Morning Dog Walk: Update On Bluey & Roxy

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I haven’t seen the female Blue Rock Thrush (Roxy) for a few days so I assumed she was sitting on eggs, however, this morning both the male (Bluey) and female were out feeding on the many insects. I’m unsure how the egg sitting duties work for this species so maybe she was taking a short break or maybe I just haven’t spotted her. The grass is long since the recent rains and maybe she was just on the ground when I have passed.

I watched for a while until a rain shower had me running for cover and I noticed that they don’t seem to be chasing the Sparrows away anymore. I guess the Sparrows have given up fighting for the nest space.

Here are some snaps I took before I ran from the rain.

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Male Blue Rock Thrush - Melro-azul (macho) - Monticola solitarius
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Morning Dog Walk:…..And Now The Female Blue Rock Thrush!

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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.

Yesterday morning, after searching for weeks I finally spotted the Male Blue Rock Thrush. This morning we walked through the same location and I spotted a Female.

As you can see, the female has no blue colouring, she is dark brown with a spotted chest. She wasn’t so relaxed around me as the male and moved perch constantly. However, she flew in almost exactly the same pattern as the Male, circling the ruined building. I think it’s pretty certain that they are nesting in this building. I won’t go investigating as I am not interested in disturbing the nest (and what seems like hundreds of House Sparrows) but I will be monitoring this site to hopefully capture some great shots.


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Morning Dog Walk: I Finally Found The (Or Another) Blue Rock Thrush!

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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.

On the last Nature Walk we spotted a Blue Rock Thrush (Read more) and I have been looking for it almost every morning since without luck.

Well today, I spotted it, or maybe of course another one. In a straight line it was about 400 meters from where we spotted it, so likely the same one. Only the male is blue, the female is brown and is similar to a female Blackbird, but with a longer beak. I actually thought I spotted a female this morning nearby too, so hopefully a breeding pair.

This male wasn’t too bothered by my (and Wally’s) presence and would allow me to get quite close before moving perch. I noticed that it would fly to various perches before coming to ground to feed. The whole time it would circle around a ruined house. They are known to nest in ruins, so I will be keeping an eye on this location and will head back with my long lens and camouflage in the hope of some closeup shots.

For now, here are some I snapped as I watched it this morning.

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Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius)
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Otter At Our River! (Video)

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Dry River Pool

We are lucky to have the Odelouca River cut its way through part of our land, you notice I didn’t use the term run through our land. Usually, sometime in June the river runs dry and remains dry until the heavy Autumn rains kick-start it flowing at the end of October, beginning of November. We are up-stream of the Barragem do Odelouca which provides drinking water for the Algarve.

It’s the end of October and so far there hasn’t been any significant rain to make any difference. All around the river banks both on and near our land have well established tracks that wildlife use to access the river and for a while I have been wanting to set up my Bushnell trail camera to see what frequents the river.

At various meanders and bends on the river, pools form and stay deep enough all year for the aquatic life to seek refuge of the dry river bed. Of course, these pools not only provide drinking water for other wildlife, but food.

One of the tracks leading to the river passes under a wire fence and I took a look at some hair that had been caught. To be honest, I had no idea, but took a guess at Otters.

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Mistle Thrushes are moving in.

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I had a message from Emma (my better half) today as she’d spotted a new bird in the garden we had not seen before. We soon identified it as a Mistle Thrush, a bird that is common, but on the RSPB Amber Status due to decline in gardens (RSPB – Mistle Thrush).

So imagine our surprise when I noticed that a pair is building a nest in our old Oak Tree. I watched them for a while and noticed the female would go off gathering with the male following, but staying perched high on lookout as if he was guarding her.

Here’s a few quick shots I managed to get, I look forward to getting more photos of them.

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Moss for the Nest - D7100, AF-S 300mm f/2.8 @ f/4, ISO125, 1/1000sec - {Flickr Link}
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