Another Morning With The Bee Eaters

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I was back at the same location as last week to try to capture a few more Bee Eater photos. The intention was to get a Male giving a catch to a Female. Whilst I saw this happen on many occasions, unfortunately, there were some branches between the camera and them, so no photos of this. However, I did manage to get a few shots.

This first one of a Female tossing a Bee in the air to catch and swallow. They do this after they have knocked the stinger against something to dislodge it.

European Bee Eater - Abelharuco - Merops apiaster
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Morning Dog Walk: A Few Small Birds And A Lot Of Turtles

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I take a camera along on my Dog Walks to bring you some of the sightings that I see on my morning walks, these photos are rarely going to be great quality as its hard enough keeping an energetic Dog entertained and get close enough to anything. They also help me identify where species are so that I can plan to return.

Firstly, happy May Day to everyone that celebrates it, here in Portugal, it’s a big day and we’ll be off to the local Barragem for a day of food and drink with the locals!

This morning, there was an unmistakable bird song coming from high up in a tree, a Melodious Warbler was singing it’s heart out.

Melodious Warbler Singing

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Greater Spotted Woodpecker Saves The Day!

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Another beautiful morning so I headed out at Sunrise. The aim of this morning was to photograph 2 birds that are high on the tick list. The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Golden Oriole.

The Golden Orioles are in abundance this year with their flute-like song echoing around the hills but are very difficult to photograph as although bright yellow (the male), they hide very well. Lesser Spotted Woodpecker seem to also be very common amongst the Oak Trees.

Something was strange this morning, apart from the multiple constant song of the Nightingales, everything else was very quiet. It’s almost like the birds have gone on a day trip elsewhere. The Bee Eaters were not active, no Hoopoe calling and certainly no Golden Orioles, which are all usual noises just after sunrise.

I walked around the hills and everything remained very quiet. I was just about to give up when I heard a faint tapping from one of the large Cork Oak. I assumed it was a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. Unfortunately, the sun was behind the tree so making it difficult to see. I then noticed some red feathers sticking out of a hole. It was not a Lesser, but a Greater Spotted Woodpecker making some home improvements, the sound muffled by the fact he was inside the tree.

Almost perfect timing, he decided to reverse out of the hole, he was a Male Greater Spotted Woodpecker. I took a couple of shots, but wasn’t expecting much as it was directly into the sun with the bird in the dark shade. I added 2/3rd of a stop of exposure and hoped for the best.

Back at the computer, I was actually surprised how much I was able to clean the shot up. Considering it was high ISO and I had a 1.4x Teleconverter fitted am I happy enough with the result. It certainly was good to come back with at least one photo.

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Greater Spotted Woodpecker - Pica-pau-malhado-grande - Dendrocopos major
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Morning Dog Walk: Exotics, Swarms and That Duck!

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I take a camera along on my Dog Walks to bring you some of the sightings that I see on my morning walks, these photos are rarely going to be great quality as its hard enough keeping an energetic Dog entertained and get close enough to anything. They also help me identify where species are so that I can plan to return.

As I was heading down past “A Rocha” this morning, I heard a flock of Common Waxbills. As soon as they saw an energetic Dog running towards them, they took cover but I did manage to snap these two in our Pear Trees.

Common Waxbills

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