Tuesday, 17 April 2018

White Storks nesting in Silves, Algarve, Portugal.

It was great to see so many White Storks in the town of Silves busily flying to and fro over the town and the Arade river, in the main gathering nesting material. They lack the ability to sing or call, they can make a quiet hissing sound though bill clapping is their main method of communication used as a greeting or a threat.

A large building adjacent to the market hall had been demolished except for some reason one of the walls of the building, scaffold had been erected along it. The storks could be seen along the top of the wall in pairs, some had already made a nest!! If there is a vacant space, be it a chimney, rooftop  or wall  they will use it! :-)

This nest is above the vegetation alongside the river and is used presumably by the same pair of Storks as they are a monogamous bird, though no doubt there are exceptions to the rule! It has been good to return occasionally in the Spring to see the nest inhabited!

The 'wall' nesters!

What a fabulous view the occupants of the building next to the 'wall' would have of the nest!
                                                A nest on the tree canopy!

                                             A nest on the end of a crane!

                                        Bringing home the nesting material!
                                                        Sorting it out!
                                               The image speaks for itself!

Happy nesting Storks and stay safe!


Monday, 9 April 2018

Yarn Bombing in Silves, Algarve, Portugal.

Well this was a new one to me...Yarn bombing! After researching with Google I see that it is a worldwide practice and is believed to have originated in the United States.

During my recent holiday in the Algarve a visit was made to Silves.
The town of Silves was the capital of the Algarve during Moorish rule, from 700 until 1200 ad. The remains of it's Medieval Castle, Cathedral and ancient buildings are well worth visiting. White Storks are a delight to see as they fly to and fro over the town carrying nest building material or food to take to their nests which are on chimney's and high buildings.
A stroll across the waterfront that is alongside the Arade River is always a pleasure looking for Common Sandpipers, Wagtails, Gulls and Kingfishers and whatever else might be along the riverside. Common Waxbills, Cetti's, House Sparrows are normally to be seen or heard in and around the vegetation on the riverbank and a few years ago a Black Redstart sighting was a highlight!

Now back to 'Yarn Bombing'!
The Olive trees along the waterfront were adorned with knitted and crocheted displays wrapped around the tree trunks and lower branches, a sight to see and a surprise.
I was informed by a local that the displays had mainly been done by local 'Pensioners' as a means of occupying their minds and helping to keep them active! What a great idea!

A few images, well a lot actually, of the trees in question.


All for now as I am off to the shops to purchase wool and knitting needles, I have an idea for decorating my apple trees for the summer.;-)
White Storks in Silves to follow in Part 2.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Seth Somers Park re-visited. 25/03/2018

It was good to see the bright sunshine early in the morning, though it was deceiving as it was quite cool in the shade.
I still have yet to connect with the Hawfinches that had been reported again during the last week, maybe they have moved on now.
Highlights were: Great and Blue Tits, Long-tailed Tits, Nuthatch, Wren, Blackbirds in good numbers, Jay, Redwing 10+, Common Buzzard x4 and being informed by a gentleman out walking that he had just seen a Badger make haste when it spotted him!
I wonder if it is struggling to find food during the cold weather we have been enduring.

Let's hope the Easter Bank holiday weekend will be at least a dry one if not a warm one, enjoy!

Frogs predated in my garden.

Just over a week ago I found 5 frogs dead in my garden, 2 during the week and then on a Saturday morning 3 were found on a lawn in separate areas. They had had their head and legs  bitten off in all but one frog. My thoughts were that maybe the foxes that visit almost nightly were the predators or maybe Hedgehogs, Crows or Magpies that is until I set the camera trap in the garden.
I had a surprise to see a Tawny Owl had paid a visit. So the Owl is the prime suspect!

One of two foxes that have been visiting most nights.

 The perched Tawny Owl was a nice surprise and quite unexpected. I have brightened the image as on the original unedited image just two eyes were visible!
I have since found out that my neighbour had also found a single frog in the same state as those in my garden. I wonder if the Owl will be back for more?

Monday, 19 March 2018

A temporary blip!

The snow has mostly thawed now and despite the bitterly cold wind it is almost looking though certainly not feeling like a Spring day! ;-)

Sunday, 18 March 2018

The 'Beast from the East' returns!

Hopefully just a 'mini' beast if the weather forecasters have it right!
My garden is blanketed with snow, to say it is a 'mini' return it dropped a lot of snow in the process!

To think that on Friday I saw my first Ladybird of the year and earlier in the week a Bumblebee was dotting around the pansy flower pots!

I have had  a sad sight the last few days. During the last week 2 frogs were found dead in my garden and on Saturday (17th) 3 dead frogs found in different areas of a lawn. I wonder if it is one of the foxes that visit, a cat, rat or maybe one of the corvids!
I am setting the camera trap down by the fish pond to see if the 'species' can be caught on camera! No tracks visible this morning due to the snow cover but I doubt much was about with the snow falling throughout the night. The fish pond has never attracted many frogs, maybe that is just as well.

                                                          Not a happy gnome!

I cleared an area for ground food, guess which was the first bird to take advantage?
Snow, snow go away, Spring is on it's way!
(hopefully) ;-)