If you have been following me for a while you will know how lucky I am to have Kingfishers living on a stretch of the River Odelouca that runs through my land. Over the last few years, I have been lucky to bring you some beautiful photos of Common Kingfishers and I hope that the adults have successfully bred again this year.
To get everyone in the mood, here is a fresh, previously unpublished photo of a juvenile female from last year. I will soon be looking for some locations to shoot from.
This is an old photo from April 2019 that I discovered today whilst looking for other photos of these tiny Woodpeckers. I hadn’t processed for some reason so it just goes to show that sometimes looking through old photos can bring up a surprise. It is a male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, identified by the red crown as the female doesn’t have it.
It was half in the sun and half hidden by a large branch of this Cork Oak it was making a nest in. Unfortunately, this old tree has since fallen down, it was already dead and it didn’t survive a strong storm.
This morning I was in the garden shooting backlit Honey Bees (another blog to follow later) and I heard a tapping noise in one of our Oak Trees. I thought it would be the usual Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers which are common in our area, however, when I looked I noticed 2 juvenile Eurasian Nuthatches. Here is a photo of one who briefly posed on top of the tree for me.
I was so excited to see a male European Rhino Beetle in the garden tonight. These are amazing creatures and in adult life they do not feed, all their feeding is done during larvae stage in which you will find them in rotting wood. They are often misidentified as Palm Tree destroyers as they are often found when a dead Palm Tree is cut down, however, the eggs are laid inside the already decaying Palm Tree. There are other species of Rhino Beetle in the world that can damage trees.
I have been working in the garden and today I was cutting wood, this is why the patio table has sawdust, also for some reason he is covered in sawdust although this could be from wherever he has emerged from. He sat and posed with glass of the patio table giving a great reflection. He was large too, they usually grow to around 4cm, sometimes almost 5cm. This one was nearing 5cm!
The Wren, or Eurasian Wren to be precise has the best scientific name of Troglodytes troglodytes which always makes me chuckle. These tiny birds grow to just over 10cm but make a loud noise. This morning it was in a small Oak tree next to my position. Although I was fully camouflaged, I assume it saw me arrive and didn’t seem bothered by my presence. It’s almost impossible to tell between the males and females so not sure which this is, but I suspect it was the male defending his territory.
Did you know, that the males can build many nests sometimes nine or more. Then he’ll invite a female to inspect and chose one.
Considering it was very overcast when I took this photo and that it was shot at ISO 3200, it has come out fantastic.
Yesterday morning whilst walking the dogs, I spotted a pair of Kingfishers already playing “Kiss Chase” up and down the river. This is a ritual that a mating pair carry out at the start of the breeding season. It’s not even March yet!