Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Algarve and Storks in Alvor

The heat is sweltering, way up in the 34 degrees + region, and the only way to stay less hot, I can't say cool, is to stay indoors. Even my friend from the UK found sitting in the shade too uncomfortably hot, but as we are both early risers, we enjoyed the cooler temperature of the morning hours. 

I had a lovely birthday celebration, and now that my friend has left, am ready to share some photos of the White Stork,  taken in the Algarve, in a place called Alvor.

The White Stork   Ciconia ciconia

In Portugal, the stork is a protected species, and almost revered by farmers who appreciate and protect them.....


as the birds thrive on small mammals, lizards, snakes, and large insects, ...

which save the farmers having to buy expensive  pesticides on their crops.

The storks often build their nests close to the marshlands or wetlands, where they can feast on frogs, and fish too.

This field had at least twelve nests, and after having a word with the farmer, we were allowed to photograph them.

They build their nests up high on tall chimneys, telegraph poles, electricity pylons, church steeples, as well as trees.

Their nests are a great engineering feat.

The adult stork reaches a standing height of 80 to 115 cm, and has a wing span of 195 to 215 cm.

It is in flight that they take on a grace and beauty which belies it's size, as it glides high in the sky with outspread wings.

I must have stayed in the field a few hours in awe of their size, as I watched them leave, and return to their nests.

The day was hazy, ...not the best of conditions to take photos, and....

We couldn't approach too near because of the chicks, so regretfully I have none to share.

Their were many storks foraging in the fields.

They are elegant creatures, even whilst foraging as they walk along at a gentle pace.

In the past twenty years, storks have begun to stay here all winter, and can be seen all over the south of Portugal.

Monday, 5 June 2017

My birthday is approaching, and a UK friend of mine, who always comes in June to celebrate it with me and my family, arrives this week, ..... so  I will be absent from blogging for two weeks. I know the time will fly, as we catch up with our news, and I'm really looking forward to this yearly fun packed reunion. Leaving you with this little sparrow. Happy blogging everyone!:)

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Algarve Bee Eaters, Berries, Butterflies, Pathways and Poppies.

This week has raced by, and it's time for anther Wild Bird Wednesday. I can hardly believe it's already mid week, as we have been busy on the farm with the orange and fig harvest. Thankfully I still have loads of shares from our hols on the Algarve, so I hastily put together a few pictures of some things I noticed on our walks in the country during our time there. I hope you enjoy.

The fields and hedgerows were ablaze with red poppies,...

but there were many wild flowers in the mix.

Poppies on one side of the path, and....

on the sandy banks of the other side, a Bee-eater's nesting site .

Here is one just outside the tunnel leading to his nest.

These brightly coloured berries grew everywhere in the hedgerows ,. It is the Mediterranean smilax, ( s. áspera) in fruit.
It's berries are unpalatable for human consumption, but they are a great source of nourishment for birds.

Many had what seemed like spider's webs tightly wound around some of the clusters.

The European Bee-eater can often be seen perched on fences and cable wires.

This one caught a bee in mid air. The Bee-eater can eat around 250 bees a day, it's main source of food, but they also eat dragonflies, and other insects.

Their bright colours are not evident in these flight shots, but they were very far away.

Back in the hedgerow, there was plenty to see.

The underwings of the Marbled White.

The Marsh Fritillary.

The Small White.

Some more berries without the webs.

You can clearly see the two elongated central tail feathers in this shot. Sexes are alike, but the female tends to have more green rather than gold on shoulders.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Algarve and the male Linnet.

When we saw a little bird with a very red breast, on our way home, one late afternoon, we had no idea what it was, but it was so cute that I had to get as many shots as possible. I have since identified it as a male Linnet, even though the photos I looked at on Google didn't show any with such a brightly coloured breast. I do hope I'm right about the ID! The photos I'm about to share are all very similar, but I'm sure you'll agree, he's a cute little ball of fluff. 

Then, it flew away, never to be seen by us again.


Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Algarve and the Bee Eater 2017

Hello Everyone!:) It's a pleasure to be back home, ...where it is now lovely warm weather, and I'm feeling so much better. The break has done me good, and I have lots of goodies to share,...birds, butterflies insects, flowers, and so much more,... but the highlight of our holiday, without any doubt was meeting up with an old friend, and seeing  and photographing the many beautiful Bee Eaters. We knew where their nesting sights were this time, and went to look for them on the very next day, so this is where I'll begin. I hope you are all in the best of health, and I'm looking forward to visiting you all as soon as I can.

The Bee Eater  Merops apiaster

They catch insects in flight, often high up in the air.

The Bee Eaters plumage has very brilliant colours, though these are not especially luminous, therefore usually require a perched bird, and moderate range to be fully enjoyed.

We had parked the car, just off the main dirt road where their nests were, and I waited behind the trunk, before I finally got lucky and took a series of shots of not only one, but two Bee Eaters.


Fortunately they liked to perch out in plain sight, on fences, and on old lichen covered trees.



Sunday, 2 April 2017

Algarve "Louça" for Saturday's Critters

Every so often I like to share something typically Portuguese, and over the years, I have collected twenty four cow creamers, some of which were bought in the Algarve, in a place called Lagos. It's my favourite shop to visit whenever we spend the day there, with the hope of adding one more cow creamer to my collection, and also to see all the beautiful plates. As I'm still not able to get outside, here are a few examples of the colourful hand made "louça" which is sold here  in Portugal. We will be traveling to the Algarve again this week, in search of the beneficial warmth of our southern climate, and staying for at least two months, so this will be my last post before we leave.

My thanks to everyone who left helpful comments, but the situation has still not been resolved even with all your help, but it was very much appreciated, and perhaps my son can solve my comment dilema whilst we're away,...hope so! Happy Blogging Everyone!:=) 


Portugal is renowned for it's colourful hand made, hand painted pottery.

Their bright colours emulate the colours of the sea, sand, and flora and fauna which are typically Algarvian.

Olives and olive oil are exported from Portugal, and are a major ingredient in Portuguese cooking.

You will always find the signature of the artist on the base of each piece.

I have bought several large plates like this one, to decorate the lounge, and kitchen walls, in the Algarve.

One of the cow creamers,  bought from the same shop in Lagos.

Another brightly coloured  one.

Why do I collect  cow creamers! Well, I  love cows, and think they are fun pieces of ceramics .

and as well as being decorative on their own, they look cute used....

together, when I use them filled with single cream for pouring.

 These two are never apart,.

The free flowing designs are characteristic of this pottery's rustic style.

As each piece is hand made, hand painted, and decorated, no two pieces are identical.


A serving dish of ours.

A large colourful hand painted plate, ..a favourite of mine.

As you can see this type of ceramic is from another Portuguese factory, it's another of my favourites.:)
This is my entry this week for Saturday's Critters, and The Bird D' pot, just click on the links to go there, and see more critters from around the world. br /> SATURDAY'S CRITTERS
I'D-RATHER-B-BIRDIN and thank you to both of you for hosting.
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