2 Egyptian Mongooses, a Little Egret and a Kingfisher visit a River Pool…….It’s No Joke Either!

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Sounds like the great start to a joke, but this is no joke.

Couldn’t believe my eyes when I viewed the footage from yesterday, two Egyptian Mongooses (yes, not Mongeese) sharing the pool with a Little Egret. I was waiting for a Mongoose to attack and whilst one of them takes a little interest, I think they realise that either they won’t catch it or it can do them some damage with its beak.

Then, the Kingfisher shows up, in fact, you can hear what I think is the Kingfisher’s high-pitched call from the start but isn’t brave enough to come whilst the Mongooses are there.

If you watch near the end of the clip, when the Little Egret walks out of shot, the Kingfisher returns, but doesn’t land on the perch. This backs up my thoughts from yesterday where I don’t think the Kingfisher is triggering the camera. I will be moving it later today to a different position nearer the perch. It does mean that I’ll probably miss out on the other wildlife visiting. There is one issue that really shows how important it is that we have more rain, the fish in this pool are reducing in numbers at an alarming rate. This is probably due to the Little Egret that seems to be visiting the pool very regularly to feed.

{Remember to watch in HD if possible}


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A Kingfisher on the Perch!

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Just over one week ago the Bushnell NatureView I had setup at a River Pool to monitor Otters captured a Kingfisher (see blog here). So I got to work and set up a temporary perch for the Kingfisher to dive from.

Yesterday, I finally managed to record a Kingfisher visiting. I need to rethink the camera position as it seems the Kingfisher may not be triggering the camera consistently. When the camera is triggered it records 1 minute before waiting to be triggered again. As you can see in the video, the Kingfisher remains on the perch when the camera stops recording, however, it doesn’t trigger it again. I had set the camera up to capture it not only on the perch but also the dive. I may have to concentrate the camera solely on the perch.

The camera is not there to capture good usable footage but is in place to try to establish any trend that the Kingfisher is showing, particularly the time of day it visits. I hope (before the river starts to flow again) to hide on the river bank and capture some photos of this Kingfisher.

For now, enjoy the video.

{Remember to watch in HD if possible}


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Grey Heron and a Flock of Iberian Magpies taking a bath (Video)

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It’s been quiet on the River Cam the last few days, maybe something related to the rain (yippee!) we’ve been having here in the Algarve.

However, quiet it might be, I still have 2 videos to share.

First up, a Grey Heron decided to visit looking for some aquatic life to feast on. These shallow river pools that are created by the river being dry makes perfect wading areas, however, I suspect the amount of food for the large waders is starting to run out now and the river needs to start running again soon.

[UPDATE] Since writing this post I learnt about the Azure-winged Magpies being the incorrect name for the species found in Europe, it is called the Iberian Magpie, more details can be seen in this post.

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No Otters Yet, Another Fisherman Arrived Though! (Video)

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I have placed my Bushnell Camera on a different River Pool after finding a nearby (maybe) Otter’s Holt, however, for the last 2 nights the camera has only managed to capture a Mouse.

Yesterday morning at 10:40am I was recorded leaving the site after swapping out the memory card, just 15 minutes later the following was captured. Yes, a Kingfisher catching it’s breakfast. It’s not great footage as the camera is pointing directly into the sun at this time of day. However, the shape of the Kingfisher is unmistakable.

I’m not really surprised to have captured the Kingfisher, however, I am surprised to see the Kingfisher here at this time of year. Normally, when the rivers dry up the Kingfishers head towards to coast where the rivers still have water, maybe it’s been here all year and these pools have enough fish to sustain the Kingfisher’s diet or maybe it’s just returned. Hopefully, in 4 to 6 weeks we’ll have enough rain to get the river in full life again.

Right at the start of the clip, watch in the centre for the shadow of it hovering. The timing on this clip is unedited and the hovering and 2 dives are in realtime as it happened. I can’t quite make out what the 2 birds having a bath are, but it’s comical to see them hop out of the way of this superfast diver!

It must be sitting in a Tree up on the riverbank and launching itself from there, later today I will make a lower down perch from Bamboo to see if it uses this instead then hopefully get some better footage. Of course, I would love to be there taking photos, but I’m still awaiting news on my 500mm repair and don’t want to get too close with my 300mm.

It just keeps getting better the amount of local wildlife that is surrounding this amazing place we live.

{Remember to watch in HD if possible}


Possible Otter’s Holt (Den) Found

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After briefly capturing video footage of an Otter a few nights ago (see here) I went on a scout of the dry riverbed to try to locate a Holt. Holt is the name for an Otter’s Den.

To my surprise, I found one fairly easily and even more surprising that it’s been almost under my nose all this time. Obviously, I’m not going to share its location, but I will set up the Bushnell in a more permanent location to confirm that there is Otter using this Holt. Otters are mainly nocturnal, however, as this location is very quiet, they may be active during daylight too. I will monitor their activity for a while and hope to establish a pattern of activity, if there is regular activity during daylight hours then I’ll plan to hide with the camera. The location is pretty good for photography. 

A big giveaway is the presence of Otter Scat, known as spraints, on the dry riverbed. If you look closely at the photos, you can see small bones and shells which look like remains of Crayfish.

Otter Spraints

Otter Spraints