Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Pioneer species

Breeding Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius/Kleine Plevier) ♂, with its conspicuous yellow eye ring. Last winter several lowland streams were restored to original meandering course in the east of the county Noord-Brabant near Eindhoven (at least 2 that I know of). The banks of the streams were also flattened and the surrounding land was cleared. These temporary sand plains with sparse weeds offer breeding ground to this true pioneer species.

* Canon EOS 7D, 500mm/f4 IS; ISO-200, f6.3, 1/320s; -0.3 stop; bean bag.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Cabanas Jurassic Park

Today's upload of our Algarve holiday is a Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon/Kameleon). It is a stunning creature, and I was very happy to find one. They are known for their ability to change the color of their skin 'pixels' (in order to blend in their environment). But it is also fascinating to see the grabbing limbs, the independent directed eye-balls and the slow but careful movements of this African species. This photo goes with a little story.
I found on the Internet that Chameleons are seen regularly near the visitor center of the National Park Ria Formosa. So we went to this place (50 km from our apartment), and together with my wife Judith I checked-out every bush in bloody hot sunshine, without any success. A bit disappointed (but not too much, because this is how it typically goes when exploring nature; sometimes you win, sometimes you lose) we returned to our apartment. Later that day, at the end of the afternoon, when I was grabbing a well-deserved beer from the fridge I saw from the kitchen window of our apartment something 'suspicious' in the fence of the Garden Cabanas compound. I said to myself: “This can't be true; it must be a leave or some piece of wood sticking into the fence”. Against all odds I left my cold beer alone to check-out the strange leave. And this time it indeed was a Chameleon. And moreover this Chameleon appeared to be our garden companion. With some effort I found it back every day, and with some patience I could make this photo. The morale of this story: Pick up a cold beer from the fridge regularly (and while doing so, do not forget to look outside)!

* Canon EOS 7D, 100mm/f2.8; ISO-400, f5.6, 1/320s; -0.3 stop; hand held.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Anchor beach

Praia Barril (Barril beach), National Park Ria Formosa, Portugal. Monumental place in the dunes with all those anchors in the sand.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 17-40mm/f4 @ 17 mm; ISO-200, f16, 1/10s; 3 stop ND hard gradient filter; tripod.

Breeding on the beach

Another birding highlight: Breeding Little Terns (Sterna albifrons/Dwergstern) on Ilha de Cabanas in National Park Ria Formosa, 5 minutes by boat taxi and an hour on foot from our apartment.

* Canon EOS 7D, 300mm/f4 IS and 1.4x; ISO-200, f6.3, 1/640s; +1 stop; bean bag.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Highway to the ocean

Highway to the Atlantic, paved by the ocean itself. The south-west coast of Portugal is surprisingly rough. I did not plan to do a lot of landscape photography, but when I saw these rocky outcrops, I had to return to this scene around sunset. At high tide the rocks submerge.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 17-40mm/f4 @ 17 mm; ISO-100, f16, 2s; -0.3 stop; 3 stop ND hard gradient filter; tripod.

Saturday, 1 June 2013


Some highlights from my summer holiday in the south of Portugal. Wonderful place to relax and enjoy nature, some sunshine, southern hospitality, the Atlantic, and good food! Here is one of my birding highlights: Red-rumped Swallows (Cecropsis daurica/ Roodstuitzwaluw) building their nest bit-by-bit with small bolts of mud. Photo is taken near Monchique on the highest mountain top of the Algarve.

* Canon EOS 7D, 300mm/f4 IS; ISO-400, f5.6, 1/800s; +1 stop; bean bag.