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Dipper-20090908, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

I had a break with Daniela at the beginning of the week and we decided to go north and grab ourselves a Dipper; thanks to a very informative offer from Rui Marcão we were able to do just that and the above is the result. We were looking for some other species as well but sadly we blew out on all of them – not surprising really as the temperature was well over 40ºC/105ºF and it was a tad warm even for us.


It seems ages since I wrote the last entry in this blog – it all goes to show that there’s no rest for the wicked I suppose! So what’s been happening?
Well, the sun’s been shining and most days recently I seem to have been out there guiding and birding – and when I haven’t been doing that I’ve been trying to catch up with the paperwork that always goes on behind the scenes.
Now I’m not going to bore anyone with the ins and outs of the paperwork, (which just seems to get more tedious, involved and threatening every day – the latest gem is a threat from our local authority to fine any business that doesn’t comply with the latest State grab for more money with a fine of two and a half million euros!), as the photos below make up for all the days we have to spend doing it. They were all taken during the last couple of weeks during which time the Quinta’s been lucky enough to play host to some far better photographers than I’ll ever be, but these are my offerings; some of them are colourful, some of them not, some of them interesting to the general public, and some of them interesting only to those of us who get a thrill from distinguishing one little brown bird from another! The one above is of course of one of my favourite species, a Red-rumped Swallow. They were picking up nesting material from the petrol station forecourt in Santa Clara, so it was a nice easy shot to make – comfortable too, sitting in the bar with a drink by my elbow!


Wood-Lark-20090504, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

Pure luck to have been in the right place at the right time again but this is one of my favourites. Not often that one’s able to get a record this sharp …. I think I’m proudest of this shot than of pretty well any other I’ve taken during the last few months!


I adore Rock Buntings and we’re lucky enough to have them nesting in the garden – so why did I feel it was necessary to trek to the top of a mountain for this shot? No reason really, the shot was there and sometimes one simply doesn’t see the beauty we have on our own doorstep ….


This is a species that a lot of people like to see when they come to the Quinta. They arrive back late from migration, typically getting in during the first week in May, one of our last arrivals, but they make their prescence felt from day 1 by singing from any available perch.


Linnet-20090506, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

Friends and family will know of my quest for a decent shot of a male Linnet in breeding plumage …. Well, this shot’ll do for the present and I’ll keep trying for that one I know is waiting for me somewhere!