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This is the Common Swallowtail as opposed to the slightly larger Scarce Swallowtail, and we take pride in seeing them fairly regularly in the Quinta’s gardens, as, contrary to their name, the Common is now a good deal scarcer than the Scarce. This is a very recently pupated individual as there’s been no damage at all to the wings, a common enough occurrence with all butterflies, be they scarce, rare or common …


Sunrise-7312, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

I just had to post this lovely shot I was lucky enough to get the other day. At this time of year one has to get up very early if one’s to see any birdlife at all, and this can sometimes be a tad trying – but it’s redeemed when one has the chance to see sights like this with people who like getting up that early too!
I get to see a lot of suns rising over the Alentejo Plains, but they never cease to stun me and i’m always reminded of that line by Kipling, ” … An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay!”