Scouting Mission To Find The Local Bee-Eater Colony

Friday finally saw my 500mm f/4 Lens go off for it’s tripod mount collar repair and even though I’m going to miss the beginning of the spring/summer season whilst it is on its trip to Barcelona, I am still preparing for its return.

Today, I went on a scouting mission to find where the local European Bee-eaters are starting to nest build and it if you know what you are looking for, it didn’t take too long. Although there was no real evidence of new nest building at this location, I sat under a nearby Oak tree and waited. 20 minutes later a pair arrived. I was sat in full view of them, but they didn’t seem too bothered. I did have my “walkabout” lens (the trusty Nikon 80-400mm) so did manage to shoot a few photos before I left them to their colony building.

My view of their flight wasn’t great as it was into the sun, but did shoot this back-lit shot with the sun’s rays shining through the wings.


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Breakfast With Bee-Eaters

Early this morning we had a thick fog and as it started to clear the warmth of the sun was good enough for me to wander around the garden eating my breakfast cereal. In the distance I could hear European Bee-Eaters and before I could blink a large group of between 25 and 30 of them appeared out of the fog. Almost dropping my bowl as I ran to the house to grab the camera, I was lucky that they decided to perch on a nearby electricity cable and stop to hunt for their breakfast. Photos aren’t my usual close-ups (see some past photos at the end) as I was still some distance away and of course the clearing fog didn’t help.


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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.

Here is a quick shot of the male.


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European Bee-Eaters Update…..Are They Back…….?

…..sort of…..!

None of the local colonies have established yet, but there is the odd occasional Bee-Eater flying around. I suspected this cold and wet spring would delay them slightly. I remember from 2018 when we had a lot of rain in February and April, they were 2 weeks late, they are currently 9 days late.

As for photographing the ones that are here, well the light is also terrible, but here is a quick shot that I grabbed this morning of one flying quite high.

UPDATE : Since this morning the noise of these amazing birds has been increasing so it seems they are returning in numbers now. More tomorrow…..


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Framed Single Edition Collection of European Bee-Eaters

Back in June I displayed at the International Show at Fatacil, Lagoa and I created a one-off collection showcasing some of my European Bee-Eater photos from 2018 and 2019.

It has been created as a never to be reproduced collection. Whilst there was a great deal of interest in this collection it remained unsold at the show. This collection is mounted in a white deep box frame measuring 30x90cm with each of the 5 photographs measuring 13x18cm.

It is now available to purchase as a unique single edition in the Web Shop. Please note, as with all my framed prints, this is collection (or meet and greet in Central Algarve) only.

{Click image to view in the shop}


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The Local European Bee-Eater Colony Is Now Huge!

Almost every evening (and early morning) the local European Bee-Eater colony come to feed in and around the Quinta.

This evening I sat on the side of a nearby banking, amongst the overgrowth but certainly not hidden and was given a spectacular display of acrobatics.

If I was to guess how many are now in this colony, I would say at least 50 if not more, it seems to have been a successful breeding year for them!

I love the colours on this back-lit shot with one changing direction to catch a Bee.


📷 Nikon D850, AF-S 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR @ 400mm, 1/3200sec, f/8, ISO320

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