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

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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…….?

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…..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

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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!

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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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The Unmistakable Colours Of The European Bee-Eater Backlit By The Sunset

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Almost every evening the now re-grouped huge colony of European Bee-Eaters arrive around the Quinta, they are taking an easy meal from nearby Honey Bee Hives.

They are always west of the Quinta which means they are beautifully back-lit by the setting sun.

Today, I was waiting with a camera and grabbed a shot of one landing with a catch. Just look how the sun is shining through the feathers!

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European Bee-Eater Back-lit By The Setting Sun
📷 Nikon D850, AF-S 80-400 f/4.5-5.6 @ 400mm, f/8, 1/3200sec, ISO1100

A Local Bee-Eater Nest Is Now Very Active

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After the disappointment of finding a destroyed Bee-Eater nest (see HERE) and of course, one dead and one rescued nestling, I took a look at another location where there are nests and watched a pair actively returning to the nest over and over with food for the young inside. Whilst the birds are digging their nests and mating, I (mostly) leave them alone as not to cause them to flee and abandon, but now they young to feed I will watch and shoot from a safe distance.

The great news is that it has a very natural hide for me courtesy of the river bank. I look forward over the next few days capturing some shots, although the very unseasonable cool and cloudy weather may put a stop to it!

Here is a shot I got of one of the parents leaving the nest.


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