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michael-ibk

Michael´s Second Year

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michael-ibk

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.

 

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2/E2.) Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus) / Singschwan - NEW

Chiemsee, Germany, 26/02/2017

A special bird in Middle Europe, they are only found here in Winter on some of the bigger lakes, most of their breeding areas are high up North in the Tundra. Same size as the Mute Swan but a bit more slender. and the bill is yellow (not reddish).

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3/E3.) Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) / Stockente

 

Chiemsee, Germany, 26/02/2017

 

Our most abundant water bird. Mallards don´t require much, adapt well to any environment and are therefore the defining bird of Europe´s waterbodies. As @@TonyQ has mentioned once "ducks" was also for me synonymous to Mallards for a long time.

 

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4/E4.) Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) / Reiherente

 

Stausee Reißeck, Carinthia, 11/02/2017.

 

Reasonably common in many lakes of the Alps, a bit scarcer in our lower elevations.

 

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5/E5.) Red-Crested Pochard (Netta rufina) / Kolbenente

 

Chiemsee, Germany, 26/02/2017.

 

Apparently they prefer big lakes, unlike Mallards, Tufteds or Pochards I have never seen them on smaller water bodies.

 

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Their head is curiously shaped.

 

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6/E6.) Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) / Schellente

 

Chiemsee, Germany, 26/02/2017

 

A Winter visitor, breeding in the high North. A special bird for birders from Southern Europe which is outside its range. Not that rare here in my area in the cold months.

 

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The female:

 

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7/E7.) Greater White-Fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) / Blässgans

 

Chiemsee, Germany, 26/02/2017

 

Very similar to the Greylag Goose but the white around the bill is distinctive. Another winter specialty here. I expect they will have already begun their journey up to the North by now.

 

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It mingles with the Greylag:

 

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8/E8.) Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra) / Blässhuhn

 

Chiemsee, Germany, 26/02/2017

 

Abundant on many lakes. A very loud bird.

 

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9/E9.) Greater Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) Kormoran

 

Vasche di Maccarese, Italy, 4/3/2017

 

Such a common bird from all over the world, but they are very shy here in Austria - fishermen hate them with a passion.

 

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10/E10.) Spotted Crake (Porzana porzana) / Tüpfelsumpfhuhn - NEW

 

Vasche di Maccarese, Italy, 4/3/2017.

 

A very cool bird to see, and the first sighting for me. A victim of climate change, they are endangered here in Middle Europe with no more than approx. 2,000 breeding pairs. These were just migrating through, so good timing on my part.

 

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Vasche di Maccarese is a WWF protection zone close to Rome (where I spent some days for work reasons). Not open to the public but I contacted one participating member of Ornitho (a very cool webpage where birders from many European countries insert their sightings). He was incredibly friendly and arranged a visit there for me, and accompanied me. A very beautiful place and an oasis for birds, I saw more than 60 species - including stuff like Water Rail, Little Crake, Spoonbill, Cattle Egret, Shelduck and lots of waders. Unfortunately the weather was extremely bad, no light at all, so I hardly took any photos, and the few I took did turn out as to be expected.

Edited by michael-ibk

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11/E11.) Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) / Teichhuhn

 

Rome, 1/3/2017. Rome´s bigger parks (like Borghese, Doria Pamphilj or Parco de Caffarella where I did not manage to get to) can be quite productive for birds.

 

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12/E12.) European Serin (Serinus serinus) / Girlitz - NEW

 

Rome, 1/3/2017.

 

A common bird in most of Europe but apparently they do not like the Alps - I have never seen one here (though they do occur).

 

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13/E13.) Rose-Ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri) / Halsbandsittich - NEW

 

Rome, 1/3/2017.

 

A specialty of Europe´s (mainly Southern) big cities. This Parakeet is obviously not a natural here (it´s mainly an Asian bird, every visitor to India will recognize it), but feral populations have been doing well here for many, many years now.

 

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Edited by michael-ibk

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14/E14.) Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus) / Mönchssittich

 

Rome, 1/3/2017.

 

A South American species, also a successful breeder in Europe. (I saw them last year in Barcelona as well.)

 

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Edited by michael-ibk

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15/E15.) Italian Sparrow (Passer italiae) / Italiensperling - NEW

 

Rome, 1/3/2017

 

Completely replaces the House Sparrow in Italy. Its exact taxonomy is much debated but my bird book treats is a a good species and not a hybrid or sub-species. The cheeks of the male are a pure white, not greyish, and the head is more rufous. The females look exactly the same like the House Sparrows.

 

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Edited by michael-ibk

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16/E16.) Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix) / Nebelkrähe

 

Rome, 1/3/2017.

 

Abundant in the Eternal City. We have them here as well, but Carrion Crows are much more common.

 

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17/E17.) Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) / Star

 

Rome, 1/3/2017

 

A common bird in many areas, also to the East of Austria, but rare in the Alps - I do not see them very often here.

 

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18/E18.) Feral Pigeon (Culumba livia domestica) / Straßentaube

 

Rome, 1/3/2017

 

Very unpopular birds. We call them "flying rats".

 

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19/E19.) Yellow-Legged Gull (Larus michahellis) / Mittelmeermöwe

 

Rome, 1/3/2017

 

The common white-headed Gull in Middle Europe. The Caspian Gull looks very similar (mostly has a darker iris though) but I have never seen one - at least not knowingly.

 

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20/E20.) Black-Headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) / Lachmöwe

 

Chiemsee, Germany, 26/02/2017

 

The second common Gull in mainland Europe. Very confiding.

 

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Note the different bill colour. The more yellowish ones are First-Year Winter birds.

 

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These are mature, and in winter plumage.

 

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Another juvenile.

 

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And this one is starting to moult into summer plumage. Their head is actually not black - more "chocolate brown".

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21/E21.) Eurasian Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) / Blaumeise

 

Fulpmes, Tirol, 29/01/2017

 

A regular guest to the feeders.

 

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It loves strawberrry. :)

 

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22/E22.) Great Tit (Parus major) / Kohlmeise

 

Chiemsee, Germany, 26/02/2017

 

A very common bird, I see them every day. Birdlife Austria is doing a winter count of birds every year, with many people participating all over the country. The Coal Tit came in second in 2017, they lost the pole position to the Tree Sparrow.

 

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BTW, the winter ranking in Austria was

 

1.) Tree Sparrow

2.) Great Tit

3.) Common Sparrow

4.) Blackbird

5.) Chaffinch

6.) Blue Tit

7.) Greenfinch

8.) Goldfinch

9.) Carrion Crow

10.) Robin

11.) Coal Tit

12.) Brambling (I have never seen one!)

13.) Greater Spotted Woodpecker

14.) Collared Dove (not here in the Alps)

15.) Bullfinch

16.) Siskin

17.) Long-Tailed Tit

18.) Nuthatch

19.) Rook (again, missing here in the Alps)

20.) Magpie (not common in my area)

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23/E23.) Coal Tit (Periparus ater) / Tannenmeise

 

Fulpmes, Tirol, 29/01/2017

 

Another regular guest to the feeders.

 

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24/E24.) Long-Tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus) / Schwanzmeise

 

Chiemsee, Germany, 26/02/2017

 

Actually not related to the "real" Tits. Never come to the feeders here, but seen pretty regularly in the forests.

 

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25/E25.) Common Blackbird (Turdus merula) / Amsel

 

Fulpmes, Tirol, 5/3/2017

 

Very bold birds, they sometimes come to the balcony even when I am outside. Prefer to feed on the ground - they love raisins!

 

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Edited by michael-ibk

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