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Michael´s Third Year


michael-ibk

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michael-ibk

564/C257.) Yellow-Throated Euphonia (Euphonia hirundinacea) / Schwalbenorganist

 

Bogarin Trail, 17/7. As is typical of the genus, Yellow-throated Euphonia builds a small spherical nest with a side entrance; the nest is placed in a recess in a bank, such as along a road, or may be nestled in an epiphyte or clump of moss high above the ground.

 

large.1737245185_CR_588_Yellow-ThroatedE

 

Just one more thing left to say - but I will let these gentlemen take care of that:

 

 

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46/CH4.) Red-Throated Bee-Eater (Merops bulocki) / Rotkehlspint   One of the most spectacular birds in the park, high on my target list. Fortunately they were common and quite approachable.

21/E21.) Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus) / Krauskopfpelikan   Lake Kerkini, Northern Greece, 17/3/2018. This is a great birding destination just an hour´s drive North from Thessaloniki

28/E28.) Greylag Goose (Anser anser) / Graugans   Chiemsee, 24/3/2018. Probably the most common Goose in Middle Europe. Don´t know how popular "The Wonderful Adventures of Nils Holgersson" b

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xelas

C257!! Impressive number, I wonder how close I will come. The final song is beautiful!

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Galana

Thanks for sharing all that you saw with us.

Not so far off 600 and just short of 3 months to go. One more trip should do it. No pressure.

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Peter Connan

Magnificent collection from CR!

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TonyQ

A wonderful collection from Costa Rica, and a superb overall score. (We will be watching @xelas with interest!)

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xelas
1 hour ago, TonyQ said:

A wonderful collection from Costa Rica, and a superb overall score. (We will be watching @xelas with interest!)

 

Michael's photos are over the top excellent so better for me to wait a bit :D; but I am working hard on Trip Report!

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Ratdcoops

@michael-ibk that is a crazy number and the images that I have looked at in the last few pages are crazy good. I don't know how I have missed your big year to this point, must have had something to do with my inattention to birds early days. I can't see a way that I can get back and check tham all and keep up with other content my trip report and my own big year. Rest assured though I will make the effort over the remaining months.

There is a saying. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

If I was to like all that I genuinely like I can't see that anybody else would win a day in the foreseeable future.

 

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Zim Girl

Fantastic collection of birds from Costa Rica and so much effort involved in getting them on here for us to enjoy.

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michael-ibk
On 10/8/2018 at 8:40 PM, Tdgraves said:

Magnificent photography throughout, despite the low light levels - remind me what equipment you are using @michael-ibk

 

@Tdgraves, thank you, be glad you haven´t seen all the deleted ones! ;) Still Canon 7d, and first trip with the 100-400 Mark II - definitely a better lens than the old model. This was also the first time I used an external flash, especially in the forest. Even though it mostly limits you to a shutter speed of 250 it worked out pretty well.

 

On 10/8/2018 at 8:44 PM, xelas said:

C257!! Impressive number, I wonder how close I will come. The final song is beautiful!

 

Thank you Alex, I´m looking forward to seeing yours. Will be interesting to see how many of them are different species.

 

On 10/8/2018 at 9:47 PM, Galana said:

Thanks for sharing all that you saw with us.

Not so far off 600 and just short of 3 months to go. One more trip should do it. No pressure.

 

Thank you @Galana. Hm, 600 will be tricky. But to be honest, I would like to try. Didn´t have any goals at the start of the year but now ... there are some really atrociously bad really extremely adept ebc-photos of several species still waiting on my harddrive to see the Big Year light but I still need quite a few others to get there. Let´s see.

 

On 10/9/2018 at 6:02 AM, Peter Connan said:

Magnificent collection from CR!

 

Thank you, @Peter Connan!

 

On 10/9/2018 at 11:41 AM, TonyQ said:

A wonderful collection from Costa Rica, and a superb overall score. (We will be watching @xelas with interest!)

 

Thank you @TonyQ, the birds are quite extraordinary in Costa Rica - I´m sure you would like it.

 

On 10/10/2018 at 2:41 PM, Ratdcoops said:

@michael-ibk that is a crazy number and the images that I have looked at in the last few pages are crazy good. I don't know how I have missed your big year to this point, must have had something to do with my inattention to birds early days. I can't see a way that I can get back and check tham all and keep up with other content my trip report and my own big year. Rest assured though I will make the effort over the remaining months.

There is a saying. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

If I was to like all that I genuinely like I can't see that anybody else would win a day in the foreseeable future.

 

 

Many thanks, @Ratdcoops, very kind of you to say that. I look forward to follow your adventures in Bots and Zim.

 

3 hours ago, Zim Girl said:

Fantastic collection of birds from Costa Rica and so much effort involved in getting them on here for us to enjoy.

 

Thank so much, @Zim Girl, only my pleasure!

