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Wetter weather is just hunky dory!

Fire Salamander-0366, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

For a couple of weeks now we’ve had a spell of lovely wet weather, which, though mud-inducing in the short term gives the promise of a beautiful Spring on the way.
Daniela and I have been making the most of the damp soil and clearing the footpath up Lavender Hill on the way to Cortes Pereiras so that our walkers will have an easier go of it later on.
It hasn’t been cleared for donkey’s years as fewer and fewer people need to use it, so it’s been quite a job and our hands are cut to ribbons, but we came across the Fire Salamander above this morning which was a nice surprise. They’re territorial but quite harmless and display their inedibility clearly, so the dogs kept well clear of it!
For those who are interested in the environment there’s an update on the Salgados situation on my Birding Blog.
Basically there’s going to be a public presentation of Finalgarve’s “Environmental Park” at 11.00 on 4th February in Silves Biblioteca and I urge everyone who can to be there so that we can make ourselves heard.


Above is a Three-toed Skink; yes, I’m quite aware it’s not a bird, but birds are just one part of the wonderful depth of Nature surrounding us here and I revel in it all. Birds are simply, (normally), the most visible.
The Three-toed Skink is kind of half way between a lizard and a snake with minute legs that really don’t do that much. It lives most of its life hidden away underground but a couple of weeks ago I found this one out in the open.


This is a species I’ve been trying to get for YEARS. Although they like basking out in the open like any reptile, Ocellated Lizards carry a good deal of meat on them, growing up to nearly a meter in length, and as such are high on the list as food for Short-toed Eagles, so they are wary and can move very fast when they need to. This one I found at the top of Foia at an altitude of 900 meters while looking for Blue Rock Thrushes. It seemed remarkably un-fazed by a human’s prescence and I was lucky enough to get a few of these wonderful photos.