Some photos from the last days

Spring is arriving and I spent some time out there, with nice encounters. Here I share some from southwestern Germany.

Red Kite (Milvus milvus) perched
A young Red Kite (Milvus milvus) in its 2nd calendar year (born in 2017). It came close as there was a dead hare in the field.
A nice encounter with a Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis), singing between buds
At the same site was a very tame adult male Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella)
I spent some time, watching and photographing it.
Therefore, I had the chance to photograph it also in the soft evening light.
Sunrise in the Black Forest
A Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatus ssp. alpestris) male.
I hoped for a nice encounter since a long time
My favourite shot of the encounter
Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis) within braids in the mountains
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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. 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.

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 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:

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.

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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.

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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.

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Coal Tit – Tannenmeise – Periparus ater

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

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