Blue Rock Thrush In The Garden!

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This morning, I could hear a call that was familiar, but couldn’t quite place it. On taking a look, it all came back to me, there was a male Blue Rock Thrush calling in the garden. I grabbed the binoculars and waited. I wanted to see where it was going. Near to the house there are 2 ruins and I suspected it would head to the larger of the 2. I wasn’t wrong!

I didn’t want to get close as it’s obviously choosing a new nest site and didn’t want to destroy any chances of it being so close. Today is a terrible day for bird photography with heavy grey wet skies.

I did manage to get a a couple of shots of him from a distance. I didn’t spot the female, but in this terrible light, she would be quite difficult to spot as she is much more like a female Blackbird in appearance so would blend in with the trees and bushes. I really hope that they will remain here, the perfect nest site for them and I will bring you some amazing shots of them.


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4K Video Of A Young Female Kingfisher (Video)

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Yesterday morning whilst walking the dogs, I spotted a pair of Kingfishers already playing “Kiss Chase” up and down the river. This is a ritual that a mating pair carry out at the start of the breeding season. It’s not even March yet!

As a reminder,you can View All My Kingfishers From The 2019 Project.

Coincidentally, whilst going through some of my photo storage today, I stumbled across a short video I took during a session where I took these 2 shots.

Common Kingfisher (Juvenile Female) - Guarda-rios (juvenil femea) - Alcedo atthis
The Stare (Common Kingfisher) : 📷 Nikon D850, AF-S 500mm f/4 @ 1/800sec, f/11, ISO640
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Morning Dog Walk: “Bluey” Is Back

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Last year you may remember I was watching and photographing a pair of Blue Rock Thrushes that were constantly defending a nesting spot in a ruin from very persistent Sparrows who wanted the same spot (although the Sparrows were there first!).

Once breeding time came, the pair disappeared as if the Sparrows got the upper hand.

This morning I spotted Bluey, the male Blue Rock Thrush (only the male is blue, the female is brown). Of course, it could be a different Bluey from last year. I was camera-less this morning but will be grabbing some shots soon. I didn’t see the female but suspect she will be there somewhere.

Here are 2 shots from last year of both the male and female.

Male Blue Rock Thrush - Melro-azul - Monticola solitarius
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A Quick Hunt For A Bluethroat Paid Off!

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This morning I was shooting some Real Estate photography (see my other venture FotoSul) and decided to make a long morning of photography. I was at Ferragudo before sunrise in the hope that the clouds would clear as promised, they didn’t (A blog coming later on this!) and I even ended up dodging the rain. I still had an hour to waste before meeting my Real Estate Agent client in Praia da Luz so I headed to the wetlands near Alvor in hope of finding a Bluethroat.

During the summer months, they are high up in the northern parts of the world and come south for the winter. In the Algarve, they can be spotted in many of the wetlands on the south coast.

I was driving down the very muddy track to the wetlands when I spotted a Bird of Prey, probably a Marsh Harrier, so I stopped the car and set the camera up. I was shooting in full Manual mode and was ready for an action shot when I noticed a Bluethroat around 20 meters away. Without time to adjust the camera, I quickly grabbed a shot before it flew. I was not expected a great shot, but considering how underexposed the shot is I got bit lucky.


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Underexpose not Overexpose!

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It was just after sunrise (remembering that due to the hills, our sunrise is slightly later than the official one!) and there was a Jay flying from a nearby Oak Tree with an Acorn.

I desperately wanted it to fly the other side of my position but it didn’t, so do I give up, or do I overexpose the shot to try and grab some detail? No, instead, I use the lack of light (in the right place) to my advantage and actually underexpose the shot to capture the back-light and sun shining through the thinner feathers.

This is something we discuss on my Digital Photography Fundamentals Workshop!

{Click image(s) to view on Flickr - opens in new tab}

Jay With An Acorn For Breakfast

Kingfisher Project Is Back On, Plus A Few Other Birds

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For those that Follow Me On Facebook will know that I have continued my Kingfisher Project due to the location of the autumn morning sun lighting a river pool. Whilst walking the dogs, we watched an adult female perched in amazing light on a tree branch, so can’t waste an opportunity like this. I positioned a perch and setup my popup hide yesterday and was at the river this morning. It didn’t quite go as planned as the Kingfisher didn’t use the perch. It seems as now the water level is so low, she prefers to perch higher up to be able to watch a larger area of water. I have now installed a high perch and will return tomorrow morning.

However, all was not lost, I was able to sit and watch this adult female diving and catching fish many times and on one occasion she came up with a Crayfish. I snapped these images. Notice the wet marks on the branch, this is where she was hitting the Crayfish to kill it before eating. I suspect this is “Princessa” that I photographed when she was a juvenile but as I can’t confirm this I am calling this girl Tufty due to her feathers on the back of her head sticking up. Not sure these are permanently like this or just because she was wet.


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