Archive online – Larks, Swallows, Martin, Pipits & Wagtails

The website has a new feature: Now there is an archive online. It is still under construction and will be constantly extended. For the moment, there are only photographs of birds online. Later photos of further animals and landscapes will follow. There are three ways to find the desired photos: Either by using the alphabetic list of the photographed species, by using the taxonomic list or by browsing through the photos in a systematic structure. The first two lists combine english, german and scientific names, the last one is only english. Below the photos, you can find date, time, pixel number of the original file, file name as well as location and further details.

If you are interested in one of the photos, write down the file name or download the photo and send me a mail to with the photo or file name attached.

Have fun, browsing through the archive.

Archive online – Larks, Swallows, Martin, Pipits & Wagtails

Photographing with friends

Some weeks ago, close friends visited Freiburg. Together we (Thorsten Bittner, Christian Höfs, Jan Sohler, Lukas Thiess, Joachim Wimmer) visited different sites in Germany and Switzerland. Our first trips with a part of the group (some of the group claimed they would have to work) were in southern Germany. We tried to find a crazy Caipercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) in the Black Forest – as almost all of my attempts with this individual without sucess – nevertheless we were in good mood.

The following day, we were looking for a wintering Wallcreeper (Tichodroma muraria). This colourful bird from the Alps spends the winter in lower areas in mines and rock faces. Wallcreeper didn’t want to appear at first, but a pair of Peregrine (Falco peregrinus), copulating right in front of us, was a splendid encounter.

Female Peregrine Falcon

Finally the ‘toast of the wall’ appeared: a Wallcreeper! Frantic as they are, but it made a real show for us.

Wallcreeper presenting itself in all its splendour

The weekend, we spent in Switzerland. There is a site, the ‘Gemmipass’ well known to bird watchers and photographers as it is possible to watch Lammergeier there. I wanted to visit this site since probably five years – but there was always something that stopped me from realization of the trip. Well, this time it worked thanks to Joachim. Weather was perfect for our plans and the vultures were very active.

The site is also famous for its tame Ravens, Alpine Choughs, Alpine Accentors and White-winged Snowfinchs:

And a last photo:

That’s what it’s all about: photographing among friends in a great scenery
Photographing with friends

Crossbills in the Snow

There are quite a lot Common Crossbills in the Black Forest in southern Germany this year. I spent some time in the field, trying to get sound recordings of them for my PhD.

Common Crossbill – Fichtenkreuzschnabel – Loxia curvirostra. Singing male

These little creatures are breeding right at the moment between all the wind, ice and snow. They are doing this, as their typical food ressource – seeds of Norway Spruce – is soon easily accessible. When it gets a little bit warmer, cones open and then food is wating for the Crossbills.

Male Common Crossbill sitting likely above its nest

I tried to photograph them next to a road, where they regularly licked salt from. Wating was shortened by a nice Coal Tit.

Coal Tit – Tannenmeise – Periparus ater

Finally the Crossbills approached – not exactly where I hoped them to perch – but I was pleased with the outcome.

Common Crossbill – Fichtenkreuzschnabel – Loxia curvirostra
Common Crossbills, licking salt on a road
Crossbills in the Snow

Article about Pallas’s Sandgrouse in Dutch Birding

In the current issue of the journal ‘Dutch Birding’, there is an article with photos about Pallas’s Sandgrouse in Kazakhstan, written by Edward J van IJzendoorn & me. Here you can find more information about it.

Article about Pallas’s Sandgrouse in Dutch Birding

Research trip through Great Britain & Ireland – From Ireland and Northern Ireland to Scotland

I stopped to show some photos at the westcoast of Irleand. So here a last from that site:

Bridges of Ross, Ireland

I drove further, visiting some forests to record Crossbills, heading to Northern Ireland

Coast of Northern Ireland

I stopped at the “Giants Causeway”, a well known tourist attraction. People from all over the world walked along the coast to see the black edged pillars of basalt:

Pillars of basalt
'Giants Causeway'
‘Giants Causeway’ during sunset

Not far from this site, there is a beautiful coastline, many isles lying next to each other, some are just a small rock, some bigger

Coast of Northern Ireland

As there are still just few forests in Ireland and Northern Ireland, it was time to leave, heading to Scotland where much work was waiting for me. But before I went on the ferry boat, I stopped a last time for a very special bird: the Roseate Tern (Sterna dougallii).

A Roseate Tern (Sterna dougallii) on the right next to a Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) on the left

This Tern got very rare in Europe. There are just few sites left, where it is possible to watch it. Luckily I could watch twelf birds, adults and juveniles, quite close.

You finally think, I was just there to take photos and didn’t work? No! Actually I had only time for photography when it was too windy or the activity of the birds was low. Means, I had especially spare time long before sunrise, after sunset and when weather conditions were bad…

When I arrived in Scotland, weather conditions had been perfect to work, so I had no possibility to take a single photo in the following weeks. About two weeks later, i finally realized a photo to show what I actually done there.

Me recording in the scottish forests

This looks like relaxed work? Actually it was most time some kind of survival training, following the birds, running through thickets, jumping over ditches.

While following crossbills into a forest, I discovered a site with beautiful dead pines. I envisioned a photo of the trees during night. Some days later, I had the possibility to realize it and here is the result:

Dead Scot’s Pines (Pinus sylvestris) in the Scottish highlands

Well, I showed enough for today! Here a last view over the Cairngorms during sunrise. In the lower areas are the forests with crossbills.

View over the Cairngorms