Meet Eric(a), A Problem For Our Kingfisher

This morning I was back in the Kingfisher Hide, hoping for more pictures of “Princesa”, yes, she now has a name. Portuguese for Princess which I think suits a young bird with royalty in her name.

Princesa beat me there again, she was already on the perch. I had to wait until she left before I could approach the hide. Once in, I sat for an hour waiting patiently and uncomfortably to see her again. This time it was a high-speed fly by as she whizzed past. I can only assume she was going to the large River Pool where I spotted the Otter a few weeks ago (link here). I waited another 20 minutes when she finally came to the perch.

When I’m concealed like this, I have a rule that I never start firing the camera the second something comes into shot. The reason for this is that I want the animal to get comfortable with its surroundings before making a noise. She dived into the pool, came out empty beaked and then decided to move onto the next river pool where I could see her dive again. She didn’t return again today.

Whilst I was in the hide, Eric(a) came to visit. He/She (very difficult to sex) is a Little Egret that is always present near the pools. This is causing a bit of an issue for Princesa as they need to share the fish. Of course, a Little Egret will eat a lot more than a Kingfisher.

I think there is a problem starting. A couple of weeks ago, these pools were full of small fish. Today, I looked in all 3 pools and struggled to even see one fish. It seems that the pools are starting to empty. This is going to cause a problem for the wildlife that rely on these stocks for food. We are now in desperate need for some heavy rain to start the river flowing. I think it’s Eric(a) that maybe clearing out the pools and of course, the Otter maybe taking a large portion too.

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Little Egret - Garça-branca-pequena

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Otter At Our River! (Video)

Dry River Pool

We are lucky to have the Odelouca River cut its way through part of our land, you notice I didn’t use the term run through our land. Usually, sometime in June the river runs dry and remains dry until the heavy Autumn rains kick-start it flowing at the end of October, beginning of November. We are up-stream of the Barragem do Odelouca which provides drinking water for the Algarve.

It’s the end of October and so far there hasn’t been any significant rain to make any difference. All around the river banks both on and near our land have well established tracks that wildlife use to access the river and for a while I have been wanting to set up my Bushnell trail camera to see what frequents the river.

At various meanders and bends on the river, pools form and stay deep enough all year for the aquatic life to seek refuge of the dry river bed. Of course, these pools not only provide drinking water for other wildlife, but food.

One of the tracks leading to the river passes under a wire fence and I took a look at some hair that had been caught. To be honest, I had no idea, but took a guess at Otters.

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