european stonechat

i like stonechats (aka, cartaxo comum). they prefer to perch on top of things, making them super easy to spot and photograph. plus, their colors are quite striking (at least the males), so they easily stand out from other birds. they’re so common here.

the females are a little bit less showy, more muted in their colors, but still easy enough to spot, high on a fence or stick.

we rarely noticed them before we started birdwatching, but once you start looking (really looking), they’re everywhere!


common waxbill

because my back is kind of crappy, i’ve been taking more walks lately, which usually help. if the back doesn’t hurt too much and i feel like i can carry a bit of weight, i’ll usually carry the camera-with-the-nice-zoom to see what we can find. this week, waxbills!

they are so tiny and cute, which is probably the reason they’ve been introduced in many different places despite being a sub-saharan species. the name comes from the strip of red around their eyes and beak, which is the color of sealing wax (the stuff one used to put on letters, to close them).

they’re everywhere here in the south, usually puttering around in groups on the grass, but sometimes also high up on the reeds.


common chiffchaff

i think this is a chiffchaff (aka Phylloscopus collybita)…? they’re kind of hard to tell apart between the different types, but relatively common in our garden and around water courses. we caught this one near the ria, perched on a branch a few meters away from us.

the photos were lucky because they’re so tiny and restless, that they don’t keep still for pictures for very long… 😅


white wagtail

now that i have digital a camera with a decent zoom, i’d thought i’d publish some bird photos now and then. :) this is a white wagtail (motacilla alba), and you can find them everywhere in portugal — and indeed, all over europe and asia, though they look slightly different in different regions.

it’s such a common and elegant bird, walking around “wagging” its tail! they’re not too fussy about where they live and are just as common in city streets as they are in the countryside. this youngling was perched on a vine in the fields near olhão, just looking pretty for the photo.

birdwatching weeknotes

weeknotes 47/21

– dani is visiting for a few days! :D it’s a little intimidating to have 50% of the blog readership in the room… but also a good excuse to cook new food, check out new places and experiment!
– it’s cold outside and so the fireplace has been working non stop this week. only the living room gets properly warm though, so we’ve migrated downstairs and set up shop on the dining table.
– i’ve finally organized and backed up my birdwatching photos, discarding about a million blurred pics in the process. our gifted camera is so good, that even without me having explored much of its features, i can still make pretty photos of young black-winged stilts.

– did my first refood delivery. refood is made of volunteers that get together at the end of the day to collect supermarket food leftovers and deliver them to locals that could use the help. we took a few boxes of stuff near expiration from continente to a community pantry that helps feed a local neighbourhood. felt great!
– the big marathon walk hasn’t been walked yet due to some wet weather, but there are plans to make it happen! we’ll probably walk from here to faro, starting before the crack of dawn and ending in faro past sunset. fingers crossed we’ll make it there! :D