Always one of my favourite photographic subjects, the Jade Vine is in flower at the moment. On the hottest April day for 70 years, the lighting was very harsh so I accentuated this but kept detail in the flowers by using fill-in ring flash.
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
I only used the 100-400 mm lens for taking insects so it was a bit hit and miss as regards depth of field and background (close focus 1.5 metres) but here a few insects that I managed to photograph in reasonable positions. The wasp is Polistes dominula.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
As the weather warmed up and brightened, the S'Albufera sprang to life with Cetti's Warblers and Nightingales competing for attention. The Cetti's (first five) are generally secretive but on occasions come out into the open and sing profusely. The Nightingale (next two) sings generally very visibly on a branch but is such a ventriloquist that it is difficult to locate its position. Also shown Sardinian Warbler (resident species), Pied Flycatcher (migrating) and Fan-Tailed Warbler (summer visitor). We are back in England now and so wish could have been there this week when migration and breeding hopefully starts in ernest but that is the luck of the draw!
Monday, April 16, 2018
Most of our week was spent at the S'Albufera Marshes - the weather was variable so we saw it in all conditions from rain to bright warm conditions on our last day (of course). The windy and cool conditions definitely reduced the number of birds present and recorded. We hired a car for 2 days and visited the mountains (along with many hundreds of cyclists!), walking at Cuber Reservoir and then the Bocquer valley on day one. The second day rained most of the morning but we managed visits to the Salt Pands at Des Salines and Son Real for its orchids.
Sunday, April 15, 2018
We hired a car for 2 days and our second day finished at Son Real, an archeological site that is also famous for its orchids. With only a limited time and a very large area to cover, I was quite pleased to find 5 different orchids - three of the Bee orchid family (Ophrys), a Tongue orchid (Serapias lingua) and one of the Orchis family. Also included, four typical plants of the area, Asteriscus maritimus, Echium sabulicola, Asphodel aestivus, and Arisarum vulgare (relative of our Arum lily)
Saturday, April 14, 2018
There are not a lot of insects about yet - the weather is unseasonably cool and wet here though not quite as bad as the UK. Bees are the commonest including the Hairy-Footed Flower Bee and other solitary species. Also some hoverflies, grasshoppers and Cockchafers etc