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PeterHG

What an impressive collection and total for CR! Thanks for showing these and providing us with so much extra info on the birds. You certainly did well on the photography in those difficult condition. Interesting to learn that you used an external flash there. Have to keep that in mind.

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michael-ibk

Thank you, @PeterHG, you will have an even bigger menu to choose from, all the migrants willbe there for you as well.B)

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michael-ibk

Just to prove there´s still life in my Big Year two entries from Austria - Europe´s smallest birds:

 

565/E197.) Common Firecrest (Regulus ignicapilla) / Sommergoldhähnchen

 

Lake Constance, 6/10/2018. My very first photo of this species - admittedly it leaves much room for improvement. Migratory birds here in Middle Europe, in October they move from their breeding grounds to Western and Southern Europe.

 

large.752113893_Rhein_44_Sommergoldhhnch

 

 

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michael-ibk

566/E198.) Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) / Wintergoldhähnchen

 

Eulenwiesen, Stubai Tal, 14/10. Much more common than its cousin. The two species are very similar but the adult Firecrest has a distinguishing face pattern showing a bright white supercilium and black eye-stripe. A bird with a huge range, from the UK all the way to Japan although there are two distribution gaps. Not uncommon in our forests but tiny, restless and mostly sticking to the shadows where it finds its prey, small arthropods.

 

large.479988889_Eulenwiesen_6_Wintergold

 

large.1468114896_Eulenwiesen_9_Wintergol

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Dave Williams

I haven't started looking at Alex's shots yet, but he certainly has a lot to live up to. I must admit though, avid wildlife photographer that I am I'm not sure I would have the dedication to the task that you have displayed with some really challenging conditions and at times rather similar subjects to try and identify too. Hat off to you Michael, a great effort.

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michael-ibk

Thank you @Dave Williams, much appreciated! Dedication? Well, I´m a stubborn guy, simple as that. B)

 

Not much hope left to get better shots of migrants, they have mostly left by now, so time to get rid of some brilliant ebc-stuff.

 

567/E199.) Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis) / Baumpieper

 

Seewinkel, 20/09. You will just have to believe me on that one. Leg colour clearly says Meadow or Tree Pipit, and some birders in the hide (where this was taken from) confirmed the bird had been much closer in the morning and allowed positive identification then.

 

large.Seewinkel_44_Baumpieper.JPG.795ac6

 

 

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michael-ibk

568/E200.) Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita) / Waldrapp

 

Absam (Tirol), 21/10. Something special was needed for my 200th European bird. I had been informed that some Ibis were moving through right now so I decided to try my luck this morning and got lucky. Found them in a meadow searching for food. Unfortunately a dog scared them away only a minute after I had got there, and I was unable to relocate them. But still enough time to get a few shots, so definitely more lucky than unlucky.

 

large.Absam_7_Waldrapp.JPG.b4fe22313dc69

 

Why is this a special bird? You see, it´s a symbol of hope, one of the conservation projects which is actually working out and so seeing these birds put a huge smile on my face.

 

The Northern Bald Ibis, the "Waldrapp", was once a common bird in Middle Europe but went extinct because of heavy hunting way back in the 17th century, they were considered a delicacy. It has survived in captivity and with very few colonies in the wild - their stronghold is the Souss Massa NP in Marocco with about 500 birds. Their entire population does not number more than 3000. They have always been special birds to men. In Old Egypt, they were called "lightbringer" and were seen as an embodiment of the human spirit, called "Ach". Islam knows the Bald Ibis as a lucky omen, and one bird is said to have shown Noah the way to the Euphrat valley after the Flood. In the Middle East they were protected because people believed Ibis would carry away the souls of the dead.

 

So it´s not surprising that people have been trying to bring them back for quite a while now. Italy, Spain, Germany and Austria have come up with programs to save the Ibis and set them free in the skies where they belong. The guidelines for the conservation and reintroduction of the northern bald ibis were established in 2003 at an International Advisory Group for Northern Bald Ibis (IAGNBI) conference here in Innsbruck at the Alpenzoo, which maintains the European studbook for the species. There are now two reintroduction projects in Austria, at Grünau and Kuchl. One has a breeding colony managed, as a free-flying flock which is caged at migration time. The aim here is to investigate flock interactions and hormonal status, behavioural and ecological aspects of natural foraging, and the establishment of traditions via social learning.

 

The Scharnstein Project is an attempt to establish a migratory waldrapp colony by using ultralight planes to teach a migration route. The scheme builds on the Grünau research by developing a method to control and guide the autumn migration of a founder population, which then can pass this migration tradition to subsequent generations. The problem is Waldrapps are by nature migrating birds but they are dependent on their elders to show them the way when they are young. And for centuries none of them have followed their ancient pathes South, so none of them know anymore.

