Thursday, 22 September 2016

Algarve and the Wetlands

The "Ria de Alvor" is the most important estuary of the western Algarve, and has about 350 hectares of sandbars, silts and saltmarsh. The small rivers Odiáxere, Arao, Farelo, and Torre, flow into the Alvor estuary forming a coastal lagoon with more than 2.5kilometers in length. The Alvor estuary is a place where the river freshwater meets the salt water of the sea, creating a gradient of salinity which associated with tidal dynamics and the presence of nutrients usually supports a great biodiversity. In more protected areas of the estuary, where water does not have too much turbulence, the marshes arise. Considered the most productive areas of the planet, they accumulate nutrients for the entire river basin of the rivers and even nutrients brought by the tides.

Approaching the Estuary by car.

This is the map, right next to the beach marking the footpaths.

The beach

and another view, taken already from the footpath at the start of our walk around the lagoon.

A view of the other side of the path. We were told by residents that most of the bird had already left., and they were right,

but we had to see for ourselves, and just taking in the natural beauty of this place, was such a pleasure. 

Our first sighting of the Black-winged Stilt.







Bird calls and movements in the tall grasses told us there were birds in hiding..

Showing the path we took, starting on the left hand side of the embankment.

Our first sighting of the flamingos

If we had arrived two weeks earlier we would have seen dozens of different species, especially ducks and herons.

but we were happy to see whatever birds still remained.

They were rather far away, and these were the best shots I could get.
Click on the links below to see these great memes.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Bee, Bug, Butterflies, Berries, Bird, Frog, Fence, and Flowers.

 Sharing some of the photos taken in the garden and farm last week.

Morning Glory

A micro moth  "I would have passed it by, had I not seen it fly".

A  Bumble bee  ( Bombus Cascuorum )

A cute little bug, but I don't know the name, nor can I remember the name of the flower.

The Provençal Fritillary sunbathing on a clothes peg

 The Carpenter Bee   Xylocopa  violácea  on Beauty bush.

A  Marsh Frog  sunbathing near our water tank ...

and his friend.

Morning Glory in the fields.

The Crested Tit

A dragonfly with a black beetle snack. It's not one I know!

The Bath White butterfly

Blackberries on a fence

The Brimstone butterfly

The Agapanthus beginning to reveal it's full beauty.

Prickly Chestnut cases.

The "Judas Tree" seed pods.

The Hydrangea
My thanks to Stewart, Theresa, Eileen, Anni, and Denise, for hosting their memes. Join in the fun if you have any photos to share, or just take a look by clicking on their links. br /> WILD BIRD WEDNESDAYS

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Algarve, and Rout of Snails En Route

One day in the country lanes of the Alvor Estuary, on our way to the marsh lands. Americo, drew my attention to clusters of tiny snails all along  the  fence. It was such an unusual sight that I immediately took some photos to share for Good Fences.

We saw two clusters of tiny dormant snails.

You will be better able to see the singular snails on the lower wire.

They were much smaller than my little fingernail.

A  rout.

They will feed many of the birds which inhabit the marshlands.

I expect that after summer is over, and the rain begins to fall, they will make their way down the posts to lay their eggs.

The larger snails had a pretty pattern on their shells.
Just click on the link Good Fences to see more fences, railings or gates, from around the globe. Thank you Theresa for hosting your most enjoyable meme, and click on Saturdays Critters to see more critters. Thank you Eileen for hosting, for giving me the opportunity of seeing critters, I would otherwise not see, or know about.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Algarve and the Little Owl.

I hope you will forgive my indulgence in showing you photos of the same owl, in very similar poses. I was just so elated to see the Little Owl, when we were traveling the dirt roads of the Alvor Estuary. We were in the car, when I saw something dark fly up into what I thought must be a tree, as our vision was obscured by some tall bushes, and it was still some distance away. With care I walked slowly to where I thought it must have landed, but saw nothing, and then as I looked towards an old Pylon, there in the darkness of a small recess sat the owl. He was looking at me, with those large eyes, and  I took these shots as quickly as I could, for fear he would fly away.

The Little Owl   Athene noctua

This little Owl is about the same size as a thrush.

It hunts at dusk but can be seen perched on fence posts, or high wires etc during daylight.

his penetrating stare was so intense,....

as his piercing eyes met mine...

but he is just so adorable and..

it was a lucky encounter that...

I will never forget!
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