Daily Archives: April 22, 2019

Catching up with Portugal

I had limited wifi in Portugal…in fact I had to resort to my cellular data on my iPad for most posts…so I did not post to WordPress. These are the images you missed 🙂 European Spoonbill in flight from the Tagus Esturay. Two shots of a Squacco Heron from nearby. A cooperative Black-winged Kite from the Alentejo. A Hoopoe, also from the Alentejo. A European Bee Eater we chanced on while looking for Black Storks. Two Crested Grebes doing a mating display, a pair of Common Shelducks, both from the Algarve, and a Little Owl posing nicely beside the road near our hotel in the Algarve.

Great Bustard

Over 4 days in April 2019, we saw several Great Bustards in the steppe country between Castro Verde and Mertola in the Alentejo of southern Portugal, but all at great distances, on the hillsides across the swales, and through heavy heat shimmer. Not totally satisfying, and frustrating for photography. This is a heavy crop from a 600mm equivalent frame, and the only photo of a Great Bustard from the trip that I am willing to post. Still, it is an amazing bird. According to our Portuguese guide, the world’s largest bird that can still fly (if you ask in Africa, they will tell you that honor belongs to the closely related Kori Bustard…but that is to be expected). From the distance at which you see them, they look small ships moving through a sea of high grasses. To get a closer photo, I am told, you have to visit one of the specialized “hides” that are maintained near leks. You have to crawl into the hide before daylight, and stay until after dark, so it is a daylong commitment. I might try to do that next time I go to Portugal, if I am still up to crawling at that point. 🙂 Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Manual focus to get accurate focus through the heat shimmer. Processed in Polarr.