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Michael´s Year


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The goose seqeunce is stunningly good @@michael-ibk!


Wrt the gap-winged eagle: birds do moult their flight feathers quite regularly, and the various methods they use and how that affects or conforms to their lifestyles is actually quite interesting. Raptors tend to moult like this, one or two primarys at a time (although usually similar positions on both wings at the same time).


The other extreme is the females of most African hornbills, who moult all their feathers at once while ensconced in the nest by the male.

So agree on that goose sequence, outstanding!

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Thanks, Peter, I did not know that, very interesting.

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@@Peter Connan

Superb Goose sequence - and the Crested Pochard is really beautiful. Congratulations on your Woodpecker!

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It must be the software upgrade <_< (I will see if my software can now be upgraded to avoid clicking on the wrong "mention"!)

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Peter Connan



I´m flattered that you think I´m @@Peter Connan . ;)

On the contrary, i am the one who is flattered.

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All the following ones are from last weekend, April 8th to April 11th. I was going home from Tirol to Carinthia and made stops at Chiemsee (Germany) on the way there and back again. There´s a nice watchtower there, and lots of waterbirds to be seen. Mallards, Coots, Grebes, several kinds of Ducks, Swans and many more. The more interesting ones tend to stay far away, in the core zone of the protected area there which is off-limits for people. In the trees and shrubbery near the watchtower Tits, Robins, Reed Buntings and Wagtails are also often seen. I even saw a Bluethroat (beautiful little fellow) but it was off too quickly.


So, new birds I saw there:


59.) Garganey (Anas Querquedula) / Knäkente




60.) European Pied Flycatcher (Ficeduly hypoleuca) / Trauerschnäpper - Female




And here´s the male (not seen at Chiemsee but in Carinthia)




61.) Osprey (Pandiua haliaetus) /Fischadler - a very cool bird to see! They are only migrating through, so this was a very lucky find - even if it stayed far away, this pic is already pretty cropped.




Cropped even more:




62.) Eurasian Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) / Mönchsgrasmücke - not seen from the tower but on a short stroll through the floodplain forest (not found too much there, lots of Tits and Chaffinches, heard a few Woodpeckers, but nothing "special".)




63.) Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus) / Fitis - I´m fairly certain about it, and fairly certain now that in the Lissabon post I had a Chiffchaff.



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Some better shots of birds already presented:


Common Reed Bunting - male:






And here´s the female:








Blue Tit




I also saw a mouse - quickly disappeared again!




I think that both of these are Red Kites, but not sure, could also be Black Kites. Until I can clarify I will not include it in the count.






Wagtail - this bold litte fellow flew straight into the watchtower! :)








A video of Great Crested Grebes courting in the rain:





And a very impressive bird on Monday morning - again at least I think it is a ...


64.) White-Tailed Eagle (Haliaaetus albicilla) / Seeadler - it´s looking a bit Harrier-like in one of the pics, but it was much bigger, and the tail would not fit a Harrier. A "proper" birder who I met in the watchtower confirmed he had also seen the Eagle that very morning. Again, same spot as the Osprey - very far away, just enough for a proof shot.




Heavy Crops, sorry about the (lack of) quality:







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We have an old farmhouse at home, with several old trees in the garden. Tits, Blackbirds, Robins, Sparrows, Redstarts are often there, and we usually have some Swallows nesting in the barn - though they have not begun to do so this year. One morning I also saw a Magpie (a rare sight here) but it was gone too quickly for photos.


65.) Lesser Whitethroat (Sylvia curruca) / Klappergrasmücke (not 100 % sure about this one, but it seems to be the best fit):




I already presented the female Common Redstart - here´s the male, much more attractive:






Sorry, can´t resist posting one more Goldfinch, I just like them a lot. :)




My mother discovered some eggs in one of her palms - anyone have an idea which bird this could be?







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I also took some walks around the village back home in Carinthia. There´s a nice little creek and some ponds, and the river is also a good place. We do have some resident Grey Herons (I showed before), and I managed to get somewhat better pictures of them:




Mostly they kept their distance, but I managed to sneak up onto this one, and could take a photo through the riverine brush:




Until he noticed me - and was gone off course:




Another Heron shot (from Chiemsee, like that formation)



Edited by michael-ibk
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At a water reservoir there are always Swans (breeding now), Mallards, Tufted Ducks and Pochards, sometimes also Little Grebes, Mergansers, Crested Grebes, Yellow-Legged Gulls and more.


This year we have some white Mallards:




A "regular" one to compare:




And a new bird:


66.) Marsh Tit (Poecile palustris) / Sumpfmeise




And then I had an absolutely fantastic sighting, I really was speechless and grinning for minutes afterwards. Never expected, never hoped to see my absolute favourite here in Austria - a ...


67.) Common Hoopoe (Upupa Epops) / Wiedehopf!!!!




Never would have noticed it without this Big Year thing. But so, armed with my camera and bincos I was more carefully observing, and saw this somewhat biggish bird flying on the other side of the canal. At first I thought it was a Jay, but something seemed odd about it, and indeed, binocs revealed what it was. I was so excited I almost forgot to take a photo! Luckily it lingered for a short time. Not many of them left here in Austria (about 200 breeding pairs - though I always wonder who counts these things?), and I guess this one was moving through as well.


