Bee-eater Alarm Clock

Facebooktwittermail

As I knew it was going to be another terrible morning for light, I had a lazy morning. Around 8:30am I woke to the sound of a pair of European Bee-eaters outside the bedroom window. As the light was so bad (only nighttime could possibly be worse) I took this shot when one of them sat on a cable that didn’t have the dull grey sky in the background, it’s still fairly high ISO for a static shot at 2800.

The pair were both males, I’m unsure if this is the same pair I keep seeing as still there seems to be very few here.


Continue reading >>

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

Facebooktwittermail

…..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…..


Continue reading >>

The Local European Bee-Eater Colony Is Now Huge!

Facebooktwittermail

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

Continue reading >>

A Local Bee-Eater Nest Is Now Very Active

Facebooktwittermail

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.


Continue reading >>

Nature Being Nature Is Tough Sometimes

Facebooktwittermail

A few days ago we found a very young European Bee-Eater, when I say very young, it was still a nestling. The new feathers still had their “straw” coverings.

This was confusing as European Bee-Eaters nest in deep tunnels and the young shouldn’t be out of the nest.

The bird is now in the care of the guys at RIAS in Olhão (RIAS website) and if all goes well, we can visit to see the release.

However, the confusion has been resolved.

Unfortunately, one of the nests has been dug open. I don’t really know what has done this, possibly a Fox, Marten, Weasel or Polecat.


Continue reading >>

Update On The Local European Bee-Eaters

Facebooktwittermail

You may think that I’ve gone a bit quiet on the local Bee-Eater colony, but I am still keeping an eye on them, however, I’m leaving them in peace to finish off their nesting tunnels before I spend more time amongst them.

This afternoon I was working on something new at “A Rocha”, an area on top of a large rocky lump that I leave to the wildlife. I have spotted some Rock Buntings and I’m planning some shots so was setting a nice scene around a small water pond I built some time ago. The Bee-Eaters were all around hunting and I wondered why they didn’t seem too bothered about my presence. I moved a little closer to a spot where I can over look a tree they usually rest on and they didn’t seem bothered at all that I was there. I was standing in direct view and they happily carried on with their activities. This is a great afternoon spot for watching and photographing them, so will plan a session here in the near future. I think they have almost finished their tunnels now and will soon be moving in and I’m looking forward to getting close up to them.

Although I was close, I was only armed with my 80-400mm so was a little short on reach, but at least I got these shots to show how great an angle it is!


Continue reading >>