Friday, January 01, 2010

24th December 2009: Olhos De Agua, the Algarve, Portugal

A selection of photos from within walking distance of our rented accommodation...

Azure-winged Magpies were numerous and noisy but also exceptionally difficult to get close to. These shots were the best I managed all week.

Partridges in Western Europe don't quite have the same mystique as partridges in Asia, but Red-legged Partridges are nonetheless pretty smart birds.

My only lifer of the trip was the not terribly inspiring Spotless Starling. This was the only view I got of one on the ground.

Mountainous waves and a thick mist of salt-spray meant I had to keep my optics under wraps, but there were a few birds passing - like this flock of Black-headed Gulls...

There were several 'Bonxies' or Great Skuas, all well out to sea.

And a lone Sandwich Tern flew past just offshore. did a Great Cormorant.

One of the resident Yellow-legged Gulls.

A few Ruddy Turnstones provided plenty of photo-opportunities on the beach.

These small reddish bivalves washed up on the tideline seemed to be the prey of choice.

Once one was found it was whisked away to a solitary spot suitably distant from other turnstones.

The shellfish's muscle was no match for the chisel bill of the turnstone, and before long, the succulent-looking white flesh was extracted, shaken and eaten.

Some birds preferred to hunt on the beach, others preferred the rockpools, where they seemed fairly unconcerned by the .regular surges of breaking surf.

Getting flight shots was a challenge as the sun was always on the seaward side, so getting the light behind me meant getting wet feet!


Anonymous said...

Thanks Dave for the Azure-winged
Magpie, one of my dream birds when I am in Japan, didn't realize there
is another range in Spain -
Nope, I didn't get to see it in Japan.
Choo Eng.

Unknown said...

what an amazing documentation while having a holiday! Nice work Dave.