Spring is arriving and I spent some time out there, with nice encounters. Here I share some from southwestern Germany.
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. The 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.
Finally the ‘toast of the wall’ appeared: a Wallcreeper! Frantic as they are, but it made a real show for us.
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 very close. 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:
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.
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.
I tried to photograph them next to a road, where they regularly licked salt from. Wating was shortened by a nice Coal Tit.
Finally the Crossbills approached – not exactly where I hoped them to perch – but I was pleased with the outcome.