Finally, all bird species of the Western Palearctis, photographed until December 2016, are online in the Archive. I just finished uploading with photos of one of my favourite groups – the Grouses. All birds of this group are elusive and difficult to watch – so every encounter is an adventure.
I spent hours and hours, trying to find them, watch them, get close to them without disturbing and finally photograph them.
Some of them live in dense thicket like the Hazel Grouse and it is easily reproducible that you hardly see them.
But others are just in the open like the Rock Ptarmigan. Nevertheless it took me a lot of time to discover them during winter time.
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!
I stopped to show some photos at the westcoast of Irleand. So here a last from that site:
I drove further, visiting some forests to record Crossbills, heading to 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:
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
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).
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.
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:
Well, I showed enough for today! Here a last view over the Cairngorms during sunrise. In the lower areas are the forests with crossbills.
The last days, I was working a lot in the field, trying to locate Black Storks (Ciconia nigra). While doing this job, I discovered a mouse hole and a little Common Vole (Microtus arvalis). The little mouse was scared by my presence, but it also wanted to get some food or maybe some blades of grass for its nest from the field. It observed me suspicously but after few moments, it decided that it is worth a try. It came out, got fastly a blade of grass with some seeds and ran back into the hole. It didn’t come again 😉