Tuesday, April 20, 2010


If Woodchat Shrikes are the indicators that Spring is here (see previous post), the arrival of Bee-eaters to me suggests that Summer is not far behind; the day-long "trilling" call of these gorgeous birds is one of the pleasures of living in the Algarve.

I heard and saw my first Bee-eater on 27th March this year which is rather early for western Algarve (first week in April is more normal).

Many of the established nesting colonies near me have been destroyed by this winter's torrential rain with the low earth banks with nest holes collapsing due to water-logging.

The bird in these photos, and its mate, were photographed on 5th April while they were excavating a new nest hole on the edge of my land (the earth on its bill is clearly visible). Since then the weather has deteriorated again and we have had torrential rain, hail, thunder and strong winds. The birds appear to have abandoned their new home.

This really is the worst winter I can ever remember here.

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