Bemused by the ‘Turtledoves of the Sea’ at Quatro Águas

Almost a year to the day since my last post on the gorgeous ‘Turtledoves of the Sea’, known in England as Ruddy Turnstones. I love watching them as they run along the beach, stopping every now and then to turn over stones on the beach. Yesterday though we came across some which we didn’t quite know what to make of. They are a wader which, unsurprisingly given their English name, prefers stony beaches and like most waders they tend to avoid areas heavily populated by people and dogs. Clearly though the ones at Quatro Águas have not read their bird book descriptions! Rola do Mar

The first unusual one we spotted was beside one of the shellfish huts, taking advantage of human spoils. A little while later I saw another on a boat, also completely unfazed by us close by.

The next dozen we saw were even more unusual. At first I wasn’t sure what they were, I could only see bird like shapes running around on the pier, taking no notice of children or dogs. Picked up the camera and all became clear in terms of identification, but not much more. Fascinating and so much fun to watch. Perhaps the pickings are superb or maybe this is a multi-generational family who have learnt that humans won’t harm them here.

If you have not yet visited the upgraded pier at Quatro Águas in Tavira, do visit. It is quite a splendid place to sit and watch the world go by. There are also plenty of cafes if you need a little sustenance. You can walk there from the centre of Tavira, albeit the footpath does disappear for a few hundred yards after the markets. Alternatively when it is running there is the road train and if you are travelling from further afield plenty of parking out of season.

Looking back towards Tavira
View of Tavira from Quatro Aguas

By the way if you have a photographic blog be aware that whilst in Portugal you can take photographs of people in public places without their consent, if they ask you not to take their photograph you can not. Additionally their civil code states that “The portrait of a person is not allowed to be exhibited, reproduced or put in commerce without the person’s consent (…).” There are some exceptions to this, for example public figures, when related to facts of public interest or when the photograph is being published for scientific, educational or cultural purposes. However I decided my gorgeous photograph of a child watching one of the Turnstones didn’t really fall into the exceptions, hence the cropped photograph. Making friendsIn the UK you can also take and publish photographs of people in public places unless there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. A UK court has held that a child’s right to privacy was infringed when photographed on a public street together with his parents. If you want to learn more then do check out this very helpful international overview.

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It's a good life walking, cooking, photographing, volunteering, reading, blogging, and best of all spending time with family, friends & the cat!

29 thoughts on “Bemused by the ‘Turtledoves of the Sea’ at Quatro Águas

    1. Thanks so much Shannon, it is a lovely description isn’t it both ‘dived’ and ‘doves’!! Tavira is probably one of the prettiest towns in the Algarve, do hope you make it one day.

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    1. Thank you so much . . . .and I know what you do you are always off out on the next adventure! Need more lazy days like me 😉

      First set of company leaving tomorrow, and then next lot arrive Friday assuming the latest set of strike action doesn’t impact on them!

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  1. I have been enjoying watching the Ruddy Turnstones here this month. They are totally unafraid of people walking by around the harbour in St Ives. Interesting point on publishing photos of people. So does that mean you cannot post a photo of a person on your blog without their explicit permission?

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    1. Next stop St Ives for us then! Never seen them behave like this before and like you we love watching them 🙂

      And yes it is interesting isn’t it. I was about to publish the one of the child but as it was a close up I thought I’d doublecheck. And am so glad I did.

      In Portugal it is certainty true that you can’t unless they agree or one of the exceptions apply. I’ll be more circumspect in future.

      Less clear in the UK which is just typical, the key question seems to be can the person being photographed have a reasonable expectation of privacy. So a crowd shot is probably ok and ones of people putting on a show in a public place are definitely fine however an identifiable shot of a child playing in a park is probably not.

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      1. I do try and avoid children unless they are in a crowd. In fact I try to avoid people all together but it’s not always easy in tourist destinations. I wonder how those street photographers get away with it then? Some are very close up and definitely identifiable.

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        1. I wouldn’t worry in tourist spots as you say it is inevitable . . . I know makes you wonder about street photographers. Perhaps noone has complained or perhaps they ask? Don’t know . . . I’m certainly going to be careful though especially here in Portugal.

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