Bee-Eater Wake-Up Call

I’ve mentioned on many occasions about the colony of European Bee-Eaters that use to establish every year around the quinta but for unknown reasons have been absent for 2 summers. However, over the last few mornings as daylight starts to break a flock of them arrive outside the bedroom window and every day the numbers are increasing. I suspect it is groups from various colonies that have finished breeding joining together. A quick guestimate is that the group is between 50, maybe 60 birds.

Tonight they even came for an evening communal hunt and whilst we eat alfresco we were surrounded by them swooping just a few meters away. If this happens again tomorrow I will be ready with a camera for some sunset backlit shots. Photographs in the early mornings have been hindered by some hill fog (that clears very quickly once the sun rises) so morning shots have been difficult. However, here are some from yesterday morning.

First up, 2 adults and a juvenile (on the left)


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Young Hedgehog Foraging In The Garden

There are quite a few Hedgehogs around the quinta and last night I spotted a very young one foraging. It was very small, so suspect this is a baby from this year already off on it’s own adventure.

Just to confirm, I did not use a flash for this photo, I’m not a fan of firing a flash at wildlife where possible. This was lit with a low powered LED and I have shot at a high (2000) ISO.

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Grumpy Toad In The Hole

We have a small Spiny Toad living in a small hole in one of our dry stone walls in the garden, it was waiting for a snack to walk past.

The Spiny Toad is a subspecies of Common Toad and can grow to a huge size, this one was very small, so he’ll probably out grow his current house. It was also a lot greener that the much browner ones we normally see locally.

Just for the record, I did not use a flash for this photo, I used a low power LED and high ISO. It was also great to get the 70-200mm f/2.8 out to play too!

📷 Nikon D850 & Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm, f/4.5, 1/250sec, ISO4000

(Click to view in Lightbox)


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A Female Blue Rock Thrush Finally Appears

I occasionally spot a male Blue Rock Thrush around the quinta but I’ve not seen a female since “Bluey & Roxy” disappeared back in 2019.

It was an amazing early morning today and just after 7:30am I was wandering around the garden watching the many Blue Tits we have this year when I spotted a silhouette perched on an electricity pole in the neighbouring field. I was sure it was the male Blue Rock Thrush but no, when I got there, it was a female. I’ve not seen the male for a few weeks, but I’m sure he’s close by.

This month I was hoping to write my Algarve Resident article on Hedgehogs but our resident hog has been a little camera shy, this sighting gave me the inspiration to write about Blue Rock Thrushes, availabe on March 25th and online a few days later.


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