Question, What Is Better Than A Little Owl………..?

…..Two Little Owls!

I posted on my Facebook Page a few days ago that I was ecstatic that after 4.5 years of living here I had heard and spotted a Little Owl close to the house. Some of you will say, “So what? They are everywhere!”, and you’d be right. The Little Owl is very common in the Algarve, however, even though the land around the Quinta is perfect for them, they have been absent, the closest I’ve found is about 1km away – SEE HERE.

I heard one this afternoon so grabbed the binoculars and spotted one sitting on the dead Cork Oak that I suspected it would choose as a nest spot. I didn’t realise at the time that I was looking at a pair (to be fair to Emma, she did say she heard 2 calling each other a few days ago). The tree is about 400 meters away from the Quinta so grabbed the camera with the 80-400mm lens, even so, the tree is still a long way away. Can you spot them both?

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16 days into 2021 and it’s not the fantastic year we all hoped. The pandemic situation is worsening and for me personally it has already provided many obstacles with my work, mainly the issues with the drone regulations.

This morning has really hit me with a huge slap, I was hidden photographing Common Chiffchaffs for this months Algarve Resident article when I broke cover briefly to make a change to the area I was shooting when I heard a snapping sound.

I turn around to see the tripod had sunk in the damp mud and fallen over with the tripod mount for the 500mm lens hitting a small rock. Whilst the lens, camera and tripod are fine, it did snap the tripod mount. I know from experience that this is an incredibly costly thing to have repaired as I have suffered a similar fate many years ago. The lens requires sending to the Nikon service centre in Barcelona to be stripped down as it is integral to the body.

I am now considering my options going forward as my Commercial side of photography is gaining more demand, this could spell the end of my nature photography as I cannot justify these repair costs…………

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Another Close Call With Nature Today

A few months ago we had lightening hit close to the house and jump through our Earth rods and arched across to the telephone cable causing a lot of damage to electronics attached to our home network. Today, we had what everyone fears living in Portugal, a fire close to the house. It was a big one that got large quickly. It started 1km from the house, but luckily the wind was pushing it away from us. At time of writing this, the fire is still burning, but seems to be under control so hopefully we can sleep easy tonight.

I was at a nearby ridge, in complete safety, streaming a live Facebook video and also managed to take a few photos whilst I was up there. This first one was heartbreaking to see this Bee-keeper rushing to collect all his hives as a small front approached over a nearby ridge. He managed to remove all of the hives before the fire came.

(Click photo to open in a Lightbox)

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