Tuesday 29 March 2022


 Last week Paula and I witnessed some unusual behaviour by a young Hoopoe  which we saw through my studio  window. Usually a very shy and secretive bird, but this Hoopoe just seemed inquisitive, as it walked up and down the roof, and looked through the window. It was a day when I didn't have my camera with me, so here are all the photos Paula took of the Hoopoe with her phone. Enjoy!

Wednesday 23 March 2022


The Firecrest continues to visit my bedroom balcony. Here are a few captures of this charming little bird., which belongs to the kinglet family. It is one of the brightest, colourful European birds.

They eat small morsels, like spiders, moth eggs, and other insect food ...

but on my balcony they eat cake crumbs...

and finely chopped peanuts.

One day I hope to capture it on a  fine sunny day, as all my photos have been taken on dull days, which really doesn't do it justice.

The robin also eats cake crumbs and finely chopped peanuts....

as does the field mouse.

Two captures of this little gem. I have just had the thought, that as the weather warms up and there are more insects available, perhaps I won't see it again....

but I hope that is not the case.

Friday 18 March 2022


Around a third of Portugal is overgrown with forests, and every year there are forest fires. The main problem is the uncontrolled sprawl of Eucalyptus trees which has been problematic for decades. They burn like tinder, and flying sparks can spread forest fires for miles. There is still a lot to do to combat forest fires, but goats provide an innovative way to address the problem of bush fires.They clear the undergrowth that fuel wild fires in hard to reach, and often inaccessible inland areas. Goats eat almost anything, if it grows in the wild, a goat will eat it, add to that their agility in climbing rugged landscapes and you have, not the perfect solution for the prevention of spreading wild fires, but they do help to clear scrub land of undergrowth, and create natural cost effective fire barriers.

   A typical Portuguese goat herder with his dogs who are trained to herd at a young age, and in this case, even their puppies went along, and I enjoyed watching them.

An enlarged photo of the beautiful dog in the previous photo.

Some of the goats have been shaved.  
Some goat herders say that during the extreme heat of summer, the goats get stressed from overheating with their coats on. 

The puppies playing, but no doubt learning what their parents do. 

Goat herding is a Portuguese tradition. 

The Algarve goat, with dark spots on a white coat is indigenous to Portugal. I saw them on my last visit to the Algarve and photographed the scene with the intention of writing about them at a later stage. As the weather has been rainy with grey skies, it has  been just too unpleasant to venture outside, or take photos, but as we need the rain, it is a good opportunity to make this post. 

Tuesday 1 March 2022


Another week has gone by, and it's already the end of February. How many times have you heard the common phrase"Time Flies"?  Oh how true this is, as now my perception of time has speeded up to a degree that it's beyond my comprehension. I try to make each second count, but time eludes me. It's Wednesday, and once again  it's time for "Wild Bird Wednesday," a meme I really enjoy visiting. It's a chance to share some wild birds, and see others from around the world. This week I'm also including some photos I took of other creatures, and plants,...I usually do that anyway!:=)) Ha ha, I have just realised that I'm ahead of time, as it's only Tuesday!


Two captures of the Coal Tit. Normally it's the first bird to arrive on  my balcony in the morning, and the robin is the last to leave in the evening.

The Chaffinch.

The Geenfinch

The Red Squirrel on it's way to my balcony. He saw me, and stopped. Is it just me, or do I detect a "What shall I do now" expression!

The Rock-Bunting  Emberiza  cia.
An early morning visitor, picking up the newly sown grass seed.

Mimosa appears in February. It's bright yellow blooms illuminate the forest on the mountainside and pollinators love them, and so do I.  

The Eurasian Jay.

A few more studies...

Of this shy and secretive bird

Which I am privileged to see on my balcony.

This sparkly iridescent beetle caught my attention.

A large Ocellated Lizard visited my bedroom balcony last week.

Although these images are out of focus and rather dark, I wanted to show you that the little Fire-crest came for something to eat.

I waited some considerable time to get a frontal view.

At last it turned, and I was able to capture a side view.

 I took this photo last year, and am still confused as to why its feathers are of a different hue to it's usual grey and black colouring.

A tiny grasshopper.

On another occasion the Fire-crest appeared just as I was about to close the wooden shutters, so with poor light, but much excitement I captured it again, as it moved around between the plant pots.

The Greenfinch in bright sunlight.


A sleeping fox, that I photographed last year on the property. I took a different route which is hardly ever used, on my way to the pond,  I guess that the fox felt safe to take a nap in such a secluded area. 

A rotund Robin Redbreast.

 Getting a decent pose, is worth waiting for.

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