michael-ibk

Michael´s Second Year

518 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

45/E45.) Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris) / Wacholderdrossel

 

Mühldorf, 30/03. I´ve never seen this bird in this area so I am assuming they were just migrating through.

 

gallery_19319_1648_2320567.jpg

Edited by michael-ibk
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Great shot of the Nuthatch, @@michael-ibk! I can only dream of one like that. Interesting to read about the Penduline Tit being the first for you in Austria. The first time I saw it ( many years ago) was in Austria, in the Neusidlersee region. I've only seen it once after that, on Lesvos.

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@@michael-ibk

Beautiful photos - the Nuthatch is stinning

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I loved the Common Reed Bunting, seemingly oblivious of its mirror image in the water. The elegance of the Black Swan can only be admired.

 

Never before have I noticed the diversity of birds in the place where I grew up and where I live now in my retirement, enjoying work in the garden and in forestry.

 

Today we planted 50 oaks, and 5 cherry trees to enhance the beauty of our landscape. Grown up, these very trees will be home to one of your birds.

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Thanks, @@PeterHG , @@TonyQ and @@screentraveller .

 

Peter, the Nuthatch was pure luck. I was watching it in a tree when it suddenly decided to fly down on a stump, only a bit below eye level, maybe five or six metres away. It lingered there for a few seconds, and luckily I was fast enough to fire off a few shots.

 

Well, Penduline Tits do not really occur where I live (Tirol in the middle of the Alps), so it´s only when I am somewhere else in Austria (Lake Constance or Seewinkel) that I have a chance of finding one. So far no luck - my one sighting was in the Ebro Delta in Cataloia. They are a pretty rare sighting after all. I simply did not expect them in this area in Carinthia, but the habitat makes perfect sense for them. Hope to get some Bearded Reedlings there next time!

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Good to hear about the Penduline Tit still occurring in Seewinkel, @@michael-ibk. My wife and I are toying with the idea of traveling east in June. Perhaps a week or so in Hungary and Seewinkel after that. I was there in 1978 (yes I am that old...:)) and I would love to go there again. Do you think it's worth a trip in June?

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Yes, absolutely, always lots to find there. The peak of the migration time will of course be over, so the earlier in June the better. If you do make happy to give some advice on some places (like the Bee-Eater colony) and maybe I can make it there myself for a GTG. :)

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Some excellent shots and sightings, especially the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Crake and Penduline Tit.

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Thanks Dave!

 

Fantastic sighting today - saw a Hoopoe(!) here in Carinthia! Made my day! :-)

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Posted (edited)

One very cool sighting on Monday - a Bearded Vulture! Flying over the street, no more than 15 m away. Unfortunately I was driving in the car, in the snow, and stopping was impossible. So no photo. :(

 

On to two of the most tricky birds to identify:

 

46/E46.) Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) / Zilpzalp

 

Stausee Reißeck, Carinthia, 17/4/2017. The English and the German name are onomatopoetic, referring to the never-tiring song of this little bird, always calling out its name.

 

gallery_19319_1648_850552.jpg

 

http://www.xeno-canto.org/363803/embed

Edited by michael-ibk
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Posted (edited)

47/E47.) Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus) / Fitis

 

Chiemsee, Germany, 9/4/2017

 

gallery_19319_1648_2976030.jpg

 

These two warblers are extremely similar. According to the bird books the Chiffchaff has shorter wings, a more rounded crown, a shorter and darker bill - none of which I was ever able to use to tell them apart in the field. The less well marked supercilium of the Chiffchaff is more helpful but there are birds with a very prominent one. The most useful feature is the leg colour - Chiffchaffs have darker ones than the Willow Warbler in this photo. But beware, sometimes the Willow Warbler can have pretty dark legs too. I also think that the Willow Warbler in general is a bit more yellowish but that can also be deceiving.

 

In both cases above I´m sure about the ID - the song of the Chiffchaff was unmistakable, and the song of the Willow Warbler as well. I heard the song of the latter for almost five minutes until I was finally able to locate it.

 

http://www.xeno-canto.org/364766/embed

Edited by michael-ibk
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48/E48.) Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos) / Singdrossel

 

Mühldorf, Carinthia, 8/4/2017.

 

gallery_19319_1648_4047746.jpg

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49/E49.) Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius) / Flussregenpfeifer

 

Maria Elend, Carinthia, 8/4/2017. This beautiful little bird has become a rare sight in Middle Europe - they need natural open gravel areas near fresh water, and fewer and fewer undisturbed areas like those are available for them. There are at least two pairs in the area - I do hope they will breed successfully.

