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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Archive complete

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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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Two trips into pristine areas

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

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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!

Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra) in the flowers
Male Lasiocampa quercus (Eichenspinner)

 

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Research trip through Great Britain & Ireland – From Ireland and Northern Ireland to Scotland

I stopped to show some photos at the westcoast of Irleand. So here a last from that site:

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Bridges of Ross, Ireland

I drove further, visiting some forests to record Crossbills, heading to Northern Ireland

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Coast of 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:

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Pillars of basalt
'Giants Causeway'
‘Giants Causeway’ during sunset

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

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Coast of Northern Ireland

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).

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A Roseate Tern (Sterna dougallii) on the right next to a Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) on the left

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.

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Me recording in the scottish forests

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:

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Dead Scot’s Pines (Pinus sylvestris) in the Scottish highlands

Well, I showed enough for today! Here a last view over the Cairngorms during sunrise. In the lower areas are the forests with crossbills.

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View over the Cairngorms

 

 

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Slightshow in Dornbirn, Austria

At the last Thursday, I was invited by BirdLIFE Vorarlberg for a slightshow about Kazakhstan. Thank you very much for the invitation, it was fun to show you some impressions from Central Asia!

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Male Orange-flanked Bluetail (Tarsiger cyanurus) in the Kazakh Altai Mountains.

Afterwards, I did a short trip into the delta of the Rhine in the Lake Constanze. There was a beautiful night atmosphere, with few birds flying around and the full moon in the dead trees.

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Night atmosphere in the delta of the Rhine, Austria
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