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Alex & Zvezdana Big Year 2017


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Galana

Excellent trip. When are you going to name the Ortolan Bunting?:lol:

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BARBADOS / 02 JANUARY 2017 Let us start the year with a black bird also ourselves: BY 001 / WI 01 Carib Grackle - Quiscalus lugubris BY 002 / WI 02 Eared Dove - Zenaida auriculata BY

Here is another improved ebc photo (a set of photos) of a Common Kingfisher - Alcedo Atthis. This one from the hide in Valle di Argenta named Martin pescatore  on 31/10/2017:    

BY266 / SCO 03 Winter Wren - Troglodytes troglodytes     BY267 / SCO 04 Common Stonechat - Saxiola rubicola       BY268 / SCO 05 Barn S

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So not a Yellowhammer :huh:?! Even better I have plenty of Yellowhammers ;) left!

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No problems with ID of this one ^_^.

 

BY 344 / AUT 20

Fieldfare - Turdus pilaris

FieldfareAA.JPG.2e94c513027428824732c296b4c66a6d.JPG

 

FieldfareB.JPG.81c1861dd6e30dc1f6192a0295659daf.JPG

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As promised.

 

 

BY 345 / AUT 21

Yellowhammer - Emberiza citrinella

YellowhammerA.JPG.436988716534ba12f75d219ee06378f0.JPG

Seewinkel, 18/11/2017

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And as a special gift to my mentor @Galana: Ortolan Bunting female 1st winter

 

5a1351bb5eb57_OrtolanBuntingf.B.JPG.db3fd7a5abe34f0967a54f8097ad92c8.JPG

 

5a1351b94f5af_OrtolanBuntingf_AA.JPG.814548617e1ca0adf64741dcebe76b6e.JPG

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Galana

Ouch. I am not sure I am correct. Ortolans have pink bills. These could be Yellowhammers after all. :(

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@Galana all bills on my photos are dark, not pink or reddish. Yellowhammers then. What puzzles me is that Yellowhammer usually has two yellow stripes on head (like top photo) but bird on bottom photo has uniform brownish head?! Anyone out there care to comment?!

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Galana

Well with my 'bird cred' in tatters what can I say? Ortolan has a definite white eye ring and so has your bird. Perhaps these are late brood young birds and not fully coloured? Would they still be around Vienna in November?

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One of the pictures of Yellowhammer in my book shows adult female in winter with fine streaks on the crown rather than distinct stripes. It has an eye ring but not as strong as in you photo. 

 

But beak of Ortolan Bunting is pinkish in all pictures. I would have thought (with no evidence!) that variability in eye ring is more likely than in beak colour.

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michael-ibk

I´m pretty sure it must be a Yellowhammer. Putting the physical features aside which were already discussed(mostly the bill) Ortolan Buntings are extremely rare in Austria even in summer. I´ve never seen one, they´re extinct now here as breeding birds. As migrating summer guests they should be long gone from Middle Europe by late November. Also, an Ortolan´s belly should never be yellowish. First winter Yellowhammers have distinct white eyerings.

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Oh, well, you have successfully downgraded my BY count ... but I have tried my best :D! I will continue the counting accordingly. Thanks to all that have participated. Next two birds to be posted were much less dubious to ID.

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Browsing through our photos to find a substitute bird for OB I have realised that we have done what some would consider a rookie (pun intended) mistake, but by reading other BY participants comments, it happens also to more experienced birders. Rook was probably the single most numerous bird in the fields around Illmitz, in flocks that could easily count up to 50 birds, usually almost next to the road. It does get spooked easily but then, it is a big bird so should be an easy target. Well, this one is one only conditionally acceptable photo out of 6 done from the car when we have been leaving Illmitz, in rain. Taken "just in case" by myself :(; luckily it is an easily recognisable bird :unsure:.

 

 

BY 343 / AUT 19

Rook - Corvus frugilegus

Rook.JPG.2b92d34c8a11effbca56a89f47201816.JPG

Edited by xelas
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Fortunately there are still 2 more birds to be posted, to improve the overall impression after the rookie Rook ;).

First one is a courtesy by very friendly fellow birders from Austria.

