It’s That Time Of Year Again – Common Kingfishers

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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To get everyone in the mood, here is a fresh, previously unpublished photo of a juvenile female from last year.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.

(Click to view in Lightbox)


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Morning Dog Walk: The Viperine Was Back In The Same Place

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Yesterday I posted about a Viperine at the river but I was only armed with my smartphone. This morning, I had a camera and it was back there again.

In fact there were 2 there, it was joined by a much larger and lighter-coloured Viperine which wasn’t in the water, as soon as it saw me it slithered into the water and moved away in the current.

The existing one actually popped its head out of the water for this great top down shot.


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Morning Dog Walk : First Otter Spraint In A While

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This morning I spotted the first Otter Spraint that I’ve noticed in a long time along our section of the River Odelouca. I often wonder what happens to the Otters when the river dries, I suspect their food source is in the farmer’s and firefighter’s barragems (man-made lakes).

You’ll notice that the Spraint is dark brown instead of the usually red colouring. This is due to the current lack of Louisiana Crayfish in the river.


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Wooooohoooo! The River Is Running!!!!!! (Video)

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If you live in the Algarve, you will know that the region was starting to get desperate for rain, also you will know just how much rain we’ve had in the last 2 days, particularly here in the northern hills where it has been heavy and persistent. I had a bet with myself yesterday that the river would get a kick-start and be running this morning. However, it was still dry and we even walked the dogs along our usual route along the river bed.

Imagine my surprise this afternoon when I stood outside the Quinta and could hear gushing water. I headed down to the river (its just over 400 metres away) and it is now in full flow, even over the top of the bridge/ford (Video below).


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New Location At The River

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Yesterday I installed yet another perch for the Kingfishers to use. The river pools are getting smaller by what seems like every minute and although it results in the Kingfishers being more concentrated on certain areas, it means I have less good angles to shoot with.

This mornings task was to photograph a Kingfisher just coming into land on the perch with outstretched wings. Everything was going to plan until I broke my number one rule of “Focus on what you are trying to get and don’t be distracted!”.

The camera was setup, pointed at the perch, I had pre-focused, AF settings and fast shutter speed all dialled in. All I had to do was wait for a Kingfisher to fly to the perch. Although there were many visits to the perch all of them approached from in front rather than behind, then one of the young females landed high in a branch of a tree behind the perch. She dived into the water and retreated to another branch directly behind the perch. I wanted to look to see if she had caught a fish and moved the camera and focused on her, she flew right at the perch and I didn’t get the camera moved back in time. Yes, I am kicking myself! This was the last time I saw her this morning as she had already caught two large Louisiana Crayfish.

I did get some portrait shots of her on the perch earlier.

{Click image(s) to view on Flickr - opens in new tab}

Common Kingfisher (Juvenile Female) - Guarda-rios (juvenil femea) - Alcedo atthis
📷 Nikon D850, AF-S 500mm f/4 @ 1/800sec, f/11, ISO640
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