 

So basically with these projects, the Ibis get attuned to human "mothers and fathers", and these wonderful people are flying with them as their leaders, showing them the way to their historic winter grounds in Italy. And it is working!  In 2008, a female ibis named Aurelia flew 930 km (580 mi) back to Austria for her fourth return to the breeding site. After some setbacks more birds have begun to return without human interference to their homes in Austria, and some flocks are travelling South when winter is coming independently as well.

 

This is one of those flocks (consisting of nine individuals), with birds from colonies in Bavaria and Kuchl. The adults "Pino" and "Leonardo" (both 3-years birds) show the youngsters the way. Female "Adele" and male "Eos" (both 5 months old) can be seen in my picture. How do I know this stuff? Note the rings and GPS-trackers, the numbers were visible in some. I contacted the conservation team and they were happy to tell me about their great work and the individuals they keep tracking.

 

 

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Fascinating and encouraging stories about the Ibis.

And good to see your total moving from forwards.

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Galana

Great photos and fascinating reading about the Bald Ibis project and history.

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Peter Connan

Lovely story! May they go from strength to strength.

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PeterHG

Thanks for this very interesting info about the 'waldrapp'. A worthwhile project and quite successful as it seems!

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Dave Williams

When in Morocco a few years ago  I went to look but a thick sea mist had descended on the area they inhabit so I missed out. It's a shame the Mediterranean countries can't control the hunting that goes on, even in Corfu there were two guys firing away in a public area just off the Corfu Trail that was being used by joggers and hikers..... and me! What they were shooting at I don't know as I saw nothing that might be considered edible, well by me anyway.

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michael-ibk

I agree, really a shame Dave!

 

569/E201.) Moustached Warbler (Acrocephalus melanopogon) / Mariskenrohrsänger

 

Seewinkel, 20/9/18. A very rare bird in Austria, they reach the western end of their distribution area here and only occur in Seewinkel. Although a regular there I have never had a good sighting of them - and this year was no exception. Another contender for the ebc-price. An extreme crop.

 

large.127029438_Seewinkel_117_Mariskenro

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michael-ibk

570/E202.) Eurasian Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) / Mönchsgrasmücke

 

Tiebel (Carinthia), 9/4/, the male, and Dobruja (Romania), 11/5, the female. I have no excuse for not getting better pictures of this species they are by far the most common Sylvia warbler here but somehow they seemed to evade me this year.

 

large.387906144_TiebelMnchsgrasmcke2.JPG

 

large.904427331_Dobrudscha_217_Mnchsgras

 

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michael-ibk

571/E203.) Bar-Tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica) / Pfuhlschnepfe

 

Lake Constance, 12/10. A very good tick for me and my first sighting of this bird in Austria. It breeds on the Arctic coasts and their migration routes don´t lead them here normally. Their travels are impressive, a Godwit was shown in 2007 to undertake the longest non-stop flight of any bird. Birds in New Zealand were tagged and tracked by satellite to the Yellow Sea in China. The actual track flown by the bird was 11,026 km (6,851 mi) in approximately nine days.

 

large.Rhein_257_Pfuhlschnepfe.JPG.2a3a25

 

large.Rhein_258_Pfuhlschnepfe.JPG.7d3ae5

 

In general Lake Constance was pretty rewarding this year. Water levels were low because of the very hot summer, so good conditions for waders.

 

Like this Little Stint:

 

large.1696138822_Rhein_251_Zwergstrandlu

 

Common Ringed Plover, another first for me at Lake Constance.

 

large.Rhein_236_Sandregenpfeifer.JPG.d12

 

Common Redshank

 

large.Rhein_227_Rotschenkel.JPG.c400b9fe

 

Particularly delightful was that I had my first good clear sightings of Water Rails! I had fought hard for my photo already posted and don´t think I got one at all in my previous two Big Years. But now, all of a sudden, four different individuals on the first outing and two more the next one, and all quite photo-friendly.

 

large.Rhein_142_Wasserralle.JPG.0deb0848

 

large.Rhein_28_Wasserralle.JPG.226c0947e

 

large.Rhein_157_Wasserralle.JPG.4fe018fc

 

large.Rhein_215_Wasserralle.JPG.03ad9e6a

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michael-ibk

572/E204.) Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) / Fichtenkreuzschnabel

 

Eulenwiesen, Stubaital, 14/10. A change of location to one of our forest birds. Not exactly uncommon but always up high in the canopy and therefore quite a tricky one. One of my favourites, I enjoy their colours and the weird bill shape which helps them to efficiently separate the scales of conifer cones and extract the seeds on which they feed. Unfortunately my 7d is in for repairs right now (Costa Rica kinda destroyed it) so this was taken with the 70d.

 

large.Eulenwiesen_44_Fichtenkreuzschnabe

 

large.Eulenwiesen_42_Fichtenkreuzschnabe

 

large.Eulenwiesen_37_Fichtenkreuzschnabe

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