 

BY 346 / AUT 22

Long-eared Owl - Asio otus

5a14708870863_Long-earedOwl.JPG.961022e8e459a7c42193940ac74015d6.JPG

 

5a14708aa8a1e_Long-earedOwlA.JPG.89a64b97251d8645ab23fafa4e5146cb.JPG

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Second bird is entitled to its own story! It was my personal target for past few months; I have seen the bird on various locations but never managed to get a chance to even attempt a photo.

 

Act 1: Almost exactly on the same spot where we have seen a Crested Lark back in September (you might remember the @michael-ibk comment about a "cloud of smoke") I have executed the same stunt, this time for a rabbit.

5a14716def89b_GreenWoodpecker.JPG.7ee3df5a85a7696d3895dfbd7c4b6754.JPG

 

Act 2: After about 10 clicks I have said to Zvezda that those are plenty for a rabbit. She replied: "I do not photograph rabbit, there is a woodpecker nearby!". Yeah, sure, a woodpecker! Where, on the vine?? Nope, on the ground!!

5a14717025257_GreenWoodpeckerA.JPG.44417a09c6df57905afe6389c70435c9.JPG

 

5a147171448ce_GreenWoodpeckerB.JPG.e86dcee52891307eabbeb919eadbb156.JPG

 

5a14717236589_GreenWoodpeckerC.JPG.d2e928dcfcf5e5dec32734ce58d7305a.JPG

 

Finally, and by pure accident, I have got my so sought after Green Woodpecker!

 

Act 3: Alex goes after the bird, and got his own decent photo :). Yes, the bird could walk on the bright side, but then, I cannot complain too much.

 

BY 347 / AUT 23

Green Woodpecker - Picus viridis

5a1472d044cf2_GreenWoodpeckerD.thumb.JPG.774b04a5968a4e3fc7846717facd4968.JPG

Seewinkel, 18/11/2017

 

Edited by xelas
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Well done with th woodpecker, and the owl is wonderful!

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Galana

Well done with the Green Woodpecker. You certainly worked hard for it.

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Thanks, fellow birders! We surely invested some time to get a photo of the Greeny, and when I thought my chances were nil, the Lady Luck smiled at us! If not for the Zvezda's sharp eye I would have gone away with only a rabbit in my hat.

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Peter Connan

Stunning captures of the woodpecker and the owl, and just three to go to get to 350!

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PeterHG

Congrats on that beautiful Green Woodpecker, @xelas! The few times I see it, my camera is always far away...;)

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Zvezda reminded me that there might be some immigrants from Syria on our photos from the Woodpecker Tree in Illmitz, and indeed one has managed to infiltrate himself among the similarly looking Great Spotted woodies.

This one is specially for @michael-ibk and @AndMic since they have shared with us the "secret woodpecker tree"!

 

 

BY 348 / AUT 24

Syrian Woodpecker - Dendrocopos syriacus

5a15ea8d41435_SyrianWoodpeckerA.thumb.JPG.c56a90269758cd8a811d07d7e5bf347e.JPG

Illmitz, 18/11/2017

 

 

 

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Recent post by @TonyQ about Merlin bird app just added one more bird to our Big Year 2017 :). It most probably is an escape, yet it has floated happily in the village pond in a company of several mallards.

 

BY 349 / AUT 25

Muscovy Duck - Cairina moschata

5a170dc5b561e_MuscovyDuck.JPG.8f23aee7b89ab12b504b0a01b18102f8.JPG

Apetlon, 18/11/2017

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Galana
17 hours ago, xelas said:

It most probably is an escape,

From a neighbour's cooking pot? Quite a photogenic one too. Our local ones are quite the Ugly ducklings.

What next? Indian Runners?

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Hmmm: it is a bird (a good looking even; it is reported in various Bird Lists; it has a unique latine name; it was not on a leash or in the cage/enclosed compartment/anyone's backyard; it is not a roadkill or stuffed (at least not at the time of taking this photo); I did not find any contraindications on Big Year posting rules. To me ... it cuts :D!

 

When i will have 400+ "real birds" on my count, I will skip the Muscovy Duck. Or maybe not :P. Where can I find Indian Runner :lol:?

Edited by xelas
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PeterHG

Good for  you, @xelas ! We’re all scraping the barrel here :D

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