It was one of those days today, a high risk of failure to get the photos I planned. I was hoping to write my next Algarve Resident article about the Nightingales and they incredibly difficult to photograph as they always keep themselves in thick cover. After sitting and waiting by 4 separate Nightingales, all within a few meters of me, I gave up after 2 hours and headed back. Whilst walking along the river bank I spotted a small flock of Linnets splashing around in the shallow water. All but one male flew for cover and he was happy for me to sit and photograph him whilst he took a long bath a relief for my dissapointment earlier.
I don’t normally pick a camera up when it’s raining (unless its a photo of the weather of course!) but we are currently in the process of revamping the gardens around the Quinta. This is bringing in bird life to forage through the mess and I noticed a Black Redstart this morning so grabbed the camera (D850 armed with 80-400mm), however, my attentions were soon diverted to a pair of Eurasian Blackcaps who really didn’t seem bothered by my presence as they happily sifted through the gravel and dead leaves coming within a few metres of where I was sat. The female was constantly checking where her male was, so these will soon be nest building nearby.
Although the light levels with the persistent drizzle was terrible I couldn’t help myself but to share a picture of each.
First is the male and you can instantly recognise why it’s called a Blackcap. Often people are confused with the similar Sardinian Warbler, but that has a white breast and also a red ring around the eye.
I was taking a break and having a late afternoon beverage (A Sagres Bohemia) and grabbed the camera as there were plenty of Common Chiffchaffs darting in and out of my Oak Trees. They didn’t stand still long enough to get a photo but I heard a Blue Tit calling behind me that was being lit from the side by the late afternoon setting sun.
The Garden Warbler is does not breed in the southern half of Portugal but can be seen in trees and bushes as a passing migrant. This morning I was trying to photograph some very eluding Robins that have arrived in the garden for the winter (for this month’s Algarve Resident article) and I spotted a bird foraging through the branches of an Oak Tree. Eventually, it popped out on to an exposed branch and I grabbed a quick shot before it disappeared.
The Garden Warbler is well known for being a bit plain-looking with no features and I wasn’t sure but thanks to friend and bird guru Frank McKlintock (Birding In Portugal) for the confirmation.
It’s always a good feeling when I get a first spot along with a photo. I’ve also spotted a pair of Black Caps in the garden too. I’ve seen many of these, but again, never in the garden. This year, I have thinned a lot of bushes and shrubs which have seemed to have attracted more birds.
If you have been following me for a while you will know how lucky I am to have Kingfishers living on a stretch of the River Odelouca that runs through my land. Over the last few years, I have been lucky to bring you some beautiful photos of Common Kingfishers and I hope that the adults have successfully bred again this year.
To get everyone in the mood, here is a fresh, previously unpublished photo of a juvenile female from last year. I will soon be looking for some locations to shoot from.
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