Archive for April, 2010

Wild-flowers-of-the-Alentejo-3329

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010


Wild-flowers-of-the-Alentejo-3329, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

It’s hard not to enjoy living here, but doubly so at this time of year. Wherever one looks there is simply a sea of wild flowers such as these right now and they last for about a month or so …. I’m a very, very lucky man … just wish I could bottle it!

Great-Bustard-3231

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010


Great-Bustard-3231, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

I do a great deal of Birdwatching at this time of year and this species is always in demand. It’s rare to be lucky enough to be so “in the right spot at the right time” and even rarer to be there with such good light.
I took this yesterday and straightaway, even though I see and photograph these birds every week, this photo is in the top ten. It just goes to show that the early bird catches the shot …! Love it!

Nightingale-3207

Sunday, April 25th, 2010


Nightingale-3207, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

One of the most difficult birds to get a picture of as they always seem to sing from deep cover and project their song to five different points of the compass too. (Having said that of course, there’s always a Cetti’s warbler if I really want to lose a day or two!)
We have at least two pairs of Nightingales in the garden every year, (and sometimes people even complain about the racket they make, but for me they’re worth it), and until they start singing here around the middle of April I don’t think of Spring as having arrived; however, as I say, getting a good view of one is a great deal harder than hearing them sing, and as I haven’t ever taken a good enough shot of one and I had some time to spare, I thought I’d give it a go in my lovely new portable hide this afternoon, so Daniela and I shooed the children away and settled down … as luck would have it right next door to their nest! For the last two hours we’ve been treated to them flying past within feet of us with nesting material; still damn hard to get a shot of one, but I rather like this one.

Spanish-Fritillary-3188

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

Marsh-Fritillary-3188, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

The Butterflies this year are wonderful and this Spanish Fritillary kept me amused at lunchtime today, but out of probably 30 shots this was the only one I could get with light coming through the forewing like I wanted. I must get on and get myself a macro lens ….

Spanish-Festoon-3031

Saturday, April 10th, 2010


Spanish-Festoon-3031, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

A Spanish Festoon resting on a French Lavender in Portugal … we’re getting more European by the day!

Crested-Tit-3006

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010


Crested-Tit-3006, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

Hah! Gotcha!
Sitting having breakfast this morning this flew into the willow tree outside the window; as luck would have it I was breakfasting with my camera set up on the tripod so, having dreamed of capturing a shot like this for years, finally all I had to do was be prepared - and have the magic cup of tea!
This is a real success for us here at the Quinta; as some of you know, I designed and planted the garden for the birds and wildlife just as much as for us humans, and I judge its quality by the amount of different species it attracts.
A few years ago I was over the moon when the first Serins moved in; now they’re a regular feature, but I’ve never seen a Crested Tit in the garden - until this year and I’m chuffed to blazes that they’re nesting right in front of the dining room now.