 

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50/E50.) Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica) / Blaukehlchen

 

Grabenstätter Moos, Chiemsee, 9/4/2017.

 

I love it when a plan works out - I specifically went to that area for them, it´s one of very few places around (around being a circle of a few 100 km) where sightings of this rarely seen bird are pretty reliable in spring. Bluethroats sing a lot now, and sometimes come up to the top of the reed, their preferred habitat. After they have found a mate they pretty much stop and are very hard to find. This day I was lucky - I saw seven, two of them reasonably close.

 

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Habitat shot:

 

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This is the subspecies Cyanecula, with a white spot in the middle of the blue bib. The more Northern subspecies Svevica has a red spot.

 

Bluethroat song:

 

http://www.xeno-canto.org/362950/embed

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@@michael-ibk

Well done with the Bluethroat!

Chiff Chaff and Willow Warblers have started arriving here - so we have the pleasure of trying to tell the difference visually (much easier with song.)

Simon Barnes (a British writer about birds) tells a story about one of the world experts on warblers who was taking part in some bird ringing. A bird they had caught - they weighed, measured, checked the supercillium, wing length, colour of legs, bill lenght. The world expert said confidently - "certainly a Willow Warbler". So they let it go and it started to sing... "Chiff Chaff, Chiff Chaff...Chiff Chafff..."

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Envious of the Bluethroat!! Off to Spain soon so maybe there ?

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Time for a few doubles:

 

I was lucky enough to see another Bluethroat just one day after the bird posted above:

 

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This Cormorant came delightfully close:

 

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These Gadwalls looked very happy and into each other. :)

 

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Always a stunning bird - the Red-Crested Pochard

 

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And my balcony favourite - Blue Tit

 

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The Great Crested Grebes are busy now:

 

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gallery_19319_1648_6234465.jpg

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51/E51.) Garganey (Anas querquedula) / Knäkente

 

Chiemsee, Germany, 20 and 21/4/2017. A neat small dabbling duck with impressive migration routes - some European birds fly as far as Australia.

 

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gallery_19319_1648_512200.jpg

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52/E52.) Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) / Löffelente

 

An unmistakable duck, and definitely the most striking one IMO when in breeding plumage.

 

Chiemsee, 21/4/2017

 

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Lake Constance, 30/4/2017

 

gallery_19319_1648_2494233.jpg

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53/E53.) Black Kite (Milvus migrans) / Schwarzmilan

 

Münster, 21/4/2017. Sometimes you find bird in the most unlikely places. I was just making a stop on a motorway rest stop "checking the tyres" when I noticed a lot of birds of prey in the sky. There is a wasteground nearby which these birds obviously loved.

 

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gallery_19319_1648_1511280.jpg

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54/E54.) Red Kite (Milvus milvus) / Rotmilan

 

Münster, 21/4/2017. And even better there were also Red Kites. This bird is very rare these days, and it was a real treat seeing them as close as this. Similar to a Black Kite and not easy to tell apart from a distance (for me) but the deeply-forked tail and the much more distinctive white wing panels are diagnostic.

 

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Eternal enemies - Crows will always attack birds of prey.

 

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55/E55.) Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna) / Brandgans

 

Lake Constance, 30/4/2017. A rarity in Middle Europe (they prefer salty water), and I have never seen them this close. The German name means "Firegoose", referencing the red bill.

 

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Male and female:

 

gallery_19319_1648_3417240.jpg

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Posted (edited)

56/E56.) Common Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra) / Braunkehlchen

 

Lake Constance, 29 and 30/4/2017. Classified as "Least Concern" but becoming very rare in Austria. Agricultural intensification has robbed this bird of most of its habitat.

 

Male:

 

gallery_19319_1648_1973047.jpg

 

Female:

 

gallery_19319_1648_1277903.jpg

Edited by michael-ibk
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57/E57.) Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) / Trauerschnäpper - NEW

 

Lake Constance, 29/4/2017. Very similar to the Collared Flycatcher but the spot on the head is smaller and looks more like two small dots, and the Collared has - surprise - a complete white collar.

 

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gallery_19319_1648_1028545.jpg

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58/E58.) Little Grebe aka Dabchick (Tachybaptus ruficollis) / Zwergtaucher

 

Lake Constance, 30/4/2017. A pretty common water bird but difficult to get an even half-decent photo of it - they are very little indeed and shy.

 

gallery_19319_1648_1572596.jpg

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