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.


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