There were White Storks nesting everywhere we went all over southern Portugal: in the Tagus Estuary, in the Alentejo, and in the Algarve. Most nest on telephone poles and high tension towers, or on poles put up for them to keep them off buildings, but we did see quite a few nesting in trees in a more natural setting. This was taken in the Alentejo, and is the greeting behavior as the mate returns to the nesting bird…weaving and bobbing and bill clacking. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.
We are back this morning from 12 days of birding and photography in Portugal. I will do a catch up post later this week. On our 2nd day of actual birding we drove a good ways up the Tagus River from the Estuary to take a boat ride on the river to visit, among other things, a mixed rookery of waders. I caught this Grey Heron coming back to the island were the birds nest. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds in flight and action modifications. Processed in Polarr.
Looking from the hill where the faithful believe the angle of peace appeared across the little valley to the Basilica at the site of the apparition of Mary in Fatima. The Hungarian Pilgrim way runs from there to here. The Basilica is just to the right of the trees on the left. Sony a5100 in-camera HDR. 16mm prime with UWA converter for an 18mm equivalent field of view. Processed in Polarr.
Pic for today: Lisbon Looking out over Lisbon from the highest view in the city. We took a toktok tour after the rains yesterday. I certainly could not have walked up here 🙂 St. George Castle on its own hill on the left. The Tagus in the mid-ground. In-camera HDR. Sony a5100 with 16mm prime and UWA converter for an 18mm equivalent filed of view. Processed in Polarr.
In case you did not get the memo, I am in Portugal for the next 12 days. Two nights in Lisbon, and a visit to Fatima for Carol, then 3 days of birding and photography in the Tagus River Estuary, four days in the Alentejo and the steppe county of Castro Verde, and then three days in the Algarve, and back around to Lisbon for one more night. This is our Lisbon Hotel, the Hotel Zenit Lisboa. Note the tile work…Lisbon is famous for its tile and has been for several hundred years. We tried to walk to the old town center, about 20 minutes down hill from the hotel, but it was just misting too hard to be enjoyable, so we did not make it. We are now resting after our 30 hours in airports and airplanes yesterday into today. Sony Rx10iv at 24mm equivalent. In-camera HDR. Processed in Polarr.
I always spend at least one morning at La Jolla Cove, up the coast from Mission Bay where the San Diego Birding Festival has its home in late February. The cormorants and pelicans are in breeding plumage, the Harbor Seals are pupping and the Sea Lions are sunning on the rocks. This is the Brown Pelican, of course, in full regalia. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my birds in flight and action modifications. 1/1000th @ f4 @ ISO 125. Processed in Polarr.
Another “not the most exciting bird in the world” but interesting (to me) none the less. I can still remember when this was the Canyon Towhee, even in California…and the split gave me another life-bird 🙂 While Towhees in general are hard to see, due to their habit of skulking in the underbrush digging holes for grubs and worms (as this one is), the California Towhees at Cabrillo National Monument on the tip of Point Loma in San Diego California are parking lot birds, and very easy to see. I had to track this off the tarmac to get it in its more “native”, “natural” (and “characteristic”) habitat. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. 1/250th @ f4 @ ISO 400. Processed in Polarr and TouchRetouch (that out-of-focus branch extended over the bird…a testimonial to the focus on the RX10iv, but not an attractive addition to the image. :).
I started birding in western New Mexico, in the sage brush and ponderosa of the high dry country around Gallup, and we got Horned Larks at the edge of our local soccer field, in open areas around lakes, and in the sandy plains west of Zuni. In San Diego, around Mission Bay, they are beach birds. I have seen them on both sides of the water between Sea World and Fiesta Island. They are bold, and if you stand still, they are likely to end up feeding only a few feet from your feet, as this one did on Fiesta Island. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. 1/800th @ f4 @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr.
We went for a hike one morning in San Diego at Tecolote Canyon Natural Park, an “urban canyon” park with miles of trails just east of Sea World bordering the University of San Diego. It was a dull morning, overcast, but there was some bird activity, including this perky Bewick’s Wren. This is not two birds in one bush…it is one bird photographed twice and laid into the same frame using a blended collage effect in FrameMagic…just to give you a more comprehensive view of the bird 🙂 Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. 1/640th @ f4 @ ISO 100. Each image was processed in Polarr and cropped to about a 1200mm equivalent field of view before assembling in FrameMagic.
Sometimes the beauty is in the small stuff…and in the small details. In all the great flower show of the beginnings of an Anza Borrego Desert superbloom, this tiny flower caught my eye. I think it is Bristly Fiddleneck, but there are several possible Fiddlenecks that grow in the Anza Borrego, and I would not be too surprised if it were one of the others. 🙂 I am not an expert. I found it coming back down the Hellhole Canyon Trail at Anza Borrego Desert State Park, near the end of our March 4th flower adventure. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Macro mode. 1/1000th @ f5 @ ISO 100. -.3EV. Processed in Polarr.