Tuesday, 23 November 2021

A WALK ON THE FARM


The weather continues warm and  very pleasant for walking on the farm. It was 3 pm, when I started off walking down the slope on our driveway, and I spent a couple of hours looking at all the changes that had taken place since my last amble, marvelling in the richness of colour that nature had bestowed on the leaves still on the trees and on the ground.I haven't counted the photos that I took, but there are many. 

 


This picture is typical of the landscape. Rocky outcrops are visible everywhere, and add interest to the sloping land. Some have been made into steps, and I used to walk around here, and then sit to rest on a stone bench  made with three large stones, like a mini Stonehenge structure.


I walked down the leaf covered driveway, enjoying the sound of the leaves rustling under my feet, stopping occasionally to take the colourful Autumn views with my camera.


Lower down I went, towards the pond, by a different route.

To my right was this beautiful coloured tree, so I had to take  a photo.


On the ground was a small Oak tree, with vivid coloured leaves.



Then I saw these small toadstools inside a sawed off tree trunk.


The squirrels had probably been nibbling at them.


What you see here, is the right side of the pond. You can just see the steps on the bottom left side of this photo, which take you to the pond.


This is the left hand side of the pond. As you can imagine many leaves find their way into the water.


To my surprise I saw these unusual green ball like things floating on the surface. I have never seen this before.


I took another shot, then made my way to the Chestnut Grove


This is the trunk of a Chestnut tree. These trees are over a hundred years old, and still bear  the most delicious chestnuts.



At the end of the line of trees is my studio, where I used to do my art work, and it's still in use, albeit not by me for the same purpose. I do take tea there with Paula sometimes in the afternoons. She loves restoring furniture, and is doing a wonderful job on an antique chest of drawers.


A closer look at my studio. It looks as though the electric lights are on, but it's the sun on the other side, shining through the windows.


Look what I found on another Chestnut tree. By the way, Furniture made from the wood of the Chestnut tree is the most expensive furniture to buy in Portugal.

  
Another image by my studio. On the left you can just see a stone table, and benches,made for picnicking in the shade of the trees.


I then walked by the grape vines. The leaves are now a deeper shade of red, and have  Morning Glory vines intertwined with them.

 
Now, on the sunny side of my studio,  I was delighted to see that the old Fig tree had lost all it's large leaves, which makes it easier to see birds, and thanks to Phil Slade I know now that this bird is a first Autumn female Serin.
 

The streaked feathers, and upturned beak had me baffled.


The feather pattern on it's back is also interesting.


I am used to seeing the brightly coloured Serins in Summer but not
a first Autumn youngster  which is quite pale by comparison.


The orange tree on the left only produces bitter oranges for making marmalade.


These two Wood Pigeons have a nest on top of the Conifer. I know because I have been observing them for some time now with my binoculars, and took some photos  as I was walking down.


"Where did he go"?



 He went for a drink of-course! :=)



By 5.15pm it was already getting dark, and I took these two photos  before Paula and I left.




I enjoyed the walk, but felt tired, good tired, and slept well that night.


Wednesday, 17 November 2021

THE COAL TIT Periparus eter

Coal Tits are one of my favourite birds to photograph, They are a small bird, just 11.5 cm in length,with a wing span of 17. 21 cm, and it's the only bird that has fed out of my hand. It was one of those unforgettable moments that I was privileged to experience. It felt weightless, but in fact it weighs about 8 g, I see them in all kinds of weather, because I feed them nuts and seeds, just like the other Tits which also come for food. Here are a few captures of one I took last week.

















Tuesday, 9 November 2021

THE SARA MOREIRA PARK.

The mornings are chilly, but after lunch it begins to warm up. It's sunny, with blue skies, and a very pleasant temperature. My daughter Eva and I decided to go by car to the park, enjoy some fresh air and catch up with our news whilst we walked around the park and hopefully I would see something of interest to photograph. It's a large park, with many paths, It is named after Sara Moreira, a 300 metre Portuguese athlete from Santo Tirso. We had a long walk, and  I took lots of photographs.      

 

We made our way to the water to see if there were any ducks.


We had to pass between these two trees to get nearer the water.


The leaves on these trees had changed to a yellowy green colour.


A tree with spectacular autumn coloured leaves. I kept looking upwards at the leaves, to see if I could see any birds


Although I could hear birdsong, there was not a bird in sight.


Unfortunately the ground was waterlogged, so we couldn't get as near as I would have liked, so we had to turn around and take another path higher up.


These  tiny plants growing in the water,caught my attention.


This one looks like a small tree.


When Eva said, "There's a bird on the stone," I said "It's probably a smaller stone," because although it turned out to be a Common Sandpiper, it was motionless and asleep. I did take a photo, but it was not in focus, and then it moved, and flew away. This is the best I could do. 


Nearer the falls the water gushed onto the stones. I watched for a while, enjoying the scene.


The Wall Brown was sunbathing on a large stone, as was the


A Red Admiral, which I had seen quite a lot of in the garden, but I was slightly discouraged that I hadn't seen any birds in the park.
 


Then I heard a rustling of leaves, and finally saw some Warblers. 



They flitted about, hardly keeping still for a second.



They were definitely attracted to something in these trees.



They were right at the top of the tree Canopy, and difficult to get a clear image. They were quite small birds with a pale yellow breast




Could they be Willow Warblers, or a Wood Warblers, they both have the distinctive eye brow stripe and yellow breast. I have been reliably informed that my first inkling was correct.
  


This is a photo I took on the farm, It looks darker in colour, but very similar in other ways.



This is a better shot, of what I now know is a Willow Warbler.




As we were leaving, I took a quick shot of some ducks passing by



A day well spent, and we made plans to make a return visit. 


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