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.
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.
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.
They sometimes dig themselve into the snow for resting and all you see later are their tracks.
But as soon as you are rewarded with a real encounter, you know it was worth the effort.
Few weeks ago, I returned from a trip to the Baikal area in southeastern Russia. Together with Malte B. we were looking for different kind of animals and pristine landscape. It was a sucessful trip and I will surely show you further photos soon
Right afterwards, I accompanied an excursion of the University to the Ticino area in southern Switzerland. We visited a valley with still quite pristine landscape. We came just right for the flowering of Alpine Roses. Here you see three photos of the amazing colourful meadows:
The different flowers in combination with many different insects and birds have been a real highlight!
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…
Snowy Black Forest
Searching in the misty silence for the Caipercaillie.
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.
Although it is very colourful, it is hard to detect in the distance
Wallcreepers search for food in rock fissures
Always moving, it is hard to photograph
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: