Monday, 22 October 2012

Black Headed Weaver birds breeding on the Algarve Portugal

In the Spring of 2012, I spent a couple of days at Vilamoura and the Ria Formosa Natural Park both on the Algarve trying to photograph these lovely little birds. Originally from Kenya they are doing well now here in Portugal. They have become quite a generality in some areas. Around the artificial lakes and golf course at Quinta de Largo walkers are often treated to a flash of yellow as these bright males fly through.    

  Male Black-Headed Weaver. 

The female black-headed Weaver.

The male bird seems to be responsible for the main nest construction.Here you can see how he has found a favoured leaf, of rush as he has already taken a previous strip maybe two, see the step in the leaf!

Here is the nest, see the way that it has been weaved using the rush stems.

The females seem to be responsible for the soft inner lining of the nest

 Nearly all the birds seen have been ringed for identification and continuity.

She has no problem in cracking open the seed head.

The male arrives to perch under the nest, you can just see the dried out remains of last years nest above.

Female watching progress at the nesting site.

The males hover under the nests communicating with the female inside.

A beautiful little bird but so hard to photograph, so low down in the rushes. 
But worth the wait!


Anonymous said...

fantastic pics. I spent some time last week at Lagoa Dos Salgados near Alberfeira and saw one of these on the margins of a golf course on the edge of the lake and didn't know what it was so you have cleared up a mystery for me. It does't seem to appear in European books yet
David, Grantham

MsMoggy said...

I love these photos! Such gorgeous birds.
I have a holiday home on Quinta do Lago South overlooking the top end of the Lake. Yesterday I photographed a flash of yellow - a lone male in my garden (which gives on to the golf course) - he was busy eating insects on the grass among a big group of sparrows. My photos were through glass and rain and just with a compact Lumix, but quite satisfying. HIs wife was on a bush this morning, posing very prettily for me; I got a lovely shot.
With the help of Google, I managed to ascertain which bird it was then checked it out with a friend who is a real bird enthusiast, and he sent me the link to this page. Your photos are fabulous! We are blessed with such beautiful birds here in Quinta do Lago; purple gallinules 300 yards from where I sit!