Short Film : Depois das Chamas (After the Fires)

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As you are probably aware, we had a large wild wire start very close to the Quinta one week ago (Blog Posts : Day 1 & Day 2). One week on and all that remains (apart from the odd smouldering areas) is a totally devastated area.

Although a large fire, this fire is not on the same scale as some previous fires (you may remember my video Consequência from 2018), however, having it so close to your home really enforces the reality of how serious these fires can get.

I have made a short film to bring you the scenes of the devastation these fires cause. Although this area will recover in time, the many Cork Oaks that have been destroyed can not be replaced in for a generation. It is not until you view the size of the area from above that you realise just how quickly an area can be destroyed and when I first saw these scenes it really made it a reality on how lucky we were to have the wind moving this in the opposite direction to the house.

I have also taken the opportunity to raise some awareness for the fantastic voluntary work the “Assoçiação para Alerta de Incêndio Florestal” that Debby Burton and her team (of which I am proud to be a committee member) carry out to support both the local community and the amazing Bombeiros (firefighters). Please visit the Assoçiação para Alerta de Incêndio Florestal Website for more information and of course, donations are always welcome.

There is some information about some of the scenes below the film. Just for your info, the film does start silent until the title screen.

{Remember to watch in HD if possible}


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Egyptian Mongoose Capture On A Trail Cam (Video)

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As anyone following me for a while will know, part of the passion of photographing wildlife is getting up close with them to capture as much detail in my shots. I’ve been wanting to do this with the local Egyptian Mongoose so I set out a Trail Cam 2 days ago in an area where I had a close encounter with one 2 years ago. There was nothing on the first day but on checking the footage this morning, one came right up to the camera yesterday afternoon.

Not really what I was hoping for as I have the perfect angle and location here with the morning sun, but I will keep monitoring the area for a while to try and work out any patterns they may have and plan to hide and photograph them from a good vantage point.

For now, check the stunning but short footage. The bells you can hear in the background are some cattle and the random human voice is a lady who lives in the bottom of the valley. She is about 800 metres away, this camera really does pick up noise well.

{Remember to watch in HD if possible}

4K Video Of A Young Female Kingfisher (Video)

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Yesterday morning whilst walking the dogs, I spotted a pair of Kingfishers already playing “Kiss Chase” up and down the river. This is a ritual that a mating pair carry out at the start of the breeding season. It’s not even March yet!

As a reminder,you can View All My Kingfishers From The 2019 Project.

Coincidentally, whilst going through some of my photo storage today, I stumbled across a short video I took during a session where I took these 2 shots.


The Stare (Common Kingfisher) : 📷 Nikon D850, AF-S 500mm f/4 @ 1/800sec, f/11, ISO640
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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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Morning Dog Walk: Kingfisher On My New Perch (Video)

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The weather is a little unseasonable currently, it’s a little cooler than it should, although it does reach low 30s in the afternoon, the mornings and nights are, lets say fresh. Unfortunately, it comes with my biggest frustration, total cloud cover.

I have a new Kingfisher perch that I hoped to spend a session at this morning, but no, total cloud cover this morning. It didn’t last long, there’s not a cloud in the sky now but of course, the best light of the day has gone. In the next couple of days, normal weather is due to return and hopefully, I can get out at sunrise again.

Anyway, although no session today, I decided to take a look whilst out with the dogs and, as usual, could hear the high-pitched whistle of the Kingfishers. I sat on the river bank about 10 meters away from the perch and within about a minute a juvenile came and sat on the perch in full view of myself, Wally and Lupi. Juveniles are a little more braver than the adults and this guy really didn’t care, as you can see on the video, it is even bobbing its head which is used to gauge the distance to its prey. We sat and watched for about 5 minutes before it decided not to dive and fly to a nearby tree.

Sorry for the quality, but this was shot on my Samsung Galaxy S9+ smartphone and I used the digital zoom. I am looking forward to some cloud-free mornings where I can bring you some shots. This perch has been designed that I can hopefully get some flight shots too.

{Remember to watch in HD if possible}


Morning Dog Walk: A Ladder Snake Basking In The Morning Sun (With Video)

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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.

Walking in one of my favourite areas with Wally this morning and we spotted a Ladder Snake basking in the sun. I think it had also recently eaten a meal which is maybe why it was in no rush to move away.

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Ladder Snake - Cobra-de-escada - Zamenis scalaris
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