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The Quinta Story

Many people have urged me to tell the Quinta’s story on this blog, and seeing as I haven’t written anything for, (heavens above!), two months, it seems only fair that I should do something a little special, so here’s a small video Daniela and I put together over the last week; we hope you enjoy it!

The Montados Talk

I’ve been asked by several people for a copy of the talk I gave at the Birding fair in Rutland last week, and I said that I would post it up here …. but even a précis goes on for ever, and on a blog that’s normally made up of snippets it’ll look wildly untidy, so please, if you’re waiting for it to appear, wait no longer as it ain’t going to happen! Just email me through this site and I’ll send it to you.

Thanks to everyone who came to hear me; some of you traveled immense distances and your efforts of support were much appreciated; next time you’re out here, the drinks, (wine of course), are on me!


I wasn’t going to put this picture up on this blog …. I posted it on my birding blog and was going to leave it at that … I mean I see these Little Owls every other day, they’re not that special, but ever since I put it up on to my Flickr Photostream I’ve been inundated with comments so hey, what the heck, if it’s that good I’ll post it here as well! I hope you enjoy it!

The Quinta’s choice of wines June ’09

…. the Quinta’s wine choice as organised by Heather! Our ethos here is that all our wines are Portuguese, all of them have real corks, and …. all of them have a bird either on the label or in the name! This third point is very important!
Seriously though, Portuguese wines are gorgeous and we are very insistent that all of ours must have real corks so that we do our bit to keep the Montados alive, which is an absolutely vital industry in our area.


Bee-swarm-20090421, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

This time of year here everything happens at once, especially with Nature, and there never seems to be a day when Life carries on in a hum-drum fashion. Yesterday was a case in point when a swarm of bees decided that the Quinta was the place for them and settled in a tree outside the back door prior to descending on the roof and crawling inside. It was a big swarm too and a pity that we can’t use it and give them a proper home in one of our hives. They settled too high up in the tree to get at them safely and crossed over to the house so quick that we hadn’t time to prepare to catch them before they’d got inside.
It might interest you to know that at this time, when they’re swarming and seem to be in such frightening numbers, they’re relatively harmless and one can pick them up, (carefully!), with one’s bare hands, but within a few hours, the time it takes them to gather their first nectar, they revert to being their cantankerous selves again and defend their home and food supply the same as ever.
Well, we’ll leave them there for a bit as they’re doing no harm at the moment, but I’m afraid they’ll have to go by next winter when we want to take the roof off for some maintenance …..


20090114_2364, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

Coming back from the “factory” we reached the Top of the World just as the sun dipped below the horizon and gave us this wonderful sunset – too good to keep to ourselves!