I’ve mentioned on many occasions about the colony of European Bee-Eaters that use to establish every year around the quinta but for unknown reasons have been absent for 2 summers. However, over the last few mornings as daylight starts to break a flock of them arrive outside the bedroom window and every day the numbers are increasing. I suspect it is groups from various colonies that have finished breeding joining together. A quick guestimate is that the group is between 50, maybe 60 birds.
Tonight they even came for an evening communal hunt and whilst we eat alfresco we were surrounded by them swooping just a few meters away. If this happens again tomorrow I will be ready with a camera for some sunset backlit shots. Photographs in the early mornings have been hindered by some hill fog (that clears very quickly once the sun rises) so morning shots have been difficult. However, here are some from yesterday morning.
Friday finally saw my 500mm f/4 Lens go off for it’s tripod mount collar repair and even though I’m going to miss the beginning of the spring/summer season whilst it is on its trip to Barcelona, I am still preparing for its return.
Today, I went on a scouting mission to find where the local European Bee-eaters are starting to nest build and it if you know what you are looking for, it didn’t take too long. Although there was no real evidence of new nest building at this location, I sat under a nearby Oak tree and waited. 20 minutes later a pair arrived. I was sat in full view of them, but they didn’t seem too bothered. I did have my “walkabout” lens (the trusty Nikon 80-400mm) so did manage to shoot a few photos before I left them to their colony building.
My view of their flight wasn’t great as it was into the sun, but did shoot this back-lit shot with the sun’s rays shining through the wings.
Early this morning we had a thick fog and as it started to clear the warmth of the sun was good enough for me to wander around the garden eating my breakfast cereal. In the distance I could hear European Bee-Eaters and before I could blink a large group of between 25 and 30 of them appeared out of the fog. Almost dropping my bowl as I ran to the house to grab the camera, I was lucky that they decided to perch on a nearby electricity cable and stop to hunt for their breakfast. Photos aren’t my usual close-ups (see some past photos at the end) as I was still some distance away and of course the clearing fog didn’t help.
The birdlife this year has been great around the Quinta, particularly the smaller birds and whilst I was having an afternoon chilling in the garden, I could hear Crested Tits calling to each other. It has been a strange day and although the Golden Hour was approaching (the great light before sunset and after sunrise) a deep haze filled the sky so not great for photography.
However, I couldn’t help but grab the camera, as you can see, I even managed to get a shot of a male “courtship feeding” a female a caterpillar.
Sometimes it’s great to go over old photos and process ones that you never got around to doing. In a bizarre train of thought, I was talking to a lady who wants to attend a Digital Photography Fundamentals Workshop once they are back up and running and she told me that she was photographing Flamingos near Faro. It had also been foggy here in the Algarve hills that morning and it reminded me of this photo I shot back in 2019. So I dug it out and processed it.
It is available to purchase in print in the Web Shop.
2021 hasn’t been a great start for me personally, with the ANAC delaying the EU-wide Drone regulations and then the issues surrounding shipping products to the UK. However, here is something that certainly cheered me up.
It’s a fresh edit of a shot of a female Common Kestrel with a mouse that I shot back in 2015 in Worcestershire, England. With processing software becoming far more advanced in the last 5 years, I took a new approach at processing this image.
I’m sure you’ll agree, she’s a stunner! Fancy her on your wall, then she is available to purchase in print.
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