is settling. This has started the almost electronic sounding beeps of the autumn mating calls of the Iberian Midwife Toads.

We have one in our vegetable patch tonight, clever toad as its very damp in there and plenty of bugs to eat. It was calling this evening so I found it and took this photo with my smartphone. These toads are small, this one smaller than 4cm in length.

I will try and get some video of it calling over the next few nights, but of course if I approach, it stops.

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A Little Autumn Rain Is Transforming The Landscape

We’ve had a bit of an unusual (for late October) cold spell recently which has brought some welcome rain. I say welcome, from a photography point of view not so, but from a nature point of view, certainly.

It is starting to transform the landscape from dusty and dry to lush and green. Grass is now growing where it has been absent since mid summer.

(all photos shot and edited using Lightroom on my Samsung Galaxy S8+)

Morning dew on new grass

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The Rain Has Saturated The Landacape

After no rain here in São Marcos da Serra for almost 6 months (last rained at the beginning of June), 2 days of Autumnal showers, sometimes heavy, have already transformed the landscape. A combination of the washing away of dust and a well needed drink for the wild trees and plants means they are looking very green already. Soon the grasses will start to grow and transform the hillsides of the Algarve.

I took this photo of an unharvested Cork Oak Tree in a small wooded area we are lucky to own. The cork is due for harvesting next summer where I’ll certainly document. 

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After the First Rain

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Deers, Birds, even more Sheep, but no Little Owls

I was up before sunrise on Sunday as the weather forecast looked promising and decided to go off in search of some Little Owls.

There are a couple of locations that I’m aware of inside the grounds of Calke Abbey in Staffordshire, however, no matter how far I walked, how long I waited and how much time I strained my eyes through binoculars, they decided to not to show themselves.

However, all was not lost as I could clearly hear the Red and Fallow Deer Stags bellowing across the entire estate so I made my way to the enclosure to capture the following photos.

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Red Deer Stag Bellowing
Red Deer Stag Bellowing – D810, AF-S 500mm f/4 @ 500mm, f/8, ISO800, 1/250sec – {Flickr Link}

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Squirrelling About In Bad Light

All day today the light was beautiful, until I decided to go out to one of the local nature reserves and it went very overcast and almost dark.

I was determined to get something though, there were Grey Squirrels everywhere and I managed to get a shot of this little guy foraging around. It’s not super sharp as it was tough to try and freeze him running around with only 1/125sec shutter speed but (for me anyway) it’s a keeper as I like the framing the ferns gave the photo.

On the way back to the car, I was getting blitzed by discarded Acorn shells as I walked through the forest!

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Grey Squirrel
Grey Squirrel – D810, AF-S 500mm f/4 @ 500mm, f/4.5, ISO1250, 1/125sec – {Flickr Link}
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