Yesterday near Silves I spotted my first returning Short-Toed Eagle. Towards the end of February is very typical to start to see them return. A very common Eagle in the Algarve and easily identified as apart from a few black patterns it is totally light underneath. It also may hover Kestrel-like while it spots its favourite food, Snake! In fact, it is often called the Snake Eagle too.
I was enjoying a midday Coffee today in the garden when a Short Toed Eagle came soaring past, even though I felt faster than Usain Bolt, by the time I grabbed a camera (D7100 Crop with 80-400mm), it was just a little too far away.
Here is a shot I managed to get albeit very cropped. I watched it hover and hunt for about 10 minutes before it went out of sight. The Short Toed Eagle often hovers in the same way a Kestrel does which is an impressive sight to see such a large bird capable of doing so.
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.
This morning, we had a treat, we walked up a nearby ridge (the same one to be used on Saturday’s Nature Photography Walk) and spotted a Booted Eagle soaring high.
Unfortunately, way too high for a close up, even for a crop camera at 400mm, but close enough to identify.
Every morning (unless I’m out photographing) I take Wally for his morning walk, we usually head down to the river to look for anything interesting and then play in an open area. Now that spring is most definitely under way, I’ve decided to take a camera. It’s difficult to juggle the attentions of a mad dog and carry a camera, therefore, I use my crop camera (Nikon D7100) fitted with the Nikon AF-S 80-400 VRII for size and weight. The idea of the photos is not great quality, but just to report back on sightings in the area.
Today was a pleasant surprise all happening within 500 meters of the house! European Bee Eaters, Short Toed Eagles and I could also hear a Golden Oriole (unless it was a Starling which has been mimicking one all winter!)
First up, the European Bee Eaters. The local colony returned yesterday and are now busy flying around catching food, they will be selecting a nesting site soon and I am monitoring their movements closely. Expect many Bee Eater posts this summer.
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