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Everything posted by michael-ibk

  1. This will be a relaxed Big Year for me - I don´t have any specific goals, number-, quality- or species-wise, and with my travel plans I don´t expect to come close to my numbers from the last two efforts. But I fully expect to have fun again, being out chasing birds and being excited about finding some nice feathered friends. I´m starting with one of our most common ones, as @TonyQ once put it, for a very long time this was the only Duck I knew. 1/E1.) Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) / Stockente All from Chiemsee, 14/2/2018 First time I´ve seen them mating - quite a tricky act in the water, especially for her! Mallards often cross-breed, this must be the product of a liaison with a Duck:
  2. 20//E20.) Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) / Schellente Chiemsee, 14/2/2018. Only a winter guest, they are breeding in the North of Europe.
  3. 19/E19.) Water Pipit (Anthus spinoletta) / Bergpieper Chiemsee, 14/2/2018. A very familiar bird from high up in the Alps in summer - they are everywhere then (but very tricky to get close to). In winter they vacate the mountains and fly down to lakes and rivers. In nuptial plumage the males have a somewhat rosy look.
  4. 18.) Common Pochard (Aythya ferina) / Tafelente Chiemsee, 14/2/2018. One of our more common ducks. Here with a Tufted Duck entourage. And the females:
  5. 17/E17.) Black-Headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) / Lachmöwe Chiemsee, 14/2/2018. A two-year gull, so not too many plumages to give aspiring birders a headache. Adult birds have redder bills and legs, first winter birds have more orange/yellow colours, and more contrast in their wings. The black mask only develops later in the year.
  6. 16/E16.) Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea) / Kleiber Gaisau, 12/2/2018. The German name refers to the fact that Nuthatches plaster their entrance holes with mud and other materials.
  7. 15/E15.) Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus) / Haubentaucher Kalterer See, 24/2/2018. One of my favourite water birds. They are already getting in the mood.
  8. 13/E13.) Eurasian Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris) / Waldbaumläufer 14/E14.) Short-Toed Treecreeper (Certhia brachydactyla) / Gartenbaumläufer Two extremely similar species really difficult to tell apart. In the area where I´ve taken the photos Short-Toed is more common and I´ve learnt to ID it by song. Eurasian is normally more of a pine forest bird and was a bit of a more unusual finding here, but one of Austria´s premier birding guides confirmed it´s one (on FB). Tricky birds! First the Short-Toed, Gaisau, 19/2/2018 And Eurasian, Gaisau, 11/2/2018 So what are the differences? The lower belly of a Eurasian is a bit whiter, the supercilium a bit more pronounced, the hindclaw a bit longer, the bill marginally shorter, there´s a subtle difference in the wing pattern (black and buff steps more even with Short-Toed), and Short-Toed has slightly more white in the outer primaries.
  9. 12/E12.) Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocops major) / Buntspecht Our default Woodpecker in Austria, and one which you can expect to find quite easily in the right places. We have some very similar-looking - and much rarer - species (Little Spotted, Syrian, Middle Spotted and White-Backed), the closed cheek-bar always tells it´s the common woodpecker. Gaisau, 14/1/2018. A female - no red patch on the nape. And a male - Gaisau, 17/2/2018 Another male, Gaisau, 11/2/2018
  10. Thanks, @lmSA84, @Dave Williams, @Galana, @xelas, @TonyQ, @Peter Connan and @elefromoz! 11/E11.) Common Blackbird (Turdus merula) / Amsel One of our classic garden birds. A male from Chiemsee, 14/2/2018. And a female from Kalterer See, Italy, 24/2/2018. We successfully escaped the Siberian Cold here in Austria (- 20 ° degrees at night, a good thing I´m off to Africa in a few days) by going just 100 km to the South yesterday.
  11. Looking forward to Liuwa and more Musekese goodness from you - bring it on!
  12. A great start, Alex, and I look forward to seeing South Africa again through Zvezda´s lens. Love that final landscape shot, simply beautiful.
  13. Wonderful additions Tony. I particularly like the Turaco, but the Indigobird photo is very cool in its own right.
  14. Welcome to Safaritalk, and I´m looking forward to reading more about your trip.
  15. A very special shot of the Penduline Tit, such a beautiful photo - Bravo! Why do you think you have a Caspian Gull there? I´d rather suggest Yellow-Legged, especially because of the bright iris, and of course it´s the much more common species. I also use one of these Continent/Country-codes (this year it will probably be E/CR/CH for Europe/Costa Rica/Chad), but as Tony mentioned this is mostly for myself. Like him, I am particularly interested to see what I can get back home.
  16. Cool shot of the Heron doing its thing.
  17. 10/E10.) Common Coot (Fulica atra) / Blässhuhn Chiemsee, 14/2/2018. Probably nobody´s favourite water fowl - poor unloved Coot!
  18. 9/E9.) Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) / Reiherente Chiemsee, 18/2/2018. Around in huge numbers in winter especially but also a reasonably common breeding duck in Austria. As so many putative "black" birds full or surprising colours:
  19. 8/E8.) Water Dipper (Cinclus cinclus) / Wasseramsel Gaisau, 17/2/2018. Very cool birds who seem to be able to run underwater - though the biologists say that´s not really true. Breeding season is already on for these, hope to see some results later in the year.
  20. 7/E7.) Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) / Feldsperling Gaisau, 17/2/2018. They used to be common guests at the feeders but not this year - don´t know why they don´t care for our food anymore.
  21. 6/E6.) Great Tit (Parus major) / Kohlmeise And Big Brother - Austria´s most common bird - in winter at least. Gaisau, 17/2/2018
  22. 5/E5.) Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) / Blaumeise A favourite of mine. Frequent guests at the feeders but I try to avoid "balcony shots" this year - natural surroundings are more pleasing. Gaisau, 3/2/2018 Chiemsee, 14/2/2018
  23. 4/E4.) Red Kite (Milvus milvus) / Rotmilan Münster, 14/2/2017. A very rare bird of prey. Fortunately, with the third BY running, I now know where to find it - at a motorway restplace! The nearby compost works attract a great number of Gulls, Crows and Ravens - and quite often also Kites.
  24. 3/E3.) Long-Tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus) / Schwanzmeise Gaisau, 12/2/2017. Very cute little Tits.

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