Back-light Session With European Stonechats

This year, locally, we are back to our usual numbers of European Stonechats, last year for some reason the numbers were low. Yesterday afternoon’s light was amazing so I decided to have a short session using the light to create some stunning back-lit photos.

European Stonechats are the perfect model for back-lit shots as you often see them perched on top of plants and fence posts. Their name comes from the sound of their call which is similar to that of pebbles being knocked together, often broken with a single chirp.

In case you are wondering, I’ve included a photo showing you what European Stonechats look like as I was lucky to get a breeding pair perched together.

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Morning Dog Walk: Female European Stonechat In The Morning Sun

I take a camera along on my Dog Walks to bring you some of the sightings that I see on my morning walks, these photos are rarely going to be great quality as its hard enough keeping an energetic Dog entertained and get close enough to anything. They also help me identify where species are so that I can plan to return.

Whilst walking Wally this morning a Female European Stonechat was sitting on a fence post backlit by the rising sun.

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A Chilly Morning At The Reflection Table

Over the past couple of weeks, my Reflection Table has started to attract visitors so this morning I was up at sunrise in the hope of appearances from some feathered friends.

It was a cold 2 degrees (Celsius) and whilst that may not sound cold to some of you, for us (now seasoned) Algarvers, it is chilly. The surface of the water had a light covering of ice, so reflections were not possible until this melted, however, the table still attracted some visitors.

First up was a very brief visit from a Male Sardinian Warbler that landed on the perch gave a sort of shake-down before moving on its way. I managed to grab a shot of him shaking his wings and tail before he flew away.

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Male Sardinian Warbler - Toutinegra-de-cabeça-preta - Sylvia melanocephala
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Stonechat At The Reflection Table

Since building my Reflection Table back in September, I haven’t had much luck with visitors. Yesterday I made a slight change to the layout and as the weather was great this morning I was up early and waited. It’s still not as busy as I’d hoped, but at least a Male European Stonechat decided to visit briefly. There were plenty of birds around the area, so I now hope that it will start being used more often.

This male is almost in his winter colours, in the summertime his head will be a much darker black. There was a slight breeze blowing across the table so the reflection isn’t as sharp as I’d like, but still very happy it is now being visited.

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Male European Stonechat in (almost) Winter Colours - Saxicola rubicola
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Another Morning With The Bee Eaters

I was back at the same location as last week to try to capture a few more Bee Eater photos. The intention was to get a Male giving a catch to a Female. Whilst I saw this happen on many occasions, unfortunately, there were some branches between the camera and them, so no photos of this. However, I did manage to get a few shots.

This first one of a Female tossing a Bee in the air to catch and swallow. They do this after they have knocked the stinger against something to dislodge it.

European Bee Eater - Abelharuco - Merops apiaster
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