I looked for my lost mojo….and found it.

The current state of the world with Covid-19 is still causing so much hardship and pain and has affected many people differently. For me, I can’t complain as my commercial photography (FotoSul) has thrived due to people taking the opportunity of the lack of tourists to update their property portfolios. This however has had a knock-on effect with my passion (but still a job), my nature photography.

For those that have followed me for a while will know that I plan, watch, plan, shoot and probably shoot again with all the projects that I set myself. If I’m honest, the hardship of Covid-19, mainly not being able to see family left me with a real “just can’t be bothered” approach to my nature photography. Not good…..

So I got in touch with bird guru and friend Frank McClintock who owns and runs the fantastic “Paradise in Portugal”. Officially known as Quinta Do Barranco Da Estrada it has amazing lodging on the banks of the Barragem de Santa Clara. If you are looking for that something special to get away in nature, not a lot comes close to this special location which has been carefully ecologically crafted to create a real nature-lovers must visit. As I mentioned, Frank is a guru when it comes to bird watching and offers amazing guiding trips. Take a look at the website at https://www.paradise-in-portugal.com.

I just wanted to get out in nature and find my mojo, Frank suggested not only a session in the Golden Oriole hide but also his riverside hide close to the nearby village of Santa Clara-a-Velha which he is more than happy for people to use, but if you do, take a visit to the lodge, you won’t be disappointed.

The morning worked! Now, I have the enthusiasm to get planning to get close up and personal with the fantastic wildlife we have here. There are some projects that I will be doing over the next couple of months to start attracting wildlife to the quinta, mainly a wildlife pond with a sunken hide which I did actually start quite a while back.

So, here are some of the snaps I got today.

Firstly some of the many Golden Orioles. First up, a shot of a male in flight with his breakfast and an onlooking juvenile who clearly wants to be fed.


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Juvenile Water Rail

This often heard but not seen bird lives inside dense reeds. I wasn’t there to photograph this, I was sat inside my Bag Hide waiting patiently for a Kingfisher to turn up. For the 2nd evening at RSPB Middleton Lakes, nothing. However, a consolation prize was this Juvenile Water Rail that came out of the reeds for a brief moment.

{Click image for a higher resolution, click Flickr Link in caption to view photo on Flickr}
Juvenile Water Rail - D810, AF-S 300mm f/2.8 with TC17EII @ 500mm, f/4.8, ISO900, 1/320sec - {Flickr Link}