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To get everyone in the mood, here is a fresh, previously unpublished photo of a juvenile female from last year.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.
This is an old photo from April 2019 that I discovered today whilst looking for other photos of these tiny Woodpeckers. I hadn’t processed for some reason so it just goes to show that sometimes looking through old photos can bring up a surprise. It is a male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, identified by the red crown as the female doesn’t have it.
It was half in the sun and half hidden by a large branch of this Cork Oak it was making a nest in. Unfortunately, this old tree has since fallen down, it was already dead and it didn’t survive a strong storm.
This shot is one from the same session as last week. Trying to photograph birds in flight with a 500mm f/4 lens and 1.4x teleconverter is difficult at anytime, even more so when crouched on the floor amongst thick foliage covered with a camouflage net. It’s fair to say that the memory card had a lot of missed shots, but when you get a keeper like this, it makes it all the more worthwhile.
This morning I was in the garden shooting backlit Honey Bees (another blog to follow later) and I heard a tapping noise in one of our Oak Trees. I thought it would be the usual Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers which are common in our area, however, when I looked I noticed 2 juvenile Eurasian Nuthatches. Here is a photo of one who briefly posed on top of the tree for me.
I’m about to add a new project to the “To Do List” and for those that have followed me for a while will know that I often spend at least one, usually more, session with the subject before planning the shoots. The reason for this is so that I can understand the behaviours and also work out angles of light and position of myself.
The European Roller has been on my wish list for a while but not only are they difficult to get up close to but also attract what I call the “eBird Magnets”. These are the people who watch the eBird website for sightings of birds and then flock in large numbers. I’m really not a fan of this and it’s not good for vulnerable species such as the European Roller.
This morning I was in the lower Alentejo region, shooting a commissioned landscape (I’ve had to wait since January for the perfect conditions for this shoot) so I decided to use the afternoon as a scouting trip to monitor a location I have known European Rollers to nest. Luckily I was alone and spend a few hours watching them perform their spinning displays which is very similar to that of a Lapwing. Even though these trips are not to get photos, I never miss a chance to grab a shot if one comes along. (More information about these birds below)