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One of the beauties of living here is that wherever one is or whatever one’s doing there’s bound to be something nearby that lifts one’s spirits …. this morning it was this Black winged Kite above which was hunting just beside the petrol station in Santa Clara when i was filling up ….


Yesterday we had to pop up to Lisbon and on the way decided to spend a quick half hour birding ….. the result is the above! We were lucky enough just to be in the right place at the right time, (again!), as a Marsh Harrier put up a huge flock of Black tailed Godwits and then a succession of flocks of these Glossy Ibis, (– or should it be Glossy Ibii or Glossy Ibis’? Suggestions please!), which totalled about 200 individuals. Exhilarating to see them sail past us, as they’re still not common down here, and we were close enough to get a few good shots.

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

We have three different types of Woodpecker that visit the garden regularly, Green, Great Spotted and Lesser Spotted …. of course it’s not every day that we get the chance to see the latter as they’re really quite rare this far south, but when one started to tap away right outside my window this morning I was lucky enough to get this quick shot and thought I’d share it.

Blackcap Warbler

Occasionally things just happen so “according to plan” that I feel totally blown away ….
I’d been bemoaning the fact yesterday that I simply couldn’t get a good shot of a Blackcap despite seeing them every day. They seem to be always in the deepest thicket or behind the only bit of grass this side of the Sahara ….
Then just before lunch today I thought I’d have 5 minutes with the camera and see what happened, so perched myself on a windowsill and settled down to wait …. nine times out of ten in these situations, nothing happens, but today was different …
“Wouldn’t it be nice if something popped onto that dead branch over there right out in the open”, I thought to myself, and hey presto up it popped!


Robin 9092, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

During the summer Robins are really quite rare in these parts, but during the winter they come south and we’re inundated with them.
On the Continent Robins are normally quite shy and secretive birds, quite unlike the ones in Britain, but the Quinta’s garden must attract specifically British birds as ours are never far away and I regularly have four or five within a few meters of me whenever I’m working outside; they seem to be far less territorial than those I’ve seen in the UK too.