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Michael´s Second Year


michael-ibk

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michael-ibk

59/E59.) Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) / Flussseeschwalbe

 

Lake Constance, 30/4/2017. A very widespread bird but localized. Lake Constance has one of the biggest colonies in Austria.

 

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200/ET117.) Yellow-Fronted Parrot (Poicephalus flavifrons) / Schoapapagei - ENDEMIC   Only occurring in Ethiopia. A beautiful bird pretty much on top of my wish list for this trip. We were r

550/E203.) Crested Tit (Lophophanes cristatus) / Haubenmeise   Fulpmes, 19/11/2017. And I conclude my Big Year 2017 with my favourite tit.       I did not manag

100/E100.) European Bee-Eater (Merops apiaster) / Bienenfresser   Definitely Austria´s most colourful bird, and most definitely the highlight of this Seewinkel visit.     There´s a good colony

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michael-ibk

60/E60.) Black Tern (Chlidonias niger) / Trauerseeschwalbe

 

Lake Constance, 30/4/2017. A much rarer sight than the Common Tern, probably only migrating through.

 

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michael-ibk

61/E61.) Eurasian Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) / Teichrohrsänger

 

Lake Constance, 30/4/2017. I find it next to impossible to tell this one apart from the extremely similar looking Marsh Warbler especially, but the latter has a slightly different habitat (not really at home in reed beds) and I do think the song was that of a Reed Warbler. The book also says that a Marsh Warbler´s head would be a bit rounder and the beak a bit shorter but I do not find these features very helpful at all. So I´m mostly saying Reed Warbler because of the habitat and my memory of its song but could very well be wrong. I do not think it´s a Great Reed Warbler. Too small, and no distinctive supercilium (which also excludes Sedge Warbler) and the tail of a Savi´s Warbler would look different.

 

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Song of Reed Warbler:

 

http://www.xeno-canto.org/367077/embed?simple=1

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TonyQ

@@michael-ibk

Wonderful Kite photos, and Lake Constance was very productive. And a lovely Reed Warbler - how beautiful a simple range of brown colours can be.

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PeterHG

A wide range of beautiful shots and birds @@michael-ibk! I like the flight shot of the Red-crested Pochard and the Kites especially. I've never seen a Collared Flycatcher, but I hope to add it to my list during our trip to Hungary and Austria in June.

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michael-ibk

Thank you Tony and Peter. Lake Constance was nice indeed, I have a few more. Peter, the Flycatcher was new to me as well, never saw one in Seewinkel. But they are definitely there, so I hope you will get a shot.

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michael-ibk

62/E62.) Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides) / Rallenreiher

 

Lake Constance, 29/4/2017. A pretty familiar one in Africa, but this sighting was actually a pretty big deal, according to the bird books Austria is far (North) out of its range, and there haven´t been too many sightings of this bird in Austria so far. It´s a very rare breeding bird in Hungary and Slovakia although some experts believe it will be the next "exotic" species (after Pygmy Cormorant) which could start to breed in Seewinkel.

 

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I kind of managed to sneak up to it but could only get a shot through thick vegetation with very quick manual (and therefore imprecise) focusing.

 

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michael-ibk

63/E63.) Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus) / Rohrweihe

 

Lake Constance, 30/4/2017. A bird that needs extensive reed beds (and it is usually around in such habitats), the most common Harrier found in our country.

 

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And here´s a female, Chiemsee, Germany, 21/4/2017

 

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michael-ibk

64/E64.) Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) / Kuckuck - NEW

 

Lake Constance, 30/4/2017. Very much an ebc but still happy about this sighting - Cuckoos can drive one nuts, you hear them all the time but never see them (at least me). I saw this bird flying and just thought it looked somewhat different so I took a shot even though it was pretty far away - and to my surpise it turned out to be a Cuckoo. I confess I had not even been aware that the females are reddish like this.

 

In Austria we say that if you have a coin in the pocket when you hear a Cuckoo for the very first time in the year you will be lucky. So I expect to be even luckier because I did see one which must be better than hearing. :)

 

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michael-ibk

65/E65.) Bearded Reedling aka Bearded Tit (Panurus biarmicus) / Bartmeise

 

Lake Constance, 30/4/2017. One of the coolest birds we have at home IMO, and I found it at exactly the same spot as last year. Patience was needed, we waited almost three hours at a hide in the reeds until three birds came into photo range.

