I was enjoying a peaceful breakfast outside now that the fires have gone and a nearby Eucalyptus Tree had a pair of juvenile Golden Orioles calling for their parents. These will be from this year’s brood.
They were a bit far away, but managed to grab the camera and get these two shots.
After checking around midnight, I went to sleep knowing the fire was under control. This morning, they have done an amazing job to tame it and now just hot spots remain on the ground.
Air support was back dropping water on the hot spots and also a small flare up when the wind suddenly changed to a Southerly, as forecast. However, it looks like it is now under full control and currently there are no active fronts burning.
The photos show both the devastation to the local Cork Oak Trees and also some of the amazing Bombeiros and Pilots still at the scene. Some photos may appear to be slightly out of focus, they are not this is the incredible heat haze rising from the torched ground.
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.
Being a Nature Photographer, my life is made much easier when nature finds me rather than me going out in search of it. However, in the early hours of this morning nature found me in a drastic way.
I love a good thunderstorm and here in the dark hills of the Algarve it can put on a great show. Last night it got a bit too close.
Around 3am I was awoken by an approaching storm, the rain was battering the roof and faint flashes of lightening followed by thunder was approaching. Within 10 minutes, it was overhead and I was lying in bed watching the flashes. Suddenly, there was a bright but small flash with a loud bang followed by a huge bright flash and an incredible crackling boom. This sound coincided with the sound of things breaking and being thrown through the air and even smashing glass.
I won’t type what I actually shouted as I jumped out of bed but I thought a window had broken so my first thoughts were our cats.
The power had tripped so with just our torches on our mobile phones we opened the bedroom door to find pieces of plastic on the floor. I picked it up and realised it was an exploded ADSL filter, quite a long way from the telephone socket. The power was fine, it had tripped on the board so with light returned I could investigate the damage. There was no broken window it was an outside lamp that had been broken by a flying plastic door! The lightening strike had gotten into the telephone line and exploded the cables, connectors and ADSL filter. It had blown the socket off the wall, the modem in the router had exploded and the strike travelled into my LAN (wired network in the house) taking out a few components along the way. The home phone also exploded.
This morning, I was sat on the terrace drinking a Coffee and a pair (male and female) of Golden Orioles came into plain view in a Eucalyptus tree about 50 meters away. I wasn’t quick enough to grab the camera and get the female, but I got the male. This isn’t the same location as the nearby “Oriole Terrace” this is so much closer. They actually woke me at 6am with their stunning song, I suspect they are going to nest in this tree which is fantastic news. They also have the choice of many Fig trees nearby so is the perfect location, their Portuguese name is actually Papa-figo as Figs are their food of choice. All of the photos below are shot on my D850 and then transferred with SnapBridge to my smartphone and edited in Lightroom.
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