Archive complete

It’s done: all biIt’s done: all bird species of the Western Palearctic that I photographed until December 2016 are in the online archive. Finally I added photos of one of my favourite groups – the Grouses. All birds of this group are hard to find and hard to observe – so every encounter is an adventure.

Black Grouse (Lyrurus tetrix ssp. tetrix) adult female well hiding behind a trunk. Ural Mountains, Russia, 16.06.2016

I have spent many hours finding them, watching them, approaching them without disturbing them and finally photographing them. Some of them live in the densest thicket like the hazel grouse and it is easy to understand that they are hardly observable.

Hazel Grouse (Bonasa bonasia ssp. volgensis), motionless hiding in a tree. Bialowieza, Poland, adult male

Other species of the family are found in the open like the Ptarmigan. However, they live in the high montane regions and, thanks to their camouflage, it takes a long time to discover them in winter.

Rock Ptarmigan 8Lagopus muta ssp. helvetica), Germany, adult male, winter plumage

They sometimes dig themselve into the snow for resting and all you see later are their tracks.

Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta ssp. helvetica), track coming from the left. It dug into the snow for resting and later walked further to the back

But as soon as you are rewarded with a real encounter, you know it was worth the effort.

Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta ssp. helvetica) jumping adult male, 28.12.2013, Germany
Western Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus ssp. crassirostris), Germany, adult male, displaying
Black Grouse (Lyrurus tetrix ssp. tetrix), Germany, adult male
Red Grouse (Lagopus lagopus scotica), Great Britain, winter group
Willow Grouse (Lagopus lagopus ssp. koreni), Russia (Ural), adult male hiding behind a bush
Hazel Grouse(Bonasa bonasia ssp. volgensis), adult male. An extremely lucky moment, in which the Hazel Grouse perched on this truck. Bialowieza, Poland, 24.04.2014
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Travelling in the mountains

Few days ago, I returned from a breathtaking trip to the Ural mountains in Russia. I travelled together with very good friends for four weeks. You will surely see here some of the results in the next weeks.

Back at home, I was welcomed by my family and relatives, however I had to leave soon to accompany an excursion with the university to the Alps. Together with my doctoral supervisor and Severin, we had a good time with a very nice group of students in the Principality of Liechtenstein. We could watch many montane specialities, however I took just few photos. Maybe I show you some of them soon, too.

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View into the Alps few meters away from my childhood home. The highest peak is named “Säntis”
Travelling in the mountains