 

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The female:

 

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TonyQ

@@michael-ibk

Your patience paid off - the Bearded Tit is stunning!

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Peter Connan

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.

 

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More stunning shots and birds, and thanks again for the additional info. Your thread is so much more than a collection of sightings.

 

Something i find amazing is the seeming behavioural differences migrants seem to display at their destinations.

 

Here in SA (at least in the places i go to) the little Grebe is not especially shy, and i have in past years managed some nice close-ups of them. The Great Crested Grebe, on the other hand, is very shy indeed here. All the shots i have of them are little black dots despite having used 700mm of lens...

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Dave Williams

Well done on the Beardies! Not one I'm expecting this year i don't think.

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elefromoz

@@michael-ibk, the Red Kite in flight is a spectacular sight indeed, and a great shot helps. Seems the Birds the world over are all feeling the same pressures.

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michael-ibk

66/E66.) Eurasian Hobby (Falco subbuteo) / Baumfalke - NEW

 

Chiemsee, 05/05/2017. First time I´ve (knowingly) seen this falcon species. Never hovering like Common Kestrel, they are dashing aerial acrobats and hunt birds and larger insects like dragonflys on the wing.

 

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michael-ibk

67/E67.) Common Raven (Corvus corax) / Kolkrabe

 

Münster, 21/4/2017. I find it quite difficult to tell these apart from Carrion Crows actually. Ravens are substantially larger but that only helps when you see the two species together. Their beak is a bit heavier, their tail wedge-shaped and their plumage is a bit iridescent in good light.

 

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michael-ibk

68/E68.) Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca) / Nilgans

 

Brussels, 16/05/2017

 

A very familiar bird from Africa. There are many self-sustaining populations now in Europe (particularly the UK, Germany and the Netherlands) but so far they have not really "discovered" Austria though I did see one a few weeks ago at Lake Constance. In Brussels they are as common as Mallards and found in the city parks.

 

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69/E69.) Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) / Kanadagans - NEW

 

Brussels, 16/05/2017. Another introduced species in Europe. They are a very successful "park species" and sometimes even considered a pest now. Apart from some vagrants not ocurring in Austria.

 

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These two species were taken with my old powershot, I did not do any "proper" birding around Brussels and therefore did not bring my camera.

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michael-ibk

70/E70.) European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) / Stieglitz

 

Mühldorf, Carinthia, 7/5/2017. One of my favourites. Not an uncommon bird but not that easy to approach. We have them around the house and even bought a supposed Goldfinch-magnet called Niger seed for the feeders - but the Goldfinches are completely ignorant of the fact that they should love this stuff, so far they have never come for it.

 

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michael-ibk

Apparently our alpine Goldfinches are very picky eaters then - we do have sunflower hearts (and Tits and Greenfinches devour them) but not the Goldies.

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Dave Williams

I tried niger seed to lure Goldfinch with no luck either. Very seldom seen in our garden but regulars just 100m away in a friends.

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michael-ibk

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No birding year would be complete without a visit to Seewinkel, Austria´s premier birding destination. We spent a few days there last week, and had a really good time. Migration time is pretty much over, and most of the waders have apparently already moved on. Also the area has very little water this year, so it´s not at its very best:

 

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But still, lots of places left which provide good habitats for plenty of species, and the open landspaces and flowers are always beautiful.

 

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Many of the roads are not open to cars, so bikes are a good option. And that helped rounding up a decent number of species, many already in the count, but quite a few new ones as well.

 

A few more "setting the scene" shots before I move on to the next numbers.

 

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The "Einserkanal", forming the border between Austria and Hungary here.

 

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I had never seen Cuckoo before I finally spotted one this year at Lake Constance (already in the count) so was quite surprised to see three this time.

 

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Linnets are nesting in the vineyard now.

 

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Greylag Goose and their offspring are everywhere this time of the year.

 

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The white donkeys of Sandeck.

 

All the following pics were taken in Seewinkel or Hansag, May 25th to May 28th.

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michael-ibk

71/E71.) Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca) / Moorente

 

A common bird in the East of Europe but a very rare - and shy - breeding duck in Middle Europe. Not that difficult to find in Seewinkel with a bit of patience.

 

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