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Everything posted by michael-ibk

  1. A wonderful report, your photos are first class! Particularly like the wildebeest reflection. Curious about day 9! Looking forward to more.
  2. Congrats Dave, a really special Kestrel series! "Common" maybe but difficult to get good images and yours are all stunning.
  3. Congratulations Dave, it's a great cover indeed.
  4. Thanks, @TonyQ, come join us next year.
  5. Two months already over, some people already have surpassed 100, and I have zero - time to get started! 1/E1.) Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) / Höckerschwan Stausee Reißeck, Carinthia, 11/02/2017. One of our most common water birds, and definitely the boldest - they allow very close approach. Cold as it still may be here (even more so in February), they have already started with their mating rituals.
  6. "Go" is the perfect quote for all of us here. Thank you for this report, Peter, I really enjoyed it. Some wonderful bird photos in this latest section, I look forward to seeing some of these myself next year.
  7. 391/E167.) Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) / Löffler Seewinkel, 9/9/2017. The last entry from the weekend. I was very happy to get them this close, certainly the best sighting so far for me. Seewinkel is the only place in Austria where they can be found.
  8. 390/E166.) Curlew (Numenius arquata) / Großer Brachvogel Seewinkel, 9/9/2017. The largest wader in our area.
  9. 389/E165.) Crested Lark (Galerida cristata) / Haubenlerche Seewinkel, 10/9/2017. Back to last weekend - eagle-eyed Alex spotted this one while driving and of course immediately stopped with smoking brakes on the middle of the main road - that´s what a proper birder does. Like so many other grassland birds this species has become a rare sight in Middle Europe. Their population has decreased 98 % (!) since 1980. Some other Seewinkel stuff from the weekend: Starlings are abundant at this time of the year. Interestingly we saw several Pied Flycatchers, a pretty rare bird, but apparently lots of them are migrating through right now. Some non-birds. I think this is the first wild baby Hare I´ve ever seen: Pheasant - a common sight: Mute Swan - an extremely common bird but I could not resist this BIF opportunity. Not common at all in Austria - a Little Egret:
  10. 388/E164.) White-Throated Dipper (Cinclus cinclus) / Wasseramsel Stausee Reißeck, Carinthia, 4/6/2017. A favourite of mine - it can walk under water. I had seen them flying to the dam earlier in the year and suspected they could be nesting there - I was delighted to be right. "What do you think, shall we take the boat to get out of here?" And some more babies - a Tufted Duck family from Stausee Reißeck.
  11. 387/E163.) Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) / Steinadler - NEW Pinnistal, 19/7/2017. Our most impressive raptor, a huge Eagle - one normally only ever sees them high, high up soaring in the sky. But even an ebc Golden Eagle is better than no Golden Eagle.
  12. 386/E162.) Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatus) / Ringdrossel Westfalenhaus, Lüsental, 26/8/2017. Another alpine specialty. A juvenile here, and the only one I´ve found this year of this species. And a pair of Siskins just because I really liked that pose.
  13. 385/E161.) Water Pipit (Anthus spinoletta) / Bergpieper Valser Tal, 5/8/17. A frustrating bird - they are very, very common high up in the mountains but not very approachable, and I have totally failed this year in getting a decent photo. Tuxer Joch, 22/7
  14. 384/E160.) Alpine Accentor ( Prunella collaris ) / Alpenbraunelle Geraer Hütte, Tirol, 5/8/17. Switching areas now - this is a high alpine bird and one of our "specials" here in the mountains.
  15. 383/E159.) Marsh Warbler ( Acrocephalus palustris ) / Sumpfrohrsänger Seewinkel, 27/5/2017. Looking almost identical to the Reed Warbler, but found in different habitats (not as water dependent) and the song is very different - so I´m quite sure about this ID.
  16. 382/E158.) Corn Bunting (Emberiza calandra) / Grauammer Seewinkel, 26/5/2017. The third of Austria´s regular Buntings after Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting. A juvenile
  17. 381/E157.) Rook (Corvus frugilegus) / Saatkrähe Seewinkel, 26/5/2017. Only occurring in the lowlands of Austria, they are not found in the Alps. Pretty common birds but surprisingly difficult to get a photo - they are wary and clever.
  18. -/E156.) Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) / Wiedehopf Seewinkel, 27/5/2017. My favourite bird, and we had three sightings of them in Seewinkel in spring, and I also was very excited when I spotted one in Carinthia in March - unfortunately never got a good shot. At one time we were in a hide and suddenly a Hoopoe flew away from the roof of the hide, less than five metres away, but I was too slow. If you love Hoopoes like I do, you should watch this - it´s a most excellent and charming documentary on this wonderful bird.
  19. And some birds from the spring visit to Seewinkel - I had hoped to get better shots on this recent second visit but no luck. 380/155.) Little Tern (Sternula albifrons) / Zwergseeschwalbe - NEW Seewinkel, 28/5/2017. A species which excited a lot of birders this spring - this is the rarest Tern in Middle Europe, and very few of them are ever seen in Austria. Apparently they have even bred successfully this year. Here with a Common Tern to show the size difference:
  20. -/E154.) Common Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula) / Sandregenpfeifer Seewinkel, 9/9/2017. Already seen in Ethiopia. A rarer bird than its cousin, the Little Ringed Plover, which is more common in Austria, and which we saw at the same place. (Note the yellow eye ring, the longer bill and the more pointed face mask.) And even our third Plover was here - the Kentish, which is a super-rare bird in Austria, only a couple of breeding pairs in the area - according to the bird books it shouldn´t be here at all. (Lighter, darker legs, and no closed breast band)
  21. 379/E153.) European Sand Martin (Riparia riparia) / Uferschwalbe Seewinkel, 10/9/2017. The smallest Swallow found in Europe. In the same place we also saw several Black Terns, looking like a completely different bird now in autumn.
  22. -/E152.) Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus) / Dunkler Wasserläufer Seewinkel, 8/9/2017. Already seen in Ethiopia. One of the most attractive waders IMO. They are almost completely black in breeding plumage.
  23. 378/E151.) Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria) / Goldregenpfeifer - NEW Seewinkel, 10/9/2017. An extreme ebc of this bird, a rarity to get. Unfortunately the Seewinkel area was extremely dry this year, all the soda lakes were completely waterless, and so even at the few remaining photo spots birds were too far from the hide to get reasonable pictures. (Still, this was the same place the Osprey flew by - and on top of that we were in the excellent company of our friends @xelas and Zvezda which more than made up for the slightly disappointing conditions.) And on the other side of the distance spectrum we - and every other birder in Seewinkel that weekend - enjoyed this incredibly patient Knot (also a very good bird to get here in Austria). I lay down only a few metres away from this guy and he did not mind one bit - a real celebrity.
  24. 377/E150.) Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) / Fischadler Seewinkel, 10/9/2017. A raptor that occurs all over the world, only the Peregrine Falcon is more widespread. But it had been eradicated from most of Middle Europe in the last century, and therefore it still only is seen when migrating through here in Austria. We also enjoyed a lot of good sightings of Kestrels. And I was delighted to get my first picture of a Sparrowhawk in Austria (well, technically it was in Hungary, but 200 metres next to the border, so it does count. )
  25. Hi Thomas, I also used Sunworld on my first trip, and was absolutely satisfied with them. Are you staying at their Mara Bush Camp? I enjoyed that one very much.

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