An absolute "birding" highlight for me - a Hoopoe, who would have thought. :)






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52.) Red-Crested Pochard (Netta rufina) / Kolbenente = gorgeous

51.) Greylag Goose (Anser anser) / Graugans = gorgeous and flying


If you had not provided the background on the peacocks and the chicks, I would have thought it was oh so cute.


You claim you were delayed in posting your cheetah pic to the fav cheating sighting thread because of "no pics at the office." I believe you were actually off the grid birding.


At what point does the new camera kick in for these shots? You have some great ones. I think you've combined creating the big year thread and learning the new camera into a marvelous project.


:wub: #67

Edited by Atravelynn
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Game Warden

@@michael-ibk I saw a Eurasian hoopoe today near the HQ: sometimes we have them in the fig tree in the garden. It's great to see them isn't it?

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Very cool grebe courtship video. I also really like the blue tit and flycatcher in the rain. Nice spot on the hoopoe. I'm noticing many more birds as well :)

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Absolutely, @@Game Warden , a pleasure to see them, makes me feel like on safari. :)


Thanks, @@Patty . It really is astonishing to me what kind of diversity I´m seeing now. Until recently I only "saw" Blackbirds, Tits and Sparrows - pretty much the only birds I knew not too long ago. :)


Thanks, @@Atravelynn . Yes, it is a fun way to get more acquainted with the new camera, and I´m playing around quite a bit with the AF settings. The Lissabon batch of photos was taken with my Powershot, I think everything else with the Canon 7d. Lots of "winter birds" at the start through the kitchen window though - which could need some cleaning. ;)

Edited by michael-ibk
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A Hoopoe -fantastic. And so many excellent shots - you are getting into this :)

I am also noticing a lot more birds that didn't exist before January!

I recognise the feeling over the Chiff Chaff/Warbler - I find it very difficult to see a difference even in the BIrd Books (although I can tell the song of the Chiff Chaff). I had never seen either of them until a couple of weeks ago - and now I have seen either or both :lol:

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Thanks, @@TonyQ - it's actually the lack of "zilpzalp"s (the German name) that made me sure it's a willow warbler, and the quite distinctive supercilium.

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@@michael-ibk, the Goldfinch is beautiful amongst the blossoms. Enjoying the German too. A Hoopoe, fancy that.

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Thanks, @@elefromoz - the Goldfinch is the Austrian "Bird of the Year" in 2016 btw.


Some new ones from this weekend:


68.) Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra) / Braunkehlchen




Tighter crop:




And the Female:





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This one was far, far away - but I´m doubtful I will get another chance so here´s the photo anyway

69.) Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) / Jagdfasan - never seen one so far, and quite surprised to see one so close to a road!


70.) Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustico) / Rauchschwalbe - we usually have them nesting in our barn but they haven´t started so far this year. :(


71.) Black Kite (Milvus Migrans) / Schwarzmilan





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Not new but I had fun watching them. The Great Crested Grebes were very busy building their nest - they have a swimming one, very interesting to observe them:










And a very cool one to see - these birds are quite rare here:


72.) Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica) / Blaukehlchen





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From a walk this morning around Gaisau, close to Innsbruck. Lots of Blue Tits, Coal Tits, Blackbirds, Field Sparrows, Chiffchaffs, 3 Mallards, Common Coots, 2 Grey Herons, Wagtails, Crows, 2 Whinchats, Chaffinches, Goldfinches. And three new species:


73.) Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris) / Wacholderdrossel




74.) Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) / Teichhuhn




75.) Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) / Elster




And a Great Spotted Woodpecker thrown in just because



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From a walk yesterday in one of our alpine side-valleys. I was hoping to rack up some alpine bird species but the weather really was not cooperating, it was snowing heavily and so we didn´t see many birds (but had cool Chamois sightings!). Still, four new species, unfortunately record shots only:


76.) Northern Raven (Corvus corax) / Kolkrabe


(At least I think so, it was very big, and the beak seems to be heavy enough.)




77.) Spotted Nutcracker (Nucifraga caryoacatectes) / Tannenhäher




78.) Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus) / Misteldrossel - sorry, atrocious picture quality!




79.) Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe) / Steinschmätzer




All candidates for better shots, I promise!


Our best sighting was of White-Throated Dipper (already featured), a bird I like a lot. It´s semi-aquatic, dives and walks in the water, especially in swiftly running creeks and rivers. From Wiki: "From a perch it will walk into the water and deliberately submerge, but there is no truth in the assertion that it can defy the laws of specific gravity and walk along the bottom. Undoubtedly when entering the water it grips with its strong feet, but the method of progression beneath the surface is by swimming, using the wings effectively for flying under water. It holds itself down by muscular exertion, with its head well down and its body oblique, its course beneath the surface often revealed by a line of rising bubbles." We could watch that behaviour, very interesting seeing it disappear in the ice-cold water and getting up again.








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Peter Connan

Cool bird, thanks for the interesting info!

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