Sunday 24 March 2024


Hello again! I should have told you, dear fellow bloggers that I was going to take a few days off from blogging, but initially I had only intended to take a couple of days off blogging to feel revitalised, but those two days eventually turned into three weeks as unforeseen circumstances arose in my home and on the farm which needed my attention and caused me considerable concern,and just when I thought things couldn't get any worse two of my dearest and closest friends passed away within a week of each other, which was deeply upsetting as we had known each other for 65 years. I had started to make a post in February, but after languishing for some time, I knew it would be beneficial to get back to blogging, try to finish my post, and visit my blog friends,... grieving will take time, so here are some photos that were taken in February on mostly dark days, and a few in March in better weather conditions.  

This Brown Squirrel with the black bushy tail has a voracious appetite, and eats all the sunflower seeds and peanuts leaving none for the birds.

When I think it has had more than it's fair share I go outside onto the balcony and the squirrel quickly disappears, only to reappear as soon as I  go inside and close the door. I have now given up trying to shoo it away.When it eventually leaves of it's own accord I refill all the feeders and the birds are free to eat their breakfast in peace until another squirrel appears, a younger reddish brown one with a thinner tail. I can't seem to find a photos of this one, but will share in another post when I have found them.

The slopes are covered with Gorse at this time of the year..Gorse grows in any climate.and is quite common in the wild vegetation in Portugal.It has many health benefits, used as a medicinal herbal tea it regulates blood pressure and diabetes, and is also good for the liver and kidneys.The yellow flowers are  also used in cosmetics, and of course insects are attracted to the coconut scented perfume.

I have been enjoying fresh orange juice every day from the oranges in the orchard. The sweet orange was unknown in Europe until the fifteenth century when Italian and Portuguese merchants brought orange trees to the Mediterranean- It was considered a luxury, grown by wealthy people in private conservatories known as orangeries. By 1646 the sweet orange was well known throughout Europe.
Subsequent expeditions in the mid 1500s brought sweet oranges to South America, Mexico, and Florida in 1565.

I have seen a prodigious amount of Great Tits this year. They have started to carry away peanuts in their shells from the balcony, and return time and again for more.

The Robin is always the first to arrive on my balcony.

A female Chaffinch comes to eat the cake

As you can see the Robin has an orange breast but the bird is known as Robin Redbreast, because the word orange was only used as a colour in the 1500s after the robin had already been named.

I think this is a baby Chaffinch.

My  Blue Daisy flowered plant,  "Felicia amelloides" is doing so well, and is full of new buds It started out as a small cutting but is now like a small bush. I love it's blue daisy like flowers, blue is my favourite colour in the garden, and I had to see it on the balcony. 

The male Blackcap

It sometimes visits my feeders to eat cake. 

A Lily plant  in bud on my balcony. It won't take long before the peach coloured flower appears.

A close look at this intelligent Eurasian Jay shows it's beautiful eyes. The Eurasian Jay has exceptionally keen eyesight, and if it detects the slightest movement from me it  flies away.

The wind was ferocious in February. This is a shot of the female Great Spotted Woodpecker Wilma for short, who flew to the tree but clung to the side of the tree without moving for a good ten mins until the wind abated. It's clear to all who see this shot why the Woodpecker is named the Great Spotted Woodpecker Having never seen the wing extended before it was a pleasant surprise. 

The Coal Tit showing the top of it's head which you don't often see.

Juvenile female Chaffinch

The Blackbird has started to come to my balcony again to eat the cake crumbs I throw on the tiles, as several birds such as the Robin and Chaffinch prefer to eat from the ground. I sweep the floor every day and mop it once a week.I don't mind at all, it's just one of those  necessary chores.

Another shot of the Blue Daisy and some wild ones on the farm. 

Dear fellow bloggers it may take me a while before I can visit all of you, as I am taking antibiotics which together with my own medication makes me feel drowsy and slow, I already felt slow :=) but I will eventually visit one and all with the greatest of pleasure.

Saturday 2 March 2024


February was a wet month, but in spite of the bad weather the birds still came to my balcony, and nearby trees. Most of the time it poured down, and the poor birds got soaking wet, and I didn't stray far from my bedroom. Here are some of the birds I captured last month, on the 27th and 28th of February. Although I saw other birds, prior to those dates I had no internet for several days so have yet to edit them. 

The Greenfinch.

As above

The Coal-tit

As above

Crested -tit

As above

Eurasian Jay

As above

As above

Great Tit

Will the Great Spotted Woodpecker.

As above

The